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Buying a new sound card, need some suggestions

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August 17, 2008 12:47:45 AM

I'm going to buy a new sound card. My budget is $350. I though about Creative X-Fi Elite Pro or ASUS Xonar D2X. What do you say?Or any option else?

My CPU spec :
Intel Core2Duo E6300
ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
Corsair TWIN2X2048 PC2-6400
Silverstone ST65ZF 650W
Creative GigaWorks S750

Thank you. :D 

(Sorry for my bad english)
August 17, 2008 1:18:11 AM

Your budget for a sound card is $350 ??
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August 17, 2008 1:31:52 AM

Yes, but it's too much I think. Can anyone help me?
Thank you.
August 17, 2008 1:51:47 AM

X-Fi 100%

Buy it BUY IT NOW!!!! *Arnold impression*
August 17, 2008 9:50:03 PM

Heya,

It depends what you want to do with your sound card. Some people swear by EAX, X-Fi, what have you. I on the other hand don't care about that stuff and want hardware dolby digital instead so that I can benefit awesome sound from movies, and not just games. And if you're in that kind of crowd, the Auzentech cards are top notch. Otherwise, only the highest end Creative lab card is worth a damn, because the lower end ones take poewr from your cpu and don't have the same actual hardware decoding going on. The higher end creative labs cards do though, but they're still pricey. Asus and Auzentech cards are noted to sound better. Check out the Prelude 7.1.

As for me, I use the simple but perfect Auzentech X-Plosion Cinema 7.1.

Very best,
August 17, 2008 11:13:26 PM

Creative Titanium series is the way to go. They are newer so will be supported for longer, on a PCI-e interface and have DDL
August 17, 2008 11:58:05 PM

+1 for Auzentech X-Plosion Cinema 7.1.
August 18, 2008 12:25:12 AM

I usually use my speaker to :
40% games.
30% music.
30% movies.
What's the best companion for my GigaWorks S750?
Thanks to all.
August 18, 2008 1:24:07 AM

fikkry said:
I usually use my speaker to :
40% games.
30% music.
30% movies.
What's the best companion for my GigaWorks S750?
Thanks to all.


Again, it completely depends.

First, what speakers will you be fueling. Having a super sound card is pointless if you have just average speakers or even a cheap set of 5.1 or 7.1 speakers. There's nearly no point going all out on a soundcard unless you have really high quality speakers to put them too.

Games - which audio settings? What added settings? EAX? Just direct 3d? Dolby Digital Live? Creative has great gaming cards on their highest end. Performance is the main thing in gaming soundcards; you want to unload most of the work from your system and keep it on the card. After that, it's all about how many simultaneous sounds the thing can playback. Higher is better of course. Again, the big creative latest cards are good here.

Music - Performance means nothing, you just want it to sound as good as possible. Crisp, clear, and plenty of outputs. Asus cards and Auzentech cards are fantastic here. You don't need creative at all; they have a reputation for having a bit less quality on this part.

Movies - Output is king here. And by that, I mean dolby digital or DTS. There's no point in caring about the card unless you have a good sound setup that can manage high quality DTS or DD. And for this, the X-Plosion is simply boss (because it does all of it, hardware, for the cheapest, with the higher quality).

Overall, you sound more like an average user. So you could go with either a latest gen Creative, or you could get the Auzentech Prelude 7.1. Overall, the Prelude is the one I would recommend. For the cost and it's overall output, I'd go with it due to quality.

This is merely my opinion though.

Very best, :) 
August 18, 2008 10:40:26 AM

Thanks for your information and recommendation marveaux. It's very helpfull for me.
a b Ĉ ASUS
August 18, 2008 12:09:59 PM

All I can say is don't get anything made by creative; their customer and driver support are horrendous right now.
August 18, 2008 6:57:18 PM

Creative's latest drivers are just fine right now, and they work just fine in Vista64 too. Unless you really have some decent speakers it doesn't really matter. X-Fi, Prelude, or Xonar. For your the Prelude would meet your needs and is a good all-around card. Its Vista 64 drivers need a little refining in my opinion, but they're usable and offer a lot of the same functionality as Creative's while offer DDL which all but the X-Fi Titanium don't offer at all.

The Xonar? Great card if gaming if you're not looking for hardware-accelerated audio in gaming. TBH, if Creative would sell the X-Fi Elite Pro's sound card without the breakout box for less $$ they'd have a real winner. Their drivers are more solid than Auzentech's right now (at least in Vista64) and the Elite Pro card is still a good piece of hardware with currently very solid and functional drivers.
August 19, 2008 7:43:34 AM

malveaux said:
Again, it completely depends.

First, what speakers will you be fueling. Having a super sound card is pointless if you have just average speakers or even a cheap set of 5.1 or 7.1 speakers. There's nearly no point going all out on a soundcard unless you have really high quality speakers to put them too.

Games - which audio settings? What added settings? EAX? Just direct 3d? Dolby Digital Live? Creative has great gaming cards on their highest end. Performance is the main thing in gaming soundcards; you want to unload most of the work from your system and keep it on the card. After that, it's all about how many simultaneous sounds the thing can playback. Higher is better of course. Again, the big creative latest cards are good here.

