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PCI vs PCI-E sound cards

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January 21, 2012 12:42:38 AM

Hello,
I was wondering if the newer pci-e sound cards actually benefit from the increased bandwidth over standard PCI slots?
Essentially creative has both a PCI and PCI-e version of its basic X-Fi sound card
pci-e: http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi...

PCI: us.creative.com/products/go.asp?product=15855

*****These two cards I listed arent actual X-FI cards...they are rehased audigys apparantly. People say this is a shady marketing stategy well it is...its 'breach of contract' via 'misrepresentation' so anyone who has these cards can go get their money back.

It seems true x-FI cards are all PCI-E anyway so my question is now somewhat moot....

More about : pci pci sound cards

January 21, 2012 12:55:48 AM

Honestly, just pick whichever would be the better "fit" for your system. There is no real advantage that I am aware of. I have the X-Fi Fatality PCI-e and love it.
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January 21, 2012 1:05:35 AM

True. There is only a $10 difference between the two variations of this card (pci-e being more).
However the PCI version seems to have better performance on the "signal to noise ratio" and the total harmonic distortion than the PCI-E. (check out the creative website links)
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January 21, 2012 1:13:11 AM

Yeah, most major audio engineers still prefer PCI. Good luck with your choice.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 21, 2012 1:18:11 AM

Nah. Computers can do audio and read a magazine at the same time. The bandwidth required for audio is nothing. It's nice to have both kinds available, though, because you might not have one or the other slot open in your rig.
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January 21, 2012 1:26:16 AM

kevinbrown336 said:
Honestly, just pick whichever would be the better "fit" for your system. There is no real advantage that I am aware of. I have the X-Fi Fatality PCI-e and love it.



This is what I have as well.
The real difference will depend on what speaker system is connected to your sound card.

I'm using the Logitech Z-5500 connected with a digital cable
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January 21, 2012 1:42:21 AM

drwho1 said:
This is what I have as well.
The real difference will depend on what speaker system is connected to your sound card.

that's a very good point.
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January 21, 2012 2:03:56 AM

Yeah im using a friends computer who has 2.1 Yama YST_MS201 speakers which are the best sounding set of speakers ive ever heard.
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January 21, 2012 2:10:22 AM

I guess the next question is: what other than graphics cards use PCI-E slots? (since I only have one spare pci-E slot)
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 21, 2012 1:53:20 PM

tao1 said:
I guess the next question is: what other than graphics cards use PCI-E slots? (since I only have one spare pci-E slot)


Well, anything, really, but nothing actually needs it but a graphics card, except maybe a SCSI card with 16 disk drives on it. The mobos have gone to PCIe because why not? People want the new thing because new is better (they think). PCI is now "legacy", which makes it sound like it was invented by elves. I mean, PCIe is better, to be sure, but most of its power remains untapped outside of graphics.
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January 21, 2012 5:31:32 PM

tao1 said:
I guess the next question is: what other than graphics cards use PCI-E slots? (since I only have one spare pci-E slot)


most add on cards like USB 2.0 SATA or IDE, audio cards and related low bandwidth stuff can easily run on PCIe 1x or PCI. They make all that stuff in PCIe and PCI. So the option is really yours, I had to buy a PCIe sound card since my remaining PCI slot was right in between my two graphics cards and would have blocked airflow.

Are you connecting the sound card to a receiver, and if so does it have 5.1? Do you intend to use 5.1?
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January 21, 2012 6:22:28 PM

Petrofsky said:
Well, anything, really, but nothing actually needs it but a graphics card, except maybe a SCSI card with 16 disk drives on it. The mobos have gone to PCIe because why not? People want the new thing because new is better (they think). PCI is now "legacy", which makes it sound like it was invented by elves. I mean, PCIe is better, to be sure, but most of its power remains untapped outside of graphics.


Invented by elves! Ha. That's the funniest thing I've heard all week. +1
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January 21, 2012 10:50:28 PM

festerovic said:
most add on cards like USB 2.0 SATA or IDE, audio cards and related low bandwidth stuff can easily run on PCIe 1x or PCI. They make all that stuff in PCIe and PCI. So the option is really yours, I had to buy a PCIe sound card since my remaining PCI slot was right in between my two graphics cards and would have blocked airflow.

Are you connecting the sound card to a receiver, and if so does it have 5.1? Do you intend to use 5.1?



I have some logitec 6.1 surround sound speakers (well 6.1 is a pain in the ass to set up the centre rear so I use them in 5.1)

Basically it seemed to me that as soon as a new version of EAX came out you couldnt really use EAX features in games unless you had a card compatable with the latest gen of EAX.

I have a 1st gen audigy 2 and it sounds like the surround sound on the X-FI is much better for games.

