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should i buy a sound card? or should i stick with onboard sound?

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November 16, 2008 4:35:43 AM

Hello. i am buying a new mobo in the future should i stick with onboard sound? or should i buy a sound card?
if so could someone recommend me a cheap one?
November 16, 2008 5:51:36 AM

Do you play games on your PC ? listen to music and watch movies ?
If the answer is YES then you should get yourself a descent soundcard.
I've got myself a X-FI Xtreme music 3 years ago and i'm still enjoing every minute i play games/ listen to music on my PC.
November 16, 2008 7:13:50 AM

Depends, onboard sound is pretty good now. Unless you are experiencing noticeable static / interference or you have high end speakers or headphones it probably won't make a big difference.
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November 16, 2008 7:29:01 AM

aj95 said:
Hello. i am buying a new mobo in the future should i stick with onboard sound? or should i buy a sound card?
if so could someone recommend me a cheap one?


If you're running Windows Vista I wouldn't bother with most sound cards, and would especially avoid anything from Creative (including X-Fi). I'm going to assume the motherboard you use has a high-end codec...Windows Vista reduces most discrete soundcards to nothing more than a high-end codec anyway.
November 16, 2008 2:41:31 PM

i see. thanks
November 16, 2008 3:05:56 PM

Crashman said:
If you're running Windows Vista I wouldn't bother with most sound cards, and would especially avoid anything from Creative (including X-Fi). I'm going to assume the motherboard you use has a high-end codec...Windows Vista reduces most discrete soundcards to nothing more than a high-end codec anyway.


Still bashing Creative Crashman, doesn't that ever get old with you?

To the OP, I'm running Vista64 Home Premium, using a Creative X-FI Extreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro PCI soundcard, with Creatives Alchemy drivers the surround sound reproduction is fantastic, in music, media, and especially games.

I'm a previous owner of a Creative Sound Blaster PCI 128, PCI 512, Live 5.1, Audigy[which did have some issues], and Audigy 2 ZS, [EXCELLENT SOUNDCARD], an X-FI Extreme Music [EXCELLENT for WinXP, not Vista], and the present Extreme Gamer Fatality Pro, [EXCELLENT FOR XP OR VISTA].

Thats my opinion from actually owning and using the Creative soundcards.


November 16, 2008 4:34:23 PM

Yeah its a shame since its supposed to be so much better, that ASUS wouldn't have included it with their Highest End M/Bs, instead of the crap they provided.
November 16, 2008 5:01:04 PM

If Asus' motherboards came with decent sound cards, then why would you buy their other sound cards?
November 16, 2008 5:16:38 PM

I wouldn't

and I'm curious Raven, do you actually own and use this ASUS Xonar you're reccommending?
November 17, 2008 12:34:04 AM

4Ryan6 said:
I wouldn't

and I'm curious Raven, do you actually own and use this ASUS Xonar you're reccommending?


I do :p 
November 17, 2008 12:49:43 AM

TBH After the debacle that was fully featured support under Vista (or lack of it) I would avoid Creative. I was a long standing Creative user, then when I was looking last time I found that the older X-Fi was artificially castrated by Creative in a drive to force you to upgrade, and they'll most likely do it agin with Windows 7. A nice Terratec card resulted, and that's now needing replacement in my main box because I want a PCI-e card due to space taken up by my GFX. Those Xonar cards seem to get some rather nice reviews, and they aren't all that expensive. Retail here for them in about GBP£55
November 17, 2008 2:25:13 AM

4Ryan6 said:
I wouldn't

and I'm curious Raven, do you actually own and use this ASUS Xonar you're reccommending?


Nope, I own the Asus D2X, it's big brother. After reading about the Asus DX I now regret buying the D2X, since the DX sounds exactly the same as the D2X. I've owned the X-fi fatal1ty and loved the front bay, but hated it when I had Vista Ultimate 64 on a 680i LT, too many bugs. Of course I did find some hacked/custom drivers that fixed most issues. I originally bought the Asus D2X because it was supposed to sound as good or better than anything else in it's price range, and won in all the benchmarks even against the X-fi cards. The reason I replaced it was because it is a PCIe x1 card, and I ran out of PCI slots on the 680i LT before I got my P35. There are no noticeable differences in sound quality, but the driver support is better and it works consistently. I just miss the bay, but I don't have the room now anyway so oh well.
November 17, 2008 2:38:07 AM

creative sound cards are THE best over asus because they both use the same chip but creatives been making sound related materials for far longer and can offer more up to date support(driver etc...)
November 17, 2008 2:54:35 AM

teamlosigp said:
creative sound cards are THE best over asus because they both use the same chip but creatives been making sound related materials for far longer and can offer more up to date support(driver etc...)


