Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

PCI vs. PCIe Sound Cards & Recomendation

Last response: in Components
Share
December 8, 2008 7:18:26 PM

I will be upgrading my sound in the near future once I get my new receiver (ONKYO TX-SR606) as I feel the onboard Asus P5Q-E will not cut it anymore. My question is regarding PCI vs PCIe and if there is any benefit to the extra bandwidth of PCIe. I notice most if the high-end sound cards are still using PCI which leads me to believe there is not much of a performance benefit to PCIe. Does even the highest quality sound not need the extra bandwidth of PCIe? It just feels weird to use the oldest connections on the board for anything, let alone quality sound.

That being said, any suggestions on cards to look at? The machine is brand new and used mostly for gaming but it will also supply the A/V for my 42" LG LCD, Onkyo Receiver and a set of 7.1 speakers to be named later. (I'd take suggestions on those as well, but that's not really what this post is about). I'm looking to spend up to $200 but obviously there's no need to spend more than what you will use.

Thanks!
December 8, 2008 9:55:13 PM

pci-e for "consumer" soundcards won't give any advantage.

pro-audio cards with more than 24 channels of 24bit/192khz audio designed for recording bands and doing stuff with midi still use the old pci interface and are highly regarded by musicians and engineers (including myself).

take for example this beast with 32 channels and a DSP (DSP = GPU of the music production world), all running through one pci bus!

http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/shop/flypage/product_id/3...

most cards like that beast are being phased over to pci-e, but as you can imagine pci will have no problem runnig the typical 7.1 channels on consumer products.
December 8, 2008 10:12:35 PM

I use PCI-e for my sound card because I had a PCI-e port free, but not a PCI port. That's the bigger factor IMO - get whichever one fits better in your system, or has the features you want. The interface is not terribly important.
Related resources
December 8, 2008 10:14:19 PM

yes, get what ever is conveinient basicaly
December 9, 2008 1:03:23 AM

Thanks for the input. Is there a realistic benefit in getting 192 KHz over 96KHz for even Blu-ray-type media or is that only going to be noticed dealing with raw recordings and such? I'm thinking I'll either get the HT OMEGA STRIKER (96KHz) or the HT OMEGA CLARO (192KHz) but there is about an $80 difference between the two and I'd rather not spend the money if I won't miss it for even the highest quality consumer-level audio.

I do like that card psy... although I'm not sure I have any input/output devices that can plug into it!
December 9, 2008 3:04:49 AM

Well, put it this way. If any one ever tells you they can hear a difference between 96khz and 192khz, you should probabarly pass them a tissiue so they can whipe up the bull siht that just fell from their mouth. :lol: 
December 9, 2008 3:27:35 AM

Yep. Even the difference between 44.1KHz (CD quality) and 96KHz is basically negligible.
December 9, 2008 11:06:43 AM

Well there's my answer. Thanks for the help everyone!
January 8, 2009 12:05:29 AM

I feel some precisions are in order here. 96 and 192 kHz in this case would refer to the sampling frequency (f_s), not the actual maximum frequency of the output audio signal (f_max). The sampling frequency is generally twice that of the the maximum frequency in your original signal (f_s >= 2*f_max) so as to be able to reconstruct the original signal with no loss of information. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist_Theorem for more information into that.

So in practice, you would (potentially) have audio frequencies up to 48 and 96 kHz respectively coming out of your sound cards.

Also in practice, anything beyond ~20-22 kHz is undetectable to normal human ears. So it's not too far-fetched to call BS on people who claim noticeable differences exist between 96 and 192k sampling rates... IMHO, of course.
January 8, 2009 3:10:55 AM

The 2 positives that i can see with PCI-e and sound cards...

1. All new motherboards will slowly be getting rid of the PCI slots, so down the track when you want to move your high-end PCI card into a new machine.... NO SLOT ouch... hence pci-e seems smarter in that regard.

2. PCI-e slots provide more power through the slot, think you will find on the PCI creative X-fi's there is a floppy power connector onboard for extra power (know this for a fact as i own one) however, dont see anywhere on the PCI-e cards for extra power connector. This cuts down cable clutter and the annoying 4pin floppy connector.
January 8, 2009 3:58:01 AM

Maulinman said:
I feel some precisions are in order here. 96 and 192 kHz in this case would refer to the sampling frequency (f_s), not the actual maximum frequency of the output audio signal (f_max). The sampling frequency is generally twice that of the the maximum frequency in your original signal (f_s >= 2*f_max) so as to be able to reconstruct the original signal with no loss of information. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist_Theorem for more information into that.

So in practice, you would (potentially) have audio frequencies up to 48 and 96 kHz respectively coming out of your sound cards.

Also in practice, anything beyond ~20-22 kHz is undetectable to normal human ears. So it's not too far-fetched to call BS on people who claim noticeable differences exist between 96 and 192k sampling rates... IMHO, of course.

True. However, as you mentioned, humans really can't hear beyond 20kHz. That's why I mentioned CD quality, at 44.1 kHz sample frequency (22.05kHz maximum reproducible tone) - it is basically the minimum requirement for audibly perfect reproduction (as far as the ear can tell).
January 8, 2009 4:00:42 AM

chookman said:
The 2 positives that i can see with PCI-e and sound cards...

1. All new motherboards will slowly be getting rid of the PCI slots, so down the track when you want to move your high-end PCI card into a new machine.... NO SLOT ouch... hence pci-e seems smarter in that regard.

2. PCI-e slots provide more power through the slot, think you will find on the PCI creative X-fi's there is a floppy power connector onboard for extra power (know this for a fact as i own one) however, dont see anywhere on the PCI-e cards for extra power connector. This cuts down cable clutter and the annoying 4pin floppy connector.

The PCI X-fis need a floppy connector? That's news to me - the PCI-E X-fis definitely don't (I have one). That's definitely a benefit to the PCI-E.
January 8, 2009 4:33:36 AM

cjl said:
The PCI X-fis need a floppy connector? That's news to me - the PCI-E X-fis definitely don't (I have one). That's definitely a benefit to the PCI-E.


I know mine does ;)  X-fi Fatal1ty, possibly the extra power is for onboard X-RAM which would limit the power connector to a few models.
January 8, 2009 4:37:13 AM

Mine has the X-RAM too though (X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion series). Sounds like that's a definite benefit to the PCIE models then.
!