Music - Performance means nothing, you just want it to sound as good as possible. Crisp, clear, and plenty of outputs. Asus cards and Auzentech cards are fantastic here. You don't need creative at all; they have a reputation for having a bit less quality on this part.

Movies - Output is king here. And by that, I mean dolby digital or DTS. There's no point in caring about the card unless you have a good sound setup that can manage high quality DTS or DD. And for this, the X-Plosion is simply boss (because it does all of it, hardware, for the cheapest, with the higher quality).

Overall, you sound more like an average user. So you could go with either a latest gen Creative, or you could get the Auzentech Prelude 7.1. Overall, the Prelude is the one I would recommend. For the cost and it's overall output, I'd go with it due to quality.

This is merely my opinion though.

Very best, :) 



What's a good soundcard that takes all responsability and processes from the CPU. This is for 99% gaming and 1% listening to music.

I'm looking for speakers. I was going to either get the Logitech Z-2300 2.1 system or the Z-5500. I'm not sure if I will get the Z-5500's though, when I was looking at them at Best Buy, my wife gave me the look of you'll be sleeping on the couch mister! Last time I got that look, I bribed her with a Cannon Powershot lol. If the Z-5500's don't go sale, what's the next best speakers right below the 5500's?
August 19, 2008 10:33:30 AM

Well, TBH, these would give you better sound than the Z-5500's, have much more utility and costs about the same :

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8713859&t...

or

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8743595&t...

or

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8724357&t...


I have the Z-5500's (now in a closet) and they're okay, but you can get better sound either from piecing together a system or by going with a Home-Theater-In-A-Box like these. If all you need is thundering one-note bass and VERY directional satellites (I mean very litter dispersion) the Z-5500's are fine.

a b Ĉ ASUS
August 19, 2008 12:21:41 PM

halcyon said:
Creative's latest drivers are just fine right now, and they work just fine in Vista64 too.


Not for nForce motherboards...Scratchy after 30 minutes in game.
August 19, 2008 12:35:58 PM

I'm using an nforce motherboard and the drivers for the Titanium are working nicely.
August 19, 2008 1:20:14 PM

mikeny said:
What's a good soundcard that takes all responsability and processes from the CPU. This is for 99% gaming and 1% listening to music.

I'm looking for speakers. I was going to either get the Logitech Z-2300 2.1 system or the Z-5500. I'm not sure if I will get the Z-5500's though, when I was looking at them at Best Buy, my wife gave me the look of you'll be sleeping on the couch mister! Last time I got that look, I bribed her with a Cannon Powershot lol. If the Z-5500's don't go sale, what's the next best speakers right below the 5500's?


The latest Creative offerings keep a lot of the work on the card; hence their price. The other big thing is to have a lot of memory on the card so that it stays off your computer. The Elite Pro and above creative card offerings mostly do this. No card is perfect, ie, keeping everything to the card, but they are made for this purpose.

The X-Plosion will use your CPU, so if you're a pure gamer, you may not want this card. This is more for the HomeTheaterPC user who games on the side (like myself).

The Prelude has most everything on the card itself; another solid contender with Creative's options.

Though coming down to it, without good speakers, none of this is really that important. If you have a modern system, the sound will not detract from your game's performance unless it's a ridiculously hard game to run, like Crysis. Everything else will not take a hit. It's only in games that are already stressing to stay at 30fps that you worry about a soundcard offloading to your CPU. If your games are 45+FPS easily, then you shouldn't worry at all about this and just get something cheap that you like that will work with whatever speakers you're using.

Personally, I would recommend anything with dolby digital live or dts, and get some 5.1 home theater in a box speakers. You don't have to get `computer speakers' when you're getting a nice sound card that can output optical or s/pdif digital audio. You can migrate away from `pc only' stuff and get something that is universal.

Very best,
August 19, 2008 9:08:34 PM

Thanx Malveaux and Halcyon.I was looking at the Fatality/Titanium card. Wasn't their a card in the Elite pro to stay away from? I was also looking at the Prelude. The only graphic intensive game I have presently is FSX. I will be going to back to MMORPG's when I do my upgrade soon. I'm probably going to go to the E8600. I hear its better for gaming but since I have FSX, the Q9550 would be ideal but I don't play FSX like it's a religion (pardon my expression). I was also thinking of getting a 4870 but I am watching the 4870 and 4870x2 and the forums to see what ATI and NVIdia are up to for the next few months. I'm also watching Intel and what's new and what's coming up with the Penryn family. I'm not going to Nehalem in the near future. Maybe in a few years. If I play FPS's then I would wait for Nehalem.
August 26, 2008 4:40:35 AM

who gets nforce motherboards...its all about intel
August 31, 2008 5:24:57 PM

I would go with the Asus Xonar, best cheap(ish) soundcard out there in my opinion especially for music.
September 1, 2008 2:40:49 PM

Have you tried the sound that comes built into your motherboard? Get yourself a decent set of speakers and try it again. You may find yourself perfectly happy with it. I know my Gigabyte board actually has HD sound output and I'm very happy with it. Just get a good set of 5.1 speakers with a sub. I am betting things would sound much better for you.
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