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Recommend a sound card

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  • Sound Cards
  • Components
  • Product
Last response: in Components
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February 21, 2011 11:15:54 PM

I'm in the market for a sound card (I think). Here is the situation:

I am getting some slight buzz through the onboard sound of my motherboard (ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe). Also now that I have upgraded to windows 7 I don't have the soundmax control panel which I used in xp, so I don't have a graphic equalizer. So I guess I'm looking for a solution that eliminates the buzz and offers graphic equalizer functionality. However I will be upgrading my mb in a few months. Unfortunately on the new mb both PCI slots are directly below the PCI-E slots which will be occupied by the graphics cards, and the aftermarket heatsinks on them will obstruct both PCI slots. That only leaves a PCI-E x1 slot for the sound card, and from the preliminary searching I have done the sound card selection for PCIEx1 slots is seems abysmal.

I've considered picking up a pair of desktop speakers (not interested in surround) with bass and treble knobs on them. Anyone care to weigh in with a recommendation?

More about : recommend sound card

February 21, 2011 11:29:52 PM

As far as i'm concerned most soundcards worth considering do in fact have pcie x1.
The Asus DX line and higher models.
Auzentech Bravura and Forte.
Creative X-FI Titanium line.
Really depends on how much you want to spend and your intended uses.
Some are hardware based and offer better gaming performance.
Good cards are $80-200.
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February 21, 2011 11:36:51 PM

ASUS DG $29.99 $19.99 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a cheap card to just replace the dieing onboard sound this card takes the prize and its cheap. It also has a built in Headphone amp if you use headphones.

Next step up I would go would be the ASUSS DX this card is also good if you are looking for a PCIE card.

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

Tell us a little more about listening habits so we can help you better.
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February 21, 2011 11:46:36 PM

I listen to music while I"m browsing and stuff, mostly symphonic metal, and I enjoy the game music when I'm gaming. doesn't have to be super high quality or loud, but I don't want any buzzing or distortion at mid listening volumes
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February 21, 2011 11:49:27 PM

Well eithier of the two I listed above would be a great choice anything that would sound better then the ASUS DX which is $89.99 will run you close to $200.
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February 21, 2011 11:56:28 PM

I see that, I'm leery of dropping too much $$$ on a sound card because I don't want the quality of the card to outstrip my speakers by too much. Not a whole ton of point if the speakers can't put out quality sound to match the card :) 
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Best solution

February 22, 2011 12:05:01 AM

execut1ve said:
I see that, I'm leery of dropping too much $$$ on a sound card because I don't want the quality of the card to outstrip my speakers by too much. Not a whole ton of point if the speakers can't put out quality sound to match the card :) 

I agree 100% if you are pushing speakes sub $300 then there is no point in getting an expensive card. I would say just get the ASUS DG should be all you need.

There is also an ASUS DS which is just the PCI version of the DX which is $49.99 $39.99 after rebate. This card will be a good basic card that has really good sound quality I use one of them in my HTPC rig.
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February 22, 2011 12:08:13 AM

that sounds promising, why are the pciex1 cards so much more expensive than the pci cards?
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February 22, 2011 12:27:06 AM

Because PCI is getting to be old tech and in fact I would say with in the next 2 3 years you won't see PCI slots on new motherboards most already don't have them or just have one if they do. Same happened way back when ISA got replaced by PCI.

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February 22, 2011 12:49:39 AM

Best answer selected by Execut1ve.
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