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Do I need a sound card?

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December 21, 2011 8:25:32 PM

The high-end ROG boards more or less feature a high-end audio card = some even seperate pci cards.
If you liked your former boards sound reproduction i'll almost guarantee ALC whatever isn't going to please you.
December 21, 2011 9:00:18 PM

Any recommendations for a good sound card for 5.1 stereo?
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December 21, 2011 9:21:42 PM

strategoslc said:
Any recommendations for a good sound card for 5.1 stereo?

You could take a wait and hear approach.
You may find the audio just fine idk.
But in my experience(always use a soundcard) you don't need to spend over $100 that's for sure.
December 22, 2011 1:29:00 AM

Best under $100 option is the ASUS Xonar D1/DX.
December 22, 2011 2:08:35 AM

The real advantage of a dedicated sound card is a lower noise threshold... but if you go digital out then this is not a problem. Much better to do on-board optical on a competent mobo to a good receiver than to get a dedicated sound card.
If optical is not an option, then sure, a sound card should probably be used, but my only advice there is to avoid Creative and their annoying drivers.
December 22, 2011 2:37:24 AM

CaedenV said:
The real advantage of a dedicated sound card is a lower noise threshold... but if you go digital out then this is not a problem. Much better to do on-board optical on a competent mobo to a good receiver than to get a dedicated sound card.
If optical is not an option, then sure, a sound card should probably be used, but my only advice there is to avoid Creative and their annoying drivers.



I've been using creative for years with no issues,right now I'm using a few year old x-fi fatality platinum and love it,I recently tried a asus sound card to try the headphone amp and the sound was horrible.

Now i do know that creative is just starting to release all new sound cards,Recon 3D i believe.,i've tried good onboard sound,no comparision.sound cards still cant be beat for gaming/music/movies,

It all depends on how much it(sound) means to you. I personally have no issue spending a couple hundred on one,but thats just me.


December 22, 2011 2:40:39 AM

I am not going to lie, i used the onboard sound(Analog) for about 2 months or so on my primary system. That said, for some people it would not even be an issue.

The only way you will know is to try it.

For instance my Asus Maximus Gene-Z has a regular realtek card with Creative software for the X-fi MB2 setup(x-fi done in software). It generally worked quite well, but still did not "sound" as good as my Audigy 2zs did. It also had an issue of skipping when installing some software(yet my Media center with another realtek model never does this).

In the end, Sound is very personal. But cpu usage is not longer an issue with sound cards for the most part.

As mentioned above, with a digital setup and receiver, the receiver will be the quality factor(in a good way as it most likely has better DACs) for the most part(at least if you do not concern your self with some of the proprietary enhancements that sound cards have).

In the end, I did end up getting a X-fi Titanium Fatality(Only because it was on sale, would have got the regular Titanium otherwise) and to my ears, it sounds very good.

Once i got past the very specific driver install procedures(this was more because of the onboards creative software then anything), it works very well(for some reason GPU locked up my system[and only once ever] and the entire song winamp[openal plugin because Windows 7's sound system seems to sort of fade music[real noticeable in some games] with other stuff playing. That plugin works on a hardware level with the card so nothing fades my music in and out] was playing finished before I shut down the computer. so i am gonna guess skipping will not happen under any use).
December 22, 2011 2:59:45 AM

I have the first card. I like it so far....

Driver install order
XFTI_PCDRV_LB_2_17_0008.exe -> creative.com
DTS_PCAPP_LB_1_03_08.exe -> Auto update
CSL_PCAPP_LB_2_61_35.exe -> Auto update

I think some of the rampage boards are using the X-fi mb software(so things can sound even better :)  ).

http://techreport.com/articles.x/19712

QUICK EDIT...

If your board uses THX True Studio, The first card you linked does not use that. Uses all the X-fi stuff(You still get Crystalizer, but THX surround is replaced with CMMS 3d). I like that better anyway

Asus did not even hide the onboard sound card with a sticker on my MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
December 22, 2011 3:09:24 AM

strategoslc said:
I am considering http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am leaning more towards the XI-Fi. The rampage 3 uses an integrated Xi-Fi and I was very satisfied. The main purpose will be gaming, music, movies.

