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No room for soundcard.

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November 2, 2011 1:12:53 PM

Hey guys i recieved a really nice headset as a gift and i am using them through my onboard sound and i know this is not doing them justice. My pc case is full as my gpus are massive and there is no room left. Is there a soundcard alternative? I have seen some amps by astro and creative out there but i am not sure if they will deliver a comparable sound quality. I want something that will give these senheiser pc360 a decent sound quality boost and also surround sound for gaming as i hear they have great direction sound. I am pretty new to this scene so i would really appreciate some info or reccomendations on products.

More about : room soundcard

November 2, 2011 1:26:14 PM

Or even a decent external soundcard.
November 2, 2011 1:39:08 PM

What motherboard are you using?

With motherboards today they actually have very good sound chips,most of which support natively 7.1 channels and 24bit/192kHz playback.You would have to spend over $200 on a sounds card to get better quality.
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November 2, 2011 1:47:20 PM

A gigabyte p67a. It is a mid range mainboard so i have no idea if it offers any of those features. Is there any way i can set 7.1 surround? I currently use realtek audio manager but no idea if its any good.
November 2, 2011 1:48:00 PM

Pretty sure i havent noticed surround sound in battlefield 3 thats all.
November 2, 2011 1:56:12 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. I just opened up my pc and realised there is actually a pciex1 slot avaliable above my gpus *doh*. This means i can purchase an internal sound card so i will look into good price/quality models. What do you guys think of the creative soundblaster x-fi gamer soundcard?
November 2, 2011 1:57:12 PM

Yes your mobo supports all I said above.

In order to use 7.1 you must have 7 external speakers or the headphone has to support it.And it's not technically 7.1 it's just "virtual" surround.

What is the make/model of your headphones?
November 2, 2011 1:58:14 PM

To me it doesn't really make sense to buy a sound card if your just using headphones.The sound chip on the motherboard is plenty.
November 2, 2011 2:00:31 PM

What you can do to see if it's running at the max freq is go into the sound control panel and in the properties tab for your headphones you can set a higher freq.See if you notice an improvement.
November 2, 2011 2:05:47 PM

Ok purple stank i will take a look. I have the sennheiser pc360 headset. I have just read some soundcards will give great directional sound aswel as give stereo headsets surround sound.
November 2, 2011 2:31:16 PM

Windows as a bunch of different settings for stuff like that.
November 2, 2011 3:02:57 PM

apamilo said:
Thanks for the replies guys. I just opened up my pc and realised there is actually a pciex1 slot avaliable above my gpus *doh*. This means i can purchase an internal sound card so i will look into good price/quality models. What do you guys think of the creative soundblaster x-fi gamer soundcard?


Anything BUT Creative.

Best PCI-E options [in order of increasing audio quality]:

ASUS Xonar DX
ASUS Xonar D2X
Auzentech Forte
ASUS Xonar Xense
ASUS Essence STX

Best option is probably to stick to the DX; the D2X isn't cost justified, the Xense comes with a PC350 headet, and the STX is probably overkill. The Forte is interesting, due to its amp, which will slightly benifit the PC360 headset...

Most of the mid-tier soundcards [HT Omega's offerings and Auzentechs non-X-fi models] are still PCI.

Quote:
To me it doesn't really make sense to buy a sound card if your just using headphones


??? "Just" headphones? The PC360 (among many others) are significantly improved when using a soundcard. Those types of headsets really aren't meant to be used with onboard...
November 2, 2011 3:06:32 PM

purple stank said:
What you can do to see if it's running at the max freq is go into the sound control panel and in the properties tab for your headphones you can set a higher freq.See if you notice an improvement.


Changing the frequency [sample rate] only matters if playing audio files sampled above 96KHz. Upsampling a 48KHz file to 96KHz does nothing by itself...

Quote:
have just read some soundcards will give great directional sound aswel as give stereo headsets surround sound.


Directional sound is handled by the application, not the soundcard. The soundcard may PROCESS it better so the sounds stand out more though.

The surround sound on stereo headsets is Dolby Headphone, which is one of the more attractive features offered by soundcards these days. Does a VERY good job of virtualzing 5.1/7.1 on a stereo headset. [Some USB headsets, such as the Logitech G35, use this exact method when using their surround mode].
November 2, 2011 4:49:19 PM

gamerk316 said:
Changing the frequency [sample rate] only matters if playing audio files sampled above 96KHz. Upsampling a 48KHz file to 96KHz does nothing by itself...

Quote:
have just read some soundcards will give great directional sound aswel as give stereo headsets surround sound.


Directional sound is handled by the application, not the soundcard. The soundcard may PROCESS it better so the sounds stand out more though.

The surround sound on stereo headsets is Dolby Headphone, which is one of the more attractive features offered by soundcards these days. Does a VERY good job of virtualzing 5.1/7.1 on a stereo headset. [Some USB headsets, such as the Logitech G35, use this exact method when using their surround mode].



Very good answers guys thanks! I will probably pick up a sound card tomorrow then. Last question is when i get this card will it come with audio drivers like realtek? Should i be uninstslling realtek and letting the new software handle it?

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November 2, 2011 6:13:49 PM
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Soundcards will come with drivers, but like any piece of hardware, I recommend getting the most recent version off the internet.

You *shouldn't* have to uninstall the Realtek drivers you currently have; you should be able to switch which output device is used via the Windows Control Panel. That being said, some soundcard manufactures do not work well when another sound device is installed. For an ASUS/Auznetech/HT Omega card, I've never had to uninstall my onboard sound drivers.
November 3, 2011 12:53:40 AM

Best answer selected by Apamilo.
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