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Soundcard choice

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March 26, 2010 6:01:23 AM

I'm evaluating whether I should purchase a discrete soundcard upgrade for my system.

Usage would be half for gaming and half for music.

Currently I'm using the onboard sound Realtek ALC1200 that comes with my P5Q motherboard, with Audiotechnica ATH-AD700 headphones and a 2.1 Altec Lansing speaker system.

I've shortlisted Xonar DX as my first choice, and perhaps shell out a bit more for the D2X or even STX essence.

Would there be a perceptible difference between the onboard card and a DX? What about the D2X and STX? Are they worth the doubling in price for my use?

More about : soundcard choice

March 26, 2010 9:08:11 AM

Are you an audiophile? Is there something you're sound solution now isn't providing? On board sound is good enough for 95% of the ears out there, but if yours is finely tuned, might get a little more out of your headphones, but doubt the speakers would sound any different.

Can't help with a card choice, my ear doesn't justify spending the extra. A gun shot on a mobo sound chip sounds just as loud and deafening as a discrete card would.
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March 26, 2010 9:13:58 AM

ftsang said:
I'm evaluating whether I should purchase a discrete soundcard upgrade for my system.

Usage would be half for gaming and half for music.

Currently I'm using the onboard sound Realtek ALC1200 that comes with my P5Q motherboard, with Audiotechnica ATH-AD700 headphones and a 2.1 Altec Lansing speaker system.

I've shortlisted Xonar DX as my first choice, and perhaps shell out a bit more for the D2X or even STX essence.

Would there be a perceptible difference between the onboard card and a DX? What about the D2X and STX? Are they worth the doubling in price for my use?


Quote:
Would there be a perceptible difference between the onboard card and a DX?



I use this card on my main system. The perceptible difference with this sound processor working for you as opposed to a realtek onboard chip is enormous.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 26, 2010 5:04:42 PM

If your onboard sound chip is half decent then your money would be better spent on quality speakers such as the stereo M-Audio AV40.

I now regret getting the Auzentech Forte. Sure it's a pretty good card but I hooked my speakers up to another computer with a Realtek chip and I couldn't tell the difference. Both sounded really great for games and music.

Three years ago and earlier it made a big difference. Now you'd have to have a really great ear AND again if you don't have really good speakers it just doesn't matter.

Summary:
Get M-Audio AV40 stereo speakers unless you have a great setup for a Surround Sound system and can afford a high quality setup with great reviews.

If your onboard sound is fairly good only get a good discrete card if you have money to burn and also have high quality speakers.
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March 26, 2010 5:15:36 PM

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Sure it's a pretty good card but I hooked my speakers up to another computer with a Realtek chip and I couldn't tell the difference.


You are obviously in a dream, a habitual liar or know nothing about music.
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March 26, 2010 5:25:42 PM

Quote:
Sure it's a pretty good card but I hooked my speakers up to another computer with a Realtek chip and I couldn't tell the difference. Both sounded really great for games and music.


ASUS writes:

35 times clearer then on-board audio

Under specifications, features.

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

You fail at knowing anything about sound quality. Remind me not invite you to band practice. OP would most definately know the difference immediately.
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March 27, 2010 12:14:49 AM

This is the kind the discussion that confuses me. Most forums are littered with conflicting ideas about how onboard is good enough by some but then praises on cards that give you a 'night-and-day' experiences by some others.

To make things even worse, there is virtually no information on the comparative quality of the ALC1200 chip. Most older onboard chipsets has a rated SNR of 90db or less, but nothing is known about this chip. Besides those are just numbers and doesn't translate to a direct perceptible difference in sound quality when I put on my headphones.

I do agree however that my speakers are shite - Altec Lansing AVS300. I got ripped off when I bought them as well :fou:  !!


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March 27, 2010 4:12:15 AM

badge said:


You are obviously in a dream, a habitual liar or know nothing about music.

Beauty is in the ear of the listener.

