I'm looking for a good sound card for use in gaming and general aspects such as videos/movies. I just found out tonight about the lameness of Creative and their drivers. I need something that works well with Vista 64-bit. In the past I have made a point to avoid on-board audio, usually disabling it in the BIOS asap and putting my own Creative Sound Blaster type cards in. Now that Creative has so many problems I am looking for an alternative. The motherboard I will be buying has the Realtek ALC889A on-board audio, which I have found very little about.
Could someone please recommend a nice sound card for me?
If you're talking about the Gigabyte GA-P35C/R/etc with the onboard audio, a few reviews I've read on it say it's pretty good. Some people on newegg even noted the onboard sound as a pro. I've never used onboard audio before but I think I'm going to give it a try for a while and see. I have an audigy card I can maybe pop in later, or I might have to get a newer card/brand depending on Vista drivers
You have to take the reviews on sites like Newegg with a grain of salt. A lot of people give poor grades to products due to them not having features or capabilities that they never said they had in the first place (like 4 of 5 eggs for a PSU not being modular or something like that). A lot of people over estimate their technical knowledge and blame it on the hardware.
That said I have always used Creative cards, I have Vista 32bit and a X-fi Fatal1ty FPS and it works great. I have the Klipsch Pro-Media 5.1 speakers and was thinking of using my old Audigy 2 with my new system, I couldn't imagine a new card sounding that much better, I was wrong. The X-fi sounds amazing, I couldn't be happier.
I realize your talking about the 64bit version but the drivers are there on their site and although I can't say for certain (due to not having used them) that they are good, I don't think you will have a problem.
As dobby said "there is a reason they are the biggest sound card manufacture".
I just bought a mainboard with the new realtec ALC888 codec on it, and I am pleasantly surprised.
I used to use soundblaster live, but this sounds better and also has better specs.
I produce music, and the plan was to buy a professional soundcard at some point, but both the inputs and outputs are so close quality-wise to professional stuff that I am not sure whether I will buy a professional soundcard just yet.
When it comes to gaming, the realtek is ok.
It supports EAX1.0 and 2.0, but for anything beyond 2.0 you will need creative stuff.
I hate creative with a passion, and don't play that many games in which EAX 3.0+ is essential, so for me the ALC888 does great.
Reading the multiple reviews that said the Creative X-Fi cards crackled, popped, etc in Vista
This is not just in Vista, in fact it seems to be happening across the board on all types of cards, machine specs and OS.
I would go with the Auzentech as they have the Xfi chip from Creative but dont seem to have all the problems that creative are having. Saying that I am sure it is only a small percentile that are having the issues with Creative as they are a huge company and the card of choice for gamers.
I have a Fatality Xtremgamer and when it works sounds fantastic. Shame it bugs and causes BSODs all the time but I am RMAing it next week and will let you know if you want to wait.
I would either get the Auzentech when it releases or go for the Fatality Xtremegamer and hope you dont get unlucky.
The difference in sound quality by the ear is completely independent of the sound card, it is dependent on the person listening.For instance, some people can hear the difference between 196 and 128 bit rates, some people can't. I cannot tell you the difference in sound between quality of parts on a sound card because people have different levels of hearing.
I used to have a Creative Live 24bit 7.1 audio card and although generally it works well. Sometimes after quitting a game using EAX the driver doesn't reset to normal so I have weird reverb sound when playing other sounds. That is in the XP day with my old computer. And from what I heard not only me having issues with Creative drivers, IOW driver from Creative always has annoying bugs in it. Wonder when they will change that?
Now I used a new one with Realtek ALC-883 not exactly the one you will buy but you will use the same driver it work very well for any things (the control panel in Vista looks great) outside gaming as you won't get any effect in game because DirectSound 3d and EAX is not supported in Vista. To be honest I think driver from Realtek is great. Also most board with ALC889A are touted to support full rate audio when playing Blu-ray/HD-DVD.