I want to upgrade from my Audigy 4. I'm looking at the Asus' Xonar D2, and the Auzentec's X-fi Prelude. I listen to music, and watch movies and occasionally gaming. Which is the best sound card out there to fit my needs? Also which is the better of these two I just mentioned?
Between the 2 I'd go for the Xonar, only because there's nothing really "bad" about it and it's ~$40 cheaper. I've heard that the Prelude has been having some compatibility issues with some boards, although I have heard that when it is compatible it'll also work on Vista-64. In a few weeks(or months?) there will be a 1x pci-e version of the Xonar available so that's something to think about. If you're into looks and "extras" go for the Xonar. It's all just my opinion.
yeah, the prelude still has driver issues that need to be worked out, since it was released before all the additional hardware features were supported, the premature release was mandated by creative... i assume so they could continue working on their own products.
so if you need a sound card now, the xonar is probably the one to go for, as it sounds like it has everything it needs already out. but if you can wait a couple months for driver and software feature completion, then the prelude may be the one to go for instead.
thanks for the replies guys...well I can wait till December...
choirbass, how certain is this statement that i would be able to download drivers/utility software around December (or even a few weeks later)? Also i've read that Auzentec would enable DD and DTS via driver updates later...does it mean that it's already implemented in the hardware? or just that these would be enabled purely via software (might sound lame, sorry not into audio)...
and yeah i would sell my audigy 4 smokedyou911
Q1 2008 is around when things should be coming together on the software front. regarding ddl and dts, those are hardware based, relying on different chipsets than standard x-fis have, so the drivers and other software would then be downloadable from the site i linked to above. as such, with current creative x-fi drivers, they offer no real support for the additional prelude hardware, only whats already out on other x-fis. its now just a matter of auzentech modifying and testing creatives standard x-fi drivers.
looking over the specs, the largest difference between them seems to simply be that the prelude supports all standard x-fi functions, which are more targeted towards gamers, whereas the xonar doesnt. thats going to be its largest selling point (and about the only real reason for the $40 difference that i can see), because beyond that, they seem mostly the same from an overall perspective. (7.1 analog, ddl, dts, etc)
as far as which is better... the lead does go to the prelude (considering what your intended uses are too), that is, if you dont mind waiting for the drivers to be completed either. otherwise, if you need a quicker fix so to speak (and dont mind the loss of eax above 2.0), then the xonar d2 is the card to go for. also, hardware eax isnt supported in vista, but open al support does manage to get around that. so, if you can do without using eax on either card, then the difference between them is narrowed again.