Not everyone is going to be able to tell the difference or have the background to know there is a difference. This kind of comment doesn't do anyone any good and has no place in this community.

ftsnag, If you think you will be able to tell a difference, I'd suggest buying locally where you can return the card if you don't like the performance to value ratio. Only you can determine if it does. If its a moment of clarity only god can provide, keep the card. If you can't tell the difference, return it. Just like buying a TV, stats will only get you so far, you have to see it on to know which one you like the best.
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March 27, 2010 4:59:41 AM

Quote:
Beauty is in the ear of the listener.


Folow the Yellow Brick Road. Beauty = ear of listener? Pinch me.

Quote:
Not everyone is going to be able to tell the difference or have the background to know there is a difference.


Agreed. Helen Keller.

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This kind of comment doesn't do anyone any good and has no place in this community.


Ok god. Don't let the door hit you in the ass. Look at my answer, then check out your drivvle. "Well sound is in the beauty of the listener. You can't tell the difference between an ASUS Xonar and a late model techno savvy Realtek onboard AM radio quality chip.

Quote:
ftsnag, If you think you will be able to tell a difference, I'd suggest buying locally where you can return the card if you don't like the performance to value ratio.


Performance to value ratio? Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Are you serious? Because of the wonderful things He does.


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Only you can determine if it does.


I heard that. This kind of comment does no one any good and has no place in this community. I think it is the most stupid comment I have ever read regarding this community.


Quote:
If its a moment of clarity only god can provide, keep the card.


LMAO! I take it back. That thing before about being the most stupid comment I have ever witnessed.

Quote:
If you can't tell the difference, return it. Just like buying a TV, stats will only get you so far, you have to see it on to know which one you like the best


Thanks man. With friends like you, who needs enemys. OP would get tired of driving to the store and wasting his time and gas with your solution.
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March 27, 2010 5:46:18 AM

Quote:
there is virtually no information on the comparative quality of the ALC1200 chip.


I have the ASUS P5Q Turbo running for some time. That system was in the same room as the sytem with my ASUS Xonar D1. The difference was amazing. The ASUS Xonar buried the Realtek onboard solution. I will say the sound quality of the ASUS P5Q Turbo was not bad as Realtek audio goes. But, Realtek hardly compares to the Xonar. Here is one review of the Realtek ALC1200 chip.

Quote:

Realtek ALC1200 codec is manufactured specifically for ASUS. ASUS has finally decided to replace the sound solutions from Analog Devices they have used all along with more popular Realtek codecs. However, since it is a pretty exclusive solution, we couldn’t find any technical details about it. Instead we can offer you the test results for this codec in 16bit 44kHz mode:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asu...

Here is an ASUS Xonar D1 review

The Xonar D1 is much better than the supposed "High Definition Audio" of the onboard Realtek soundchip, but doesn't quite reach the finesse of the modified XtremeMusic. The nearest analogy I can think of is with headphones. Regular AC97 onboard audio is like the free headphones you get with your phone or iPod, it sounds ok if you've never heard anything else, but really it's a bit crap. Realtek High Definition Audio is like a decent pair of headphones, but the entry level, so the bass is a bit muffled/muddy, some of the sounds get buried under others, extremes of frequency range are lacking. The Xonar D1 is like a moderately-priced pair of audiophile headphones, so you get an instantly recognisable improvement in sonic fidelity, the instruments are clearer and separated, bass more snappy and distinct, and overal clarity greatly improved. My modified XtremeMusic is very much at the top end. The delicate finesse and rotund bass of this card is something the Xonar D1 is close to, but doesn't quite achieve. To the D1's credit, it is much nearer to the X-Fi than to the Realtek, and it's pleasing to hear the D1 perform this much better than onboard audio.

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/asus_xonar_d1/7...


Quote:
I do agree however that my speakers are shite - Altec Lansing AVS300. I got ripped off when I bought them as well :fou:  !!


Speakers by shyte. Yeah, hang around the forum and ask questions and we'll keep you from getting ripped off. My son uses the ASUS P5Q turbo Realtek solution with some Creative fatality headphones and does just fine with it presently. So, the Realtek onboard is good enough for the average 'sound' solution. But it hardly compares to quality sound cards. And the Xonar D1 is entry level.

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