For my new build I am planning to purchase Asus Rampage III Formula Motherboard with SupremeFX X-Fi 2 as onboard audio chipset. I currently use M-Audio Studiophile3 as my speakers. These speakers are actually built for studio/monitoring so they offer high quality sounds (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). However, most of what I will be doing will be listening to music and gaming. Do you think getting an audio card will make any noticable difference vs using the onboard audio chipset? If so, which audio card do you recommend?
If you are going with Win7 64 bit as the OS, then don't waste your time with a soundcard. Soundcards using Win7 64 bit often have DPC Latency issues that the onboard audio can ignore. The DPC Latency issue shows as a stutter in the audio output and is very annoying. WinXP doesn't have this issue.
I don't have any clue what you're talking about, Chuckels. Being an absolute audio enthusiast, none of my sound cards have ever given me any 'stutter in the audio output'.
But despite what everyone else is saying, I disagree. If you were to get a decent audio card right now, you'd have a minor improvement in sound quality (those speakers aren't all that precise), but to go along with that you'd already have what you need then when you decide to get a better sound system. Get what I'm saying? If you were to upgrade your speakers right now, you'd still be held back by onboard sound...
first I've heard of any audio stutter....I've had static and buzzing issues, but never stuttering... I vote for dedicated audio card though, just cuz I feel like it....lol. Difference between my VIA integrated garbage and my Xonar DG was like night and day, even with cheap headphones.
I just purchased a Creative Sound Blaste X-FI Extreme Audio soundcard vs. my Realtek HD onboard, and the sound is way better. I use it for gaming and listening to music. I'm using Creative's Sound Blaster Tactic3D Sigma headphones, and although I can hear a difference in both gaming and music the most vital change has to be the music. It just sounds so awesome I almost cried first time I heard music. I know nothing about sound specifically, but I know enough to say there's a definite change of sound quality here. I just wonder what a more expensive soundcard would do since this one was only 60-80 bucks.
Higher price, doesn't necessarily mean better sound.... My Xonar DG was only like $30 but, to me, it sounds better than my $100 Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer....
Hah, well, there's your problem. The XtremeGamer isn't exactly a card known for amazing sound quality. Get yourself an Asus Xonar D2X or Essence STX and you'll see that it's newer technology that means better sound, and newer technology generally means higher price.
Now you're implying that price and sound quality scale together. The Xonar Essence STX and D2X are both $200...the X-Fi TitaniumHD is $162 and according to reviews produces excellent sound quality...even for a Creative product.