I'd LOVE to have some of what you've been drinking, because then I could further appreciate AMD's position in the processor market and long for the days of VIA chipset dominance!
November 17, 2008 3:48:00 AM

teamlosigp said:
creative sound cards are THE best over asus because they both use the same chip but creatives been making sound related materials for far longer and can offer more up to date support(driver etc...)

Actually Creative prodice pretty middling soundcards these days, and their driver support hasn't been any good since the days of the SounBlaster Live! range.

As for length of time, my bum has been a bum for a very long time, it's still only capable of pumping out crap though.
November 17, 2008 3:49:22 AM

god i hate the fact i can't correct my typos.
November 17, 2008 9:59:57 AM

BeakerUK said:
god i hate the fact i can't correct my typos.


Correct them and
submit and then hit the refresh key.
November 17, 2008 10:07:44 AM

Creative cards had problems in the beginning release of Vista but has long since solved those problems with the Alchemy drivers, however so did Nvidia and ATI.

My Creative Extreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro, works flawlessly in Vista64, and its used every single day, theres really nothing more to say, why should I continue to defend something thats working great, if it was not, I'd be the first to say so!
November 17, 2008 10:32:14 AM

Crashman said:
I'd LOVE to have some of what you've been drinking, because then I could further appreciate AMD's position in the processor market and long for the days of VIA chipset dominance!



ROFL! Old vendettas die hard Eh Crash, I wondered when VIA would slip into this. :lol: 

Seems you've really cleaned up your act, and by the way, Thanks for your work at THG, you've done some great reviews!

Does AMD have a position in the processor market? :pfff: 

Other than almost having to give away their CPUs? :cry: 

How long can that go on? :o 

If we loose AMD, Intel can do what they want, thats scary! :bounce: 

Money wise its stupid for Intel to release overclockable low end CPUs, why buy the top end if you can OC up to it, they're only doing that to regain their position! :whistle: 

With AMD out of the picture, you won't see anymore overclockable low end INTEL cpus, because you know full well they can hardware lock those CPUs so they cannot be overclocked period! :sol: 

So as far as AMDs position in the processor market, lets all hope for some light at the end of the tunnel! :ouch: 

Or else, you'll be remembering the days when we could actually overclock our CPUs. :hello: 
November 17, 2008 4:15:40 PM

4Ryan6 said:
So as far as AMDs position in the processor market, lets all hope for some light at the end of the tunnel! :ouch: 

Or else, you'll be remembering the days when we could actually overclock our CPUs. :hello: 


I've loved AMD good for long time, but only new releases lubricate the market, and we're all starting to feel a little raw.
November 17, 2008 4:46:24 PM

4Ryan6 said:
Correct them and
submit and then hit the refresh key.

I did, the BBS Software tells me I don't have the permissions.
November 17, 2008 6:29:22 PM

teamlosigp said:
creative sound cards are THE best over asus because they both use the same chip but creatives been making sound related materials for far longer and can offer more up to date support(driver etc...)


First of all the absolute best creative sound cards can not compete with the Asus DX series in sound quality or sound performance. However, the difference can only be seen with a higher end receiver and real speaker setup or benchmarks. Second of all, Creative's drivers for Vista are fine, but there still are some bugs with nvidia chipsets. The difference is you can get better performance and great stability from the Asus DX, which is MUCH cheaper than the good Creative cards. Creative Lab sound card owners should be happy with their purchase, but if you are buying a card right now than there is no reason (except if you are recording music and if so the M-Audio Delta 1010 is your best bet) not to get the Asus DX, because it is as good and somewhat better (theoretical, nothing you will ever actually experience) than any other card on the market for less than $100. It's the price/performance ratio that makes the Asus DX so amazing!
November 17, 2008 6:43:27 PM

CMI-878 (Asus DX) Vs. EMU20K1 (Creative Labs X-fi Elite Pro) are not the same, as a matter of fact they are very different, so your post is not only wrong, but ignorant.
November 17, 2008 7:18:14 PM

I find ASUS cards are better for home theater systems then for gaming.

