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Need help with speakers+sound card!!!

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October 6, 2008 6:08:47 AM

Hi, I'm purchasing an evga 780i mobo http://www.evga.com/articles/385.asp . I was originally going to buy an expensive sound card, but I want to use 3 gtx 280s, and since the 780i's slots are so close together, it wont fit the sound card. Also, 790i doesent sound good, because 8GB of DDR3 is ridiculously expensive.

So, basically, I am wondering 2 things about the onboard sound:

1) How is it? I've been using built in speakers on an LCD with sound card from 03 for years, so I'd like at least a decent jump in quality. Mainly, I want to hear realistic gunfire/footsteps in FPS games.

2) What kind of speakers do I need? Will they need to be 7.1? Or can they be 5.1 or something else? Also, can you recommend any speakers?

Thanks

More about : speakers sound card

October 6, 2008 6:35:32 AM

Onboard sound will work fine for movies. But if you wanna get surround sound in games you need a dedicated sound card. Basic stereo sound will be pretty good in games with the onboard.

Most sound cards will be fine with either 7.1 or 5.1. In a lot of applications 7.1 is simulated from 5.1 sound anyway. (except in blu-ray movies.) I use the logitech z5500, got them from dell for 210 dollars. sound great and can host gaming consoles as well.
October 6, 2008 12:05:52 PM

Unless your running a surround sound setup, onboard sound is plenty. The onboard sound on NVIDIA boards is actually excellent.
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October 6, 2008 2:30:59 PM

PsyKhiqZero said:
Onboard sound will work fine for movies. But if you wanna get surround sound in games you need a dedicated sound card. Basic stereo sound will be pretty good in games with the onboard.

Most sound cards will be fine with either 7.1 or 5.1. In a lot of applications 7.1 is simulated from 5.1 sound anyway. (except in blu-ray movies.) I use the logitech z5500, got them from dell for 210 dollars. sound great and can host gaming consoles as well.


Thanks. This rig will be completely for gaming, but I plan to listen to music. A sound card really isnt an option, because I'll need to go 790i, and consequently, DDR3... and I dont want to waste hundreds. Unless you know of a mobo that doesent have its slots right next to each other.

The evga 780i says it has "integrated HD 7.1" so will I need 7.1 speakers? I cant find anything 7.1 that isnt a home theater system.
October 6, 2008 3:46:39 PM

Don't want to waste hundreds and you're getting 3 x 280GTX? LOL!

Anyway, soundcard isn't worth it in my opinion especially if using z5500s. Just stick with the onboard - you'll be fine.
October 6, 2008 11:23:27 PM

PsyKhiqZero said:
You can use any speaker config you want with a 7.1 sound card. Think of your sound card supporting up to 7.1 speaker systems. Again surrounds sound in games will not work with onboard sound, you'll only get stereo sound.

Take a look at these mobos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These have a pci-e x1 slots that should allow for a pci-e x1 sound card.


I'm alright with stereo, as long as its good. Is it? Hell,. the idea of surround sound on a PC just feels weird, because its so small.. I mean the surround sound system in my living room is amazing, but on a PC, I think I can do without. Do you think I'll still be able to hear things like footsteps and faint bullet sounds with the onboard sound+ a $100-200 set of 5.1 speakers?

And I wish I could go with the 790i, but unless somebody can find me 8gb of ddr3, I can't. I looked on newegg, tigerdirect, and even google, and I cant find 8gb of ddr3. Could you perhaps help on that?

Thanks
October 6, 2008 11:24:19 PM

quantumsheep said:
Don't want to waste hundreds and you're getting 3 x 280GTX? LOL!

Anyway, soundcard isn't worth it in my opinion especially if using z5500s. Just stick with the onboard - you'll be fine.


Dont know if you've noticed this... but GPUs are kinda more important than sound cards for gaming? Maybe just a little? Eh?
October 7, 2008 12:26:31 AM

Havent you created enough threads about this so called "highend system"?
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253803-28-intel-quad-core-q9550-core-e8600-please-help
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253793-28-which-setup
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253781-28-please-choosing-gaming
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253815-28-will-power-supply
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253814-28-what-case-hold-setup-please-help
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253842-28-what-good-combo-please-help


I dont know why you are taking apart quantumsheep, his suggestion were spot on and never once mentioned that sound cards are more important for gaming then graphics cards. That motherboard if your using 3xGTX280s then you wont be able to fit a dedicated card anywho.

Personally id dump one of the GTX280's add something like a Creative Titanium card and grab some good hifi speakers with amp, none of that PC-speaker stuff.
October 7, 2008 3:48:14 AM

quantumsheep said:
Don't want to waste hundreds and you're getting 3 x 280GTX? LOL!

Anyway, soundcard isn't worth it in my opinion especially if using z5500s. Just stick with the onboard - you'll be fine.


