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Dedicated sound card

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  • Sound Cards
  • Sabertooth
  • Motherboards
  • Components
  • Product
Last response: in Components
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May 6, 2012 10:13:42 PM

Right now I am using the sound card built in to my motherboard (sabertooth x58 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) and I was looking to get dedicated sound card. I was wondering if there would be a major noticeable difference between what I have now and a decent sound card, about $100-150, and if so what would you recommend? I would prefer to get it at best buy because I have a gift card, it also has to be a pci express card.

I was looking at these
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olstemplatemapper.jsp?_dync...

these in particular
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Creative+-+Sound+Blaster+Re...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Creative+-+Sound+Blaster+X-...

Thanks for all you help

More about : dedicated sound card

May 6, 2012 11:58:24 PM

Do you plan on using speakers or headphones? What make/model?
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May 7, 2012 1:09:57 AM

Both, I have a 5.1 set of creative inspire p580, a turtle beach px 21 headset, and a set of sennheiser hd 280 pro headphones. I might be getting a new set of speakers soon, but not sure yet. I mostly listen to music, game and watch a few movies, I don't do any mixing or editing or anything like that.
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 4:23:42 AM

I wouldn't touch the Recon3D line. [I think everyone here knows that by now...]

The main problem is the ST is simply too powerful for what you have; its hard to recommend anything over an ASUS Xonar DX for most people for that reason.
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a c 160 V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 6:58:17 AM

Make sure to check whether PCI or PCIe is the ideal free slot on your motherboard.

I have the Auzentech X-Fi Forte and I love it.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=35596&vpn=AZTXFF710555...

I have my 5.1 headphones hooked up at the same time as my stereo speakers.

*WARNING*
If you use 5.1 headphones, don't buy 2.1 speakers or you may have connection issues. I'm not sure about using the digital output to the 2.1 instead of the stereo analog connection though.

(My only "issue" is that I occasionally forget to toggle the sound back from 5.1 to stereo or vice versa when switching between headphones at night or speakers in the daytime.

I always leave my headphones connected. They have volume control so I just turn it down to ZERO. I then turn on the power at the back of my desktop speakers.

If I had to do it over again I'd just get quality stereo headphones. I like my headphones but I've tried other peoples quality stereo headpones and they sound similar. I really can't hear the SURROUND portion anyway. It just sounds like stereo to me.)
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a c 160 V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 6:59:39 AM

FYI, I use M-Audio AV40 stereo speakers. They are awesome. Got on sale for $150. The AV30's are a little cheaper and can be found for about $100. Just sacrifice a little bass.)
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a c 160 V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 7:05:09 AM

302stephen said:
What about the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium, or is that overkill as well?
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Creative+-+Sound+Blaster+X-...


FYI, you can't hookup speakers AND headphones at the same time likely unless you buy speakers or have headphones that can use the digital output. And then you might have to toggle between those in SOFTWARE.
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a b V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 12:05:54 PM

The Titanium [non-HD] is a good soundcard, but I still have trouble recommending it over a Xonar. Its hard to argue against the ASUS Xonar DX, because Creative has yet to put out a better product for less.
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May 7, 2012 2:23:26 PM

My speakers have a headphone out in the volume control so I can plug my headphones in there.
It has to be a pcie, that is all I have open
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May 7, 2012 4:51:35 PM

The Xonar comes in a PCI-e version (Xonar Dx).
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a c 160 V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 5:56:37 PM

302stephen said:
My speakers have a headphone out in the volume control so I can plug my headphones in there.
It has to be a pcie, that is all I have open


My speakers also have a headphone output but the speakers have to be ON for it to work which seems odd to me. Why not just passthrough the input from the soundcard? what.ev.u (my valley girl speak is a bit rusty partially because I'm not from the valley... or a girl)
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a b V Motherboard
May 7, 2012 7:31:41 PM

photonboy said:
My speakers also have a headphone output but the speakers have to be ON for it to work which seems odd to me. Why not just passthrough the input from the soundcard? what.ev.u (my valley girl speak is a bit rusty partially because I'm not from the valley... or a girl)


Some speakers do that so the user can insert a pair of headphones when they don't want to use the speakers, without having to physically unplug the speakers from the PC. Quality takes a nosedive though...
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May 7, 2012 11:52:48 PM

So would upgrading to the xonar dx be worth the $70 over motherboard sound, and would it really be that big of a difference?
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May 8, 2012 5:09:25 AM

I would say for your purposes, possibly, depending on what you normally use your PC for (music/movies vs gaming).
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May 8, 2012 5:25:04 AM

all three, lots of music, some gaming and movies
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a b V Motherboard
May 8, 2012 12:02:19 PM

The DX is a step up, and for most users the soundcard that makes the most sense. A lot depends on the speakers at the other end though...
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May 9, 2012 12:09:23 AM

OK, thanks, Ill probably go with the DX, its not to expensive and it's PCIe
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May 9, 2012 12:10:43 AM

Best answer selected by 302stephen.
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