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Help on deciding a sound card

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March 26, 2009 11:39:34 PM

Hey there,

I'm interested in purchasing a sound card for my computer. Currently I have a SupremeFXII which came with my Asus Rampage Formula Motherboard. I'm looking for a sound card that is for gaming.

My Motherboard is as follows:

2x PCIe x16
3x PCIe x1
2x PCI 2.2 slots

Thank you for your help!

More about : deciding sound card

March 27, 2009 1:27:19 AM

Anyone? This thread has gotten a couple views but no replies.
a b V Motherboard
March 27, 2009 1:42:17 AM

Have you tried the onboard sound? The quality has improved greatly. It will probably do what you need.

What kind of speakers do you have?
Related resources
March 27, 2009 2:06:30 AM

He's currently using the onboard sound...the Supreme FX II is as onboard as the Asus Rampage Formula gets.

OP, you mentioned that you want an audio card for gaming. That pretty much points you to a Creative X-Fi hardware-based solution, IMO. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ...and work from there. Creative's drivers are now quite solid and have been for a while so i think something like this would more than satisfy your needs.
a b V Motherboard
March 27, 2009 2:27:47 AM

He said he has it, not that he's using it.

The SupremeFX is pretty good. It really should do the job unless the OP has a serious surround sound setup.
March 27, 2009 2:31:13 AM

The Supreme FX II is alright, I used mine for about...5 minutes before I uninstalled it and threw one of my X-Fi's in. Not only do I like the X-Fi's audio quality but I really like their driver interface, but that's purely subjective.
March 27, 2009 2:44:17 AM

I am currently using the SupremeFX II and according to DxDiag EAX is not supported.

EAX(tm) 2.0 Listen/Src: No, No
I3DL2(tm) Listen/Src: No, No
Sensaura(tm) ZoomFX(tm): No

However, I have never experienced any of these special sound environments such as EAX because I have never had a card that supports it. I have always used onboard sound and with my new gaming rig I think it is time to upgrade the sound card. From what I hear buying a sound card is better then onboard sound unless EAX and all these environments are overrated...?

My speakers are Altec Lansing 251. http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/altec215/

halcyon said:
He's currently using the onboard sound...the Supreme FX II is as onboard as the Asus Rampage Formula gets.

OP, you mentioned that you want an audio card for gaming. That pretty much points you to a Creative X-Fi hardware-based solution, IMO. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ...and work from there. Creative's drivers are now quite solid and have been for a while so i think something like this would more than satisfy your needs.


I was looking over the main web page and I came across that and the fatal1ty sound card and the only difference is 64MB X-RAM and 50 bucks but I don't know if X-RAM is really that important and for the price difference. Any ideas?

I also am not bound to one brand name but from what I hear Creative does have a good product. Any other suggestions?
March 27, 2009 2:45:23 AM

Asus Xonar D2 7.1 $179.99 PCI $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132001

ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006

ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI Express $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132005

EDIT : My reasoning lol.
I personally own the Xonar D2X and it has amazing directional sound, when i use my headphones or my speakers i can hear footsteps around corners and i can tell which direction easily, but the support for eax with battlefield 2 is the only issue i have with it, other then that the sound quality it puts out for music is simply amazing and its buffer rates are superb for audio production. Also it has excellent support for vista.



March 27, 2009 2:59:14 AM

my reasoning was added to my first post probably right when you replied lol
March 27, 2009 3:06:31 AM

JaredAudiophileGamer said:
Asus Xonar D2 7.1 $179.99 PCI $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132001

ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006

ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 PCI Express $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132005

EDIT : My reasoning lol.
I personally own the Xonar D2X and it has amazing directional sound, when i use my headphones or my speakers i can hear footsteps around corners and i can tell which direction easily, but the support for eax with battlefield 2 is the only issue i have with it, other then that the sound quality it puts out for music is simply amazing and its buffer rates are superb for audio production. Also it has excellent support for vista.