Well IMO surround sound in games can really add to the expierence and since the only way to get it is to use a dedicated sound card then the expense can be justified. For the record I use my old audigy 2 zs so I'm not suggesting anyone spend 200 dollars on a asus xonar or fat1ty *sp* sound card.

Personally I like my z5500 sound great playing bioshock and crysis. But out of curiosity, what would you recommend as a better speaker set. ( doesn't need to be surround sound.)
October 7, 2008 4:55:52 AM

Well I'd rather have better performance than sound. I must be a complete retard then, wow. As always, nobody answers the question but cries about stupid little things.

In case any of you have stopped smoking, is there any 8GB ddr3 on this damn planet? I want to get that sound card, and since 790i doesent support ddr2, i need ddr3, and I need 8gb.
October 7, 2008 4:08:26 PM

PsyKhiqZero said:
Well IMO surround sound in games can really add to the expierence and since the only way to get it is to use a dedicated sound card then the expense can be justified. For the record I use my old audigy 2 zs so I'm not suggesting anyone spend 200 dollars on a asus xonar or fat1ty *sp* sound card.

Personally I like my z5500 sound great playing bioshock and crysis. But out of curiosity, what would you recommend as a better speaker set. ( doesn't need to be surround sound.)


You don't need a dedicated sound card to have surround sound, 99% of onboard sound these days supports at least 5.1, most support 7.1.

As for the recommendation of speakers, it entirely depends upon budget. For a decent 2 speaker system with a decent amplifier you're looking at around £450ish. This would buy you a Cambridge Audio 640A amplifier and Monitor Audio BR2 speakers, a brilliant pairing in my opinion.

For surround sound you're looking at at least £700 for a semi-decent set. For the amp i'd probably go for either Cambridge Audio 540R or an Onkyo 606. If you're willing to go second hand i'd go looking for an Arcam model as they're all very good. On the speaker side you're quite limited at about £700, but the KEF KHT1005.2 are good for the price.

Basically you can keep going up and up in price. My father has now spent almost £20k on his stereo and even that pales in comparision to some people's systems.
October 7, 2008 4:11:15 PM

UltimaSlayerVII said:
Well I'd rather have better performance than sound. I must be a complete retard then, wow. As always, nobody answers the question but cries about stupid little things.

In case any of you have stopped smoking, is there any 8GB ddr3 on this damn planet? I want to get that sound card, and since 790i doesent support ddr2, i need ddr3, and I need 8gb.


As far as i'm aware the biggest size sticks of DDR3 available at the moment are 1gb so you'll be limited to 4gb. Although i have to ask, why do you need 8gb unless you're going to be doing some really intensive server aps?
October 7, 2008 4:12:58 PM

Sorry the last post was misinformed and i can't edit it. There is infact 2gb sticks of ddr3 out there, but they're extortionatly expensive:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146060

So just buy 2 of them kits and you'll have 8gb of ram.
October 7, 2008 11:31:16 PM

quantumsheep said:
Sorry the last post was misinformed and i can't edit it. There is infact 2gb sticks of ddr3 out there, but they're extortionatly expensive:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146060

So just buy 2 of them kits and you'll have 8gb of ram.


Wait, so as long as the RAM is the same model, I can just take sticks sold individually and combine them? As in, I dont necessarily have to buy 8gb, I can buy 4x 2 gb sticks etc?

So, now I'm in a pickle. It's either get the 790i board with a sound card, but it'll cost me much more because DDR3 is overly expensive for about 2-4% extra performance... or, stick with 780i and onboard sound because a sound card wont fit. It comes with a 7.1 onboard, but I dunno... I kind of really want a great gaming experience, and I dont know how good that onboard is.

So what do you think? Worth the extra $400+ for the DDR3, and then another $100+ for sound card, or should I stick with the 780i, DDR2, and the onboard 7.1, but with a great speaker setup?

Thanks.

Btw, I need to have 8GB RAM, because this setup is supposed to be future-proof for gaming for at least a few years on max settings... hence, triple gtx 280s.
October 7, 2008 11:36:11 PM

Whoa whoa whoa! Look at what I just stumbled upon : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only $160 for 2x2gb sticks... so I can get 2 sets (4 sticks total) and it'll work fine, right?

If it does, then I'm definitely going 790i and a sound card, because I expected even 1333 DDR3 to be way more expensive... so what you guys think?
October 7, 2008 11:39:49 PM

Btw, say I want to keep it stereo, not surround. Will a seperate sound card still be better than onboard, or is that only if I want surround sound?
October 8, 2008 1:34:24 PM

Yes you can mix and match RAM, even RAM of different makes although i'd rather just get the same make.

If you're going stereo it depends what kind of stereo speakers you're getting. If it's a dedicated hifi then i'd thoroughly recommend a soundcard. If you're just using a 2.0 computer speaker system i wouldn't bother especially considering the onboard sound on the 790i boards is very good.
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