There's absolutely no difference component wise(audio processor) between the Fatal1ty and regular X-Fi Titanium other then $50 for a fancy shroud.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The ASUS has superior sound reproduction.
http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi...
December 22, 2011 3:12:45 AM

Ok thanks for the tip, davcon! So this is settled right? For my purposes it would be best to go with the Xi-Fi rather than the Xonar RTX?
December 22, 2011 3:13:43 AM

nukemaster said:
I have the first card. I like it so far....

Driver install order
XFTI_PCDRV_LB_2_17_0008.exe -> creative.com
DTS_PCAPP_LB_1_03_08.exe -> Auto update
CSL_PCAPP_LB_2_61_35.exe -> Auto update

I think some of the rampage boards are using the X-fi mb software(so things can sound even better :)  ).

http://techreport.com/articles.x/19712

QUICK EDIT...

If your board uses THX True Studio, The first card you linked does not use that. Uses all the X-fi stuff(You still get Crystalizer, but THX surround is replaced with CMMS 3d). I like that better anyway

Asus did not even hide the onboard sound card with a sticker on my MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

^+1 if you liked your last board this seems like your best bet^^^
December 22, 2011 3:14:56 AM

davcon said:
There's absolutely no difference component wise(audio processor) between the Fatal1ty and regular X-Fi Titanium other then $50 for a fancy shroud.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The ASUS has superior sound reproduction.

More x-ram(something no one uses. i use 4 megs of it for winamp and the damn card has 64) on the Fatality version :p 

As i said above, I got a good deal on it and free shipping....

And if you are able to hold out, there may be a good sale on sound cards for boxing day....

Asus cards are very highly respected, just a different set of features. For me I just wanted it to be as close to my Audigy 2zs feature wise(CMSS 3D stereo surround instead of try to pull all voices unsuccessfully to the center speaker.)

See how personal sound is...
December 22, 2011 3:44:06 AM

Ok so even though i'm using 5.1 stereo would the forte be that much of an improvement over the fatal1ity pro?

The speakers just use the front(green) 3.5mm jack
December 22, 2011 3:47:52 AM

strategoslc said:
Ok so even though i'm using 5.1 stereo would the forte be that much of an improvement over the fatal1ity pro?

The speakers just use the front(green) 3.5mm jack

5.1 should use Green(front)/Black(Rear)/Orange(Center/Sub)

The Forte has better OPAMPS(and the front opamp is user replaceable. There are opamps that cost more then the card out there for the hard core crowd). So it should sound better depending on taste. The opamps effect the sound it self(analog only), so some will make it have more bass others cleaner sound, softer, louder, tiny ect(with the front channel replaceable, you can get just the sound you want from those channels).

Some of there cards have ALL opamps user replicable(in sockets)

The titanium(linked by davcon) is most likely a better value for you then the Fatality version.

Best solution

December 22, 2011 3:52:58 AM
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strategoslc said:
Ok so even though i'm using 5.1 stereo would the forte be that much of an improvement over the fatal1ity pro?

The speakers just use the front(green) 3.5mm jack

I have no clue never done a listening comparison.
I bought a Forte because it has the exact same features,has upgradeable opamps,seperate headphone amp and better mic section,and was cheaper.
I notice Creative's new line has upgradeable opamps too.
Can't say i'm disappointed sounds great to me coming from an Audigy 2 ZS.(which i loved and still use)
December 22, 2011 3:54:48 AM

kk. I'll give the forte a shot. Thanks for your suggestions!
December 22, 2011 3:55:04 AM

Best answer selected by strategoslc.
December 22, 2011 4:02:53 AM

strategoslc said:
Best answer selected by strategoslc.

nThanks for the BA!:) 
nI will say the driver support from Auzentech is also very good.
nI switched from Creative at the time only because their driver support was at a all-time low and frustrating to say the least.
nFrom what i gather they've turned that around with the Titanium HD and now the new Recon line.
nMy Forte has been problem free since i installed it in 2009.
nHad one driver update and it was flawless.
!