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Realtek ALC889 or Creative SB Live or Something else

Last response: in Components
May 11, 2011 4:41:36 PM


I've a dilemma.

So I produce music, mainly the use of Sibelius 6 and Cubase 5. These, I know, work nicely with ASIO drivers. I'm on my old computer, which has a Sound Blaster Live card in it, and it runs fairly well. However, it is a 5.1 card and as I'm running Windows 7, Creative don't support Windows 7 drivers for this card and therefore 5.1 doesn't work - I still get good quality Stereo Sound, which is all I'm after to be quite honest.

I just ordered a new computer, with a Gigabyte motherboard supporting Realtek ALC889 7.1 sound. I'm wondering how that works with ASIO.

So is it worth putting my old Sound Blaster Live card into my new computer (still running Win 7)? Also the dilemma - my new computer has 1 PCI-E 16x for the graphics card, and also 1 PCI-E 1x for my network card. There will be 2x PCI slots left. Fine.

The only thing is, that I might want to buy a newer Creative card, like the X-Fi Titanium or something - but that only supports PCI-E - but I don't have any spare PCI-E slots.

Is the Realtek any good? Can it produce decent low latency? I'm not too bothered about anything else, to be quite honest. So for someone like me, who doesn't need crazy high specs, and just fairly low latency, by which I mean under 20ms, is it worth me:

1) buying a new card and somehow connecting to the internet another way;
2) keeping the realtek card
3) putting my old SB Live card in a normal PCI slot, and dealing with stereo sound (isn't really a big deal tbh)?

May 11, 2011 7:48:03 PM

Realtek is good, but I don't think they support ASIO. The Realtek is better then an old SB Live! though.

As for PCI, there are still plenty of options avaliable for cheap with full ASIO support:
ASUS Xonar D1 ~$79
HT Omega Striker ~$79

Auzentech Prelude ~$119
ASUS Xonar D2 ~$119
HT Omega Claro $~119

ASUS Essence ST ~$199
May 11, 2011 9:29:46 PM

Realtek is good, but I don't think they support ASIO.

They don't support NATIVE ASIO, but that's not all that important unless you're the type who works with like 100s of tracks at once or something.

Thanks a lot anyway. I think I'm going to install ASIO4ALL on my Realtek card. That will probably be quite enough, but if anyone has any other ideas?
May 12, 2011 3:02:54 AM

PCI-E soundcards work in any size PCI or otherwise.
I have two Gigabyte mobo's with ALC889 both now have soundcards.
If that gives you a clue to what i think about onboard.
I also used Creative cards since 1999 that changed too, i now use Auzentech cards.