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Soundcards pci vs pci-e / d2x vs x-fi express / x-fi vs x-fi exp & onboard

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February 11, 2009 8:17:05 AM

Hello, I am having a new system put together and am unsure at the moment on what to do about the sound card.
I have heard that the gigabyte GA-EX58-DS4 onboard sound isn't that bad so until I figure this out that's what I'll use, and maybe keep using?
Now, all the soundblaster driver issues aside; the x-fi pci express cards vs the d2x which I believe also uses pci-ex what are peoples experiences in function and sound comparison.
Secondly is there any advantage's/disadvantages over using a pci-e card over a pci one? i.e. x-fi extreme models instead of the x-fi pci express series? Which of the 2 connections do soundcards work better under (and maybe why?) or is there no difference at all.
I will be using it for recording voice and instruments mainly (I know I know,they're gaming cards)and some gaming, mp3s, tv and dvd.
Hope it's not too much to ask all in one post.
Thanks in advance for your positive responses.

System will be:
Vista home premium 32bit.
gigabyte GA-EX58-DS4 mobo
Intel I7 920.
Kingston 3GB ram
9800GTX 1GB
I think 650W power supply, or it may only be 450W, having trouble reading the specs. Suppose I better check on that :) )
February 11, 2009 11:10:11 AM

First off, I have yet to see any diffrence between a PCI and PCI-E sound card, as no PCI soundcard takes up all the bandwith of a PCI slot.

Also, if your also going to do recording with your cards, get a Xonar, as Xonars tend to be more focused on overall multimedia playback as opposed to other cards.
February 11, 2009 11:27:26 AM

Thanks for the reply.
yes I had been considering the xonar for that reason. The only thing is I have heard mixed reports on latency problems with cards conected pci-e which has left me confused, as I thought pci-e is meant to be a faster process than pci so I thought latency should be less in pci-e? when putting sound through efects software in real time, latency problems can be very anoying when trying to keep in time. So a card able to process and convert realtime sound quickly would be desireable. I am not doing any profesional recording so I can't justify (or afford) the super expensive profesional studio recording cards. Maybe oneday.
keep the answers coming, thanks again :) 
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February 11, 2009 6:55:18 PM

2shoes3legs said:
Thanks for the reply.
yes I had been considering the xonar for that reason. The only thing is I have heard mixed reports on latency problems with cards conected pci-e which has left me confused, as I thought pci-e is meant to be a faster process than pci so I thought latency should be less in pci-e? when putting sound through efects software in real time, latency problems can be very anoying when trying to keep in time. So a card able to process and convert realtime sound quickly would be desireable. I am not doing any profesional recording so I can't justify (or afford) the super expensive profesional studio recording cards. Maybe oneday.
keep the answers coming, thanks again :) 


There is some latency with PCI (definatly not with PCI-e though), but it shouldn't be anything major. If you want. the Xonar D2X is PCI-e based...

To be fair, I haven't done much testing with recording with any cards, so its a bit out of my area. I assume your using a software solution to record the sounds, and have a decent input device?
February 11, 2009 11:55:33 PM

thanks suspenders that looks interesting think I'll do some research on that one too. the audio recording cards I've seen before that one have been at least twice that price.

yes the software I use most is adobe audition 3 with few if any problems as I add efects after recording rather than in real time. however there are some guitar rig software (uses realtime efects) that I sometimes use too along with cakewalk for midi keyboard (also for realtime) (these are the ones that give me the most problems with lag, I am hoping that my new system will also help to overcome this with the i7920 ddr3 and the right soundcard etc) (and hoping they all work with vista.)
as for input devices well ahh no nothing flash or profesional there. I generaly plug instruments or mic straight to soundcard and sometimes use my guitar amp as a preamp, oh and my keyboard connects to my joystick port for midi (but always too much lag with midi on my old system so generaly I ended up not using midi functions)... sooo profesional eh :lol: 
!