So do the Asus sound cards over all three areas more then just in one aspect? If I were looking for a card more on the gaming side then all three areas what would I look for? The reason I ask is because I won't be doing any audio recording. I'll mainly be listening to music and playing games from my machine.
March 27, 2009 3:16:05 AM

ooh absolutely its an all around beastly card mate, im absolutely satisfied with the way it handles games, and music quality is amazing,
March 27, 2009 3:25:48 AM

JaredAudiophileGamer said:
and heres another option to consider if gaming is top priority but you will sacrifice other areas of audio quality i presume.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019


True, I've looked at that card. There is the Soundblaster X-FI Fatal1ty Pro and the Soundblaster X-FI Titanium card. The only difference is 50 bucks and 64MB of X-RAM. Is X-RAM really that important and do you need it?

http://www.soundblaster.com/products/comparechart/compa...

Check PCI Express X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series and PCI Express X-Fi Titanium and you will see what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure if 50 bucks and 64MB of X-RAM is really that important. Does anyone have any information on that?

I just answered my own question: http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/761327.... The only problem is that that is a three year old thread.

Here is a more recent thread: http://www.bjorn3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26252
March 27, 2009 3:32:42 AM

Headbanging247 said:
True, I've looked at that card. There is the Soundblaster X-FI Fatal1ty Pro and the Soundblaster X-FI Titanium card. The only difference is 50 bucks and 64MB of X-RAM. Is X-RAM really that important and do you need it?

http://www.soundblaster.com/products/comparechart/compa...

Check PCI Express X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series and PCI Express X-Fi Titanium and you will see what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure if 50 bucks and 64MB of X-RAM is really that important. Does anyone have any information on that?


You might get a very slight FPS increase due to the audio being cached onto the on-board memory rather than accessing it from the HDD but developers have to utilise this feature in order for it to work given that your system is already playing games theway you please so that your worried about sound at this point i really wouldnt worry about it man. deffinately not worth the 50 bones, also argh i hate creatives naming scheme so damn confusing.
March 27, 2009 3:37:02 AM

JaredAudiophileGamer said:
You might get a very slight FPS increase due to the audio being cached onto the on-board memory rather than accessing it from the HDD but developers have to utilise this feature in order for it to work given that your system is already playing games theway you please so that your worried about sound at this point i really wouldnt worry about it man. deffinately not worth the 50 bones, also argh i hate creatives naming scheme so damn confusing.


Right after I did my post reply I came across these two articles:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/761327....

http://www.bjorn3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26252

So as of now I think I'm looking at http://www.soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?catego... in regards to X-RAM capability. Any other sound card suggestions based gaming sound cards?
March 27, 2009 3:47:32 AM

well i personally tend to stear away from creative due to there blatant lack of support for there customers, given that vista has been out for a good few years now, they left there customers hanging in regards that there are still very well known issues with drivers and support for it concerning there not so old cards, creatives response: make a new sound card and slap fatal1ty on in.
but i cant deny that they make good gaming based products, i just think that whole fatality thing is played out.
but i would go ahead with the titanium of those and if all else fails return it and get the xonar you know?

Free Headphones with this titanium fatality $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102019

Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102024

if you need a headset anyways go ahead for the fatality one you know?
and if not theres the one you listed for 99 bones
March 27, 2009 8:41:50 AM

The Xonar's are great cards for pure audio quality, but I think the Creative X-Fi's might be better a better bet in the OP's case, due to their jack-of-all-trades-Master-of-One. ...and that One is gaming. :sol: 
a b V Motherboard
March 27, 2009 11:07:24 AM

Nah, Xonars are simply better then any of Creative cards at this point. They even emulate high EAX settings directly. (That being said, theres more PhysX support then EAX support anyways...). And XRAM is just a gimmick, as it doesn't give any notable gameplay advantage whatsoever.

Go with a ASUS Xonar D2/D2X.
March 30, 2009 1:29:31 AM

I want to thank everyone for their replies and I'll be deciding on a sound card soon.
!