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Sound Card Advise?

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June 9, 2009 11:02:48 PM

I'm wanting a good S.C. for under 175.00... and this is what i have to have...

PCI-e, (if not, pci is fine, but prefer PCI-e)
No CPU bottlenecking... So my pc will Perform at peak performance.


I'm desideing on Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 70SB088600002 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


but people are saying to go with another brand... What should i do???


Main / Big consern.... No CPU Bottlenecking...

hope some one can help me ... thanks

More about : sound card advise

June 10, 2009 12:13:38 PM

First off, I can't stand Creative based products due to their poor driver/product quality. Also, PCI-E/PCI isn't an issue, especially since sound cards don't need nearly enough bandwith to max the PCI bus.

I'd recommend either the ASUS Xonar line or a Azuntech product.

For the Xonars, the two cards to look at would be the D2(X) and the STX Essence (The D2 is PCI, the D2X is PCI-E via a bridge chip). For Azuntech, look at the Prelude and Forte.

Essentially, the Azuntech line is basically Creatives core design with some changes and good driver support, meaning you get "true" X-fi support. That being said, the ASUS Xonar line gets a major edge for HT systems compared to other cards, and recent driver releases emulates X-fi through software. (Note: If you own Vista, thats exactly what Alchemy does, meaining X-fi support is done through software regardless).

http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-xonar-d2x-review/ (Xonar D2X)
http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-xonar-essence-stx-re... (Xonar Essence STX)
http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzentech-xfi-forte-71-so... (Forte)
http://www.guru3d.com/article/auzentech-xfi-prelude-71-... (Prelude)

Theres a few truly high quality cards (Such as the ASUS HDAV1.3) that I'm not listing, as they are more for HT systems then for gaming, which is what I'm assuming your looking for.
June 10, 2009 2:21:32 PM

Asus Xonar essense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! end of conversation
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June 10, 2009 3:54:59 PM

asus xonar this thread is done
June 10, 2009 6:10:59 PM

To be fair, the Essence STX isn't the best choice for analog connections. Heck, for analog connections, I'd just reccommend the "Daughter Card" (The analog output card for the ASUS HDAV1.3) over the Essence STX. For digital sound systems though, you can't beat the Essence STX in my mind, although the Prelude may give it a run for its money...
June 10, 2009 6:38:47 PM

Does the Asus, have a Good cpu and ram on it, so there wont be any CPU bottlenecking...???


Thanks again everyone... I'v been reading about that asus xonar... ill look in to that... and make my switch..

thanks... hope to hear back from ya.
June 10, 2009 10:24:12 PM

OK, i think i made up my mind...

Looks like i'm going with Auzentech X-fi Forte 7.1 Soundcard...

Because...

1.) i'v been a Creative owner all my life, since 1989, never had any problems.
2.) Asus has game , bug problems... and other things.... I checked out newegg for these issues.
3.) Auz. has a 64 X-ram, to reduce CPU bottlenecking.
4.) just seems like i'll have better luck... with my current Sony THX 500watt / 5.1 Sound system

Thanks all, for your help...
June 11, 2009 12:39:38 AM

You did not say what you were using the sound card for. If you play a lot of games then stick with the fatality card but if not then go for the Asus.
June 11, 2009 11:57:48 AM

I mostly game, and listen to some music, and watch movies. and do a little music recording...

sorry, i thought i had stated what i was doing, when i was say NO cpu bottlenecking... my bad... sorry.
June 11, 2009 12:07:03 PM

No soundcard will ever bottleneck the CPU; XRAM was the best marketing tool Creative ever came up with. Heck, a Realtek onboard chipset, which is CPU only, doesn't bottleneck the CPU (unless you have a weak P4...).

I also find it odd that you noting the newegg reviews, especially since both the Xonars I listed have higher ratings then anything Creative has on newegg...

It would help if we knew WHAT you needed the card for, as a few features are not on any Creative model (Dolby Digital Live is only avaliable on the STX Essence, unless you want to PAY Creative/Azuntech, etc), and most people would agree the Xonar line is far better for a HTPC then Creative/Azuntech.

Generally, Gaming = Azentech, HTMP = ASUS. Never buy directly from Creative though; too many legacy problems, and buggy drivers.
June 11, 2009 6:37:21 PM

I totaly agree with ya, i read the reviews, and doc's, and stuff... and the asus is a better choice... but im looking for something for , mainly gameing, and to reduce some cpu bottlenecking... (there were some game issues with the asus board) so i going to go with the azen.

but if, later on i dont like it, then ill buy the asus... live and learn... :)  right.

but thank you all for your expertise... :) 
June 11, 2009 7:41:21 PM

Yeah, I probably came of a bit harsh before, but I was serious about my points. And yes, Creative does suck. :D 
June 11, 2009 7:56:46 PM

gamerk316 said:
No soundcard will ever bottleneck the CPU; XRAM was the best marketing tool Creative ever came up with. Heck, a Realtek onboard chipset, which is CPU only, doesn't bottleneck the CPU (unless you have a weak P4...).


You confuse facts... X-Fi processes audio in hardware - with or without the XRAM (which only helps in selected EAX 5.0 games). But X-Fi processes audio in hardware in all games and in fact in all appplications and there is performance difference to e.g.: onboard audio
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1042178/impact...

gamerk316 said:
It would help if we knew WHAT you needed the card for, as a few features are not on any Creative model (Dolby Digital Live is only avaliable on the STX Essence, unless you want to PAY Creative/Azuntech, etc)


X-Fi Titanium cards come with DDL at no extra charge (stop spreading FUD, Gamerk, for kristssake...)

@renegeek: Xonars are good and X-Fi are good - if it is performance and accurate gaming audio you are after - get the X-Fi.
June 11, 2009 11:29:58 PM

Thanks... I beleve ill be going with Azun card... but i'm going to spend a few more days, to find out the specs of each... and make a final say... i wont be buying this card, for about another month... so i have lots of time...

this is all for my comming soon Gameing pc...

BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

x2 = EVGA 512-P3-N963-TR GeForce 9600 GSO 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX

x2 = G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1100 (PC2 8800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8800CL5D-4GBPI

Acer X233Hbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD

KINGWIN KW-01 Gray 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB 2.4G RF Wireless Laser Mouse

AuzenTech AZT-FORTE X-Fi Forte 7.1 Low Profile PCI Express Sound Card

Scythe SCMNJ-1000 80mm Sleeve "NINJA MINI" CPU Cooler

x10 = Link Depot FAN-4LED-80BU 80mm Blue LED Case Fan

Price = about 1,000.00 bucks or so... but still working on my items...

i all ready have speakers, and case and PW X-Finity ultra 600watt , 250gig HD, Sony dual-layer DVD-RWx20... and etc...



thanks for your help... :) 
June 12, 2009 7:06:38 PM

I literally just got a Xonar D2X (as in put it in my computer a couple hours ago), and so far, I'm impressed. I had an X-Fi originally about a year ago, but the drivers were so buggy I couldn't use it without getting BSODs every time I'd try to do anything (slightly exaggerated). I'd get the Xonar, and check out zipzoomfly.com because they have a great price on the Xonar right now.
June 12, 2009 7:39:14 PM

+1 for everyone who recommended the ASUS Xonar, and +1 for those wont buy Creative products anymore.
June 12, 2009 8:55:03 PM

Thanks guys... ill look into that on zip... see what the price is...

thanks
!