And as for Creative, I've had too many issues with thier cards, even under XP.

For gaming, I recommend the Razer Barracuda AC-1. For home theater systems, I recommend the ASUS D2X Xonar. If you want the best of both, you might want to invest in an Auzentech Prelude...
November 17, 2008 7:55:44 PM

I'm not sure I understand your reasoning, while the Asus DX/D2X are one of the top performers for gaming, the difference will only ever be 1-2 FPS so, to me, I would have to say to forget about "gaming performance" when it comes to sound cards. Though I would stay the Razer Barracuda, I would say that the Auzentech is decent, but it can't compete with the Asus DX which is very similar in components and costs a lot less.
November 18, 2008 1:59:01 AM

BeakerUK said:
I did, the BBS Software tells me I don't have the permissions.



If you're running Internet Explorer try switching to Firefox
November 21, 2008 11:12:17 AM

On Creatives behalf vs the obvious negativity towards Creative performance in Vista is concerned, the release of Creatives Alchemy drivers and their diligence to stay on top of tuning and releasing updated drivers, has their soundcards, [At Least the one I own] Flat Rocking!!!

I cannot say anything bad about its performance!

If I did I'd be lying!!!

Most complainers aren't running the soundcards anyway, and if you're running Vista and Alchemy drivers are available for your Creative product, I suggest you give them a try, they seriously make a major difference.

December 17, 2008 5:07:07 PM

Wow... reading all of this makes me want to run and hide. I've stuck with a sinking ship ( quality) Asus before, and I hope I'm not making the same mistake by purchasing a SB X-FI Fata1ty! My faith in Asus has been shaken up pretty badly with their newer sets of Mobos and their Video cards ( needed to send back 3Mobos and 1 video card lately ). I hope Creative isn't going down the same path. Hate to be throwing money away AGAIN 0.o
December 17, 2008 6:32:01 PM

Never had a DOA product from Asus, only a Silverstone power supply and a ECS motherboard. I have atleast used 6 Asus motherboards in various builds, and I have built 3 computers with Asus sound cards and 2 with M-audio sound cards, no DOAs or problems in any real sense of the word...
December 17, 2008 6:43:44 PM

jiinx said:
Wow... reading all of this makes me want to run and hide. I've stuck with a sinking ship ( quality) Asus before, and I hope I'm not making the same mistake by purchasing a SB X-FI Fata1ty! My faith in Asus has been shaken up pretty badly with their newer sets of Mobos and their Video cards ( needed to send back 3Mobos and 1 video card lately ). I hope Creative isn't going down the same path. Hate to be throwing money away AGAIN 0.o


My stance on Creative should be well known by now. I still recommend the Razer Barracuda or ASUS Xonar over any X-fi until they prove they can make a working card for nforce mobos.
December 17, 2008 8:10:37 PM

turboflame said:
Depends, onboard sound is pretty good now. Unless you are experiencing noticeable static / interference or you have high end speakers or headphones it probably won't make a big difference.


Listen to this man.

Onboard sound, which I haven't seen a motherboard that is worth buying that does not have this, is really good... really, your just be buying a sound card for the heck of it because there will be no noticeable difference.

Most motherboards now also come with HD sound cards built in.
December 17, 2008 11:37:31 PM

sinfulpotato said:
Listen to this man.

Onboard sound, which I haven't seen a motherboard that is worth buying that does not have this, is really good... really, your just be buying a sound card for the heck of it because there will be no noticeable difference.

Most motherboards now also come with HD sound cards built in.


I find if you are not using a good set of 2.1 PC speakers or a receiver/real speaker setup then onboard sound is perfectly fine. Truth is, PC surround sound 5.1/7.1 speakers suck so bad when it comes to actual fidelity and sensitivity that it makes very little difference. The best PC surround sound setup, Creative Labs Gigaworks G550 can't compete with a cheap $200 Philips home surround sound setup at Best Buy!
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