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Best sound card for 100 dollars max

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Anonymous
August 31, 2010 12:13:05 AM

Whats the Best sound for 100 dollars or under And i usually use headphones never speakers currently useing onboard HD realtek

This is for Gameing

7.1 Channel, Azalia (HDA) or is it even worth getting a sound card or wont they be any big audio differnce
August 31, 2010 10:41:10 AM

A good sound card is definitely worth it if you have good speakers and or headphones.I've always added a soundcard to my builds.
The soundcard hell_storm2004 is a good card and the best value in Creative's line.
I wouldn't buy anything less then that if i bought a Creative.
I think the best sub $100 card is the Auzentech Bravura.Nice headphone amp.
http://www.ncixus.com/products/49090/AZT-BRAVURA/AuzenT...
Keep in mind this card always fluctuates in price i've seen it as low as $75 on NCIX.
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August 31, 2010 11:53:07 AM

Ugh, skip on the overpriced and under performing Creative cards :pfff: 

I am assuming you either have a dedicated headphone amp or are using easy to drive cans?
If so, look into the ASUS Xonar Dx (PCIe) or Xonar D1 (PCI).
Both have top notch sound quality and a good amount of features.
They also offer a very good implementation of Dolby Headphone, which will allow you to game with virtual surround sound on your headphones.

The Auentech Bravura is also a good choice if you can afford to wait for the MIR.
Sound quality is fairly similar to the Dx/D1 and the addition of a dedicated headphone amp is a nice feature.

The biggest downside to it, besides needing to use Creative based drivers, is that it is not truly a X-Fi based card.
Instead it uses the CA0110 chipset (a PCIe port of the circa 2001 Live! 24-bit's chip) that is quite gimped in terms of processing.
In fact, it does not support EAX processing at all in hardware, and only to EAX 4 through software.
In contrast, both ASUS cards (not boasting Creative chips) support EAX 2 in hardware and up to EAX 5 through software.

Note:
EAX is pretty useless now.
Defiantly do not base your purchase decision on the cards EAX support unless you are predominately playing quite old games.


Either will treat you fine.
If you have low impedance cans I would recommend one of the Xonars.
If having a bit more amplification is necessary, the Bravura is also a good choice.
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August 31, 2010 6:52:08 PM

For $100, the best deals are the ASUS Xonar D1/DX and HT Omega Striker. Don't bother with Creatives overpriced and obsolete offerings. Otherwise, agree with outlaw above.
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