Condsidering how awesome these 2.1 yamaha speakers of my friends are, I might look into new speakers
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 21, 2012 11:37:49 PM

Speakers are the red-headed stepchild of computer gaming. Almost nobody gives them the attention they deserve. Every dollar spent on sound cards (especially of those thieves and liars over at Creative) is a dollar misspent unless your speakers already weigh a total of at least a hundred pounds and you've given on-board a chance with them. If they have plastic cabinets, they are crap. Still, crap is better than nothing. My speakers have plastic cabinets, except my sub-woofer, which is a thirty-pound wooden three-way floor cabinet with a 15-inch woofer, rewired to cut out the tweeter and horn, driven by the 60-Watt MOSFET amp in an old receiver.

I don't understand how any self-respecting gamer isn't running in-game surround sound. It is an essential element of immersion, and it is vital in shooters. Besides, it sounds really cool. You need 5.1, which is what most games are, and it is wrong to simulate it when it's written into the game code already. But the marketers have muddied the issue so much that it's almost impossible for the layman to tell what he's getting or what to buy. Often, they don't even tell you in the specs what their hardware does, but, to be fair, that's probably because they don't even know themselves.

There is one rule of thumb that will stand you in good stead, though---don't buy Creative. You yourself have seen what they do---they suck you in with some proprietary effects hyped out the yin-yang, and then they leave you hanging. And that's the least of their crimes. They sell a card as X-Fi when it isn't, and they charge you extra after you buy a card to enable a function already implemented in the hardware. You're talking to a guy who knows what it was like to SET BLASTER in config.sys. They have been screwing up computer sound for a long time, and there's nothing they have that isn't done better and cheaper by somebody else.
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January 22, 2012 3:25:23 AM

Well creative was the best back in the days of dos games..never did look into competitors much since sound cards last a long time (compared to processors and vid cards)..

What are the best sound cards out there?
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 22, 2012 11:41:45 AM

tao1 said:
Well creative was the best back in the days of dos games..never did look into competitors much since sound cards last a long time (compared to processors and vid cards)..

What are the best sound cards out there?


As you say, sound cards are durable. They're all the same unless you are a sound recordist. It isn't very hard to cover the range of human hearing with adequately flat response---at low levels electronically. It is, on the other hand, very hard to do that with speakers at power.

Some sound cards have better op-amps, and some have swappable ones. Some have EAX hardware or emulation, and some have Dolby Headphone. Some have a headphone amp, some have 5.1 and some have 7.1. It's more a matter of what functions you want. I got my Diamond because it was the cheapest one I could find with Dolby Digital Live. You need that or DTS Connect to get in-game surround sound through optical or coax.

If you want to run Blu-ray, you might need an HDMI out on the sound card depending on your setup. The way I understand it, many Nvidia cards don't do DTS Master through the graphics card, but the newer AMD cards do. As I said, it's a confusing mess to the point where we have to forgive those pushy, chubby gals with the large metal jewelry in marketing for not understanding the products they've been tasked with selling. You have to do research on your particular needs.
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January 23, 2012 6:21:55 PM

^ agree.

That's why I asked about the speaker setup. If the requirements are given I'm sure we could specify a few cards that would work out.
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February 12, 2012 9:36:30 PM

I have the very same soundcard..is yours the XFi Xtreme gamer Fatal1ty pro series...i looked all over and i know this card is still a few years old but its still one of the best soundcards on the market...Some sites are still asking $ 200 bucks but the card makes the difference when your using the logitech Z-5500...i scored and i picked up my system for $ 399.00
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February 13, 2012 4:43:56 PM

tao1 said:
Hello,
I was wondering if the newer pci-e sound cards actually benefit from the increased bandwidth over standard PCI slots?


Hi. I work in music (not all time admittedly) and use PCI cards. It's never occurred to me to look for anything faster or better....

this sort of thing

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile192.htm...

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Delta1010LT.html

Oh, and a $1,500 hifi system at my home.

Also, not wishing to spoil the Creative love-in, but I have a box of broken creative cards at work.
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February 13, 2012 10:38:27 PM

I agree myself i always used PCI cards in the pass couple years the pci cards have been coming out with onboard Ram which iv never seen on any pci-e cards..I use a very good card only thing it lacks is optical out but it still kicks butt... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 14, 2012 4:50:56 PM

douglasw said:
I agree myself i always used PCI cards in the pass couple years the pci cards have been coming out with onboard Ram which iv never seen on any pci-e cards..I use a very good card only thing it lacks is optical out but it still kicks butt... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That's cool! Whatever next?

Sad fact is, most of my friends won't even venture onto PCs for music.....

I guess creative probably have the edge over the others in terms of 5.1 and 7.1 and stuff like that. Personally, I stick with two speakers and get on with it.
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February 14, 2012 9:40:07 PM

When i built my computer it was mainly for music i made sure i tried to buy the best equipment i could to get that perfect sound From the sound card from creative to the sound system the logitech Z-5500 i even did research how to properly set the system up i even bought a vibration damper for my subwoofer to cut vibration..But the hardest thing i found was to find my music collection remastered took me 4 years but i did it and what a difference when you listen to music that was remastered pose to the music that once was on limewire..
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