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Sound Card, Is the sound difference worth it? IF so, which card?

This is my list of compatible sound cards:

Asus Xonar DGX C-Media CMI8786 5.1 24 105 96 KHz 700
(20) $38.85 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar DS ASUS AV200 7.1 24 107 192 KHz 583(4) $60.34 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar DS ASUS AV200 7.1 24 107 192 KHz 699(112) $46.68 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar DSX ASUS AV66 7.1 24 107 192 KHz 230
(1) $45.68 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar DX ASUS AV100 7.1 24 116 192 KHz 772
(311) $77.99 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar Essence ASUS AV100 7.1 24 124 192 KHz 490(2) $223.99 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar Essence ST ASUS AV100 7.1 24 124 192 KHz 832(51) $210.67 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar Essence STX ASUS AV100 7.1 24 124 192 KHz 877
(131) $164.99 ViewAdd
Asus Xonar Phoebus C-Media CMI8888DHT 7.1 24 118 96 KHz 408
(7) $199.99 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Audigy SE Audigy SE 7.1 24 - 96 KHz 779(207) $24.99 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion Sound Core3D 5.1 24 102 96 KHz 618
(16) $179.95 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional Sound Core3D 5.1 24 102 96 KHz 665
(26) $129.88 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Recon3D PCIe Sound Core3D 5.1 24 102 96 KHz 639
(24) $85.82 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD X-Fi 7.1 24 122 96 KHz 787
(109) $147.20 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 24 108 96 KHz 540(16) $57.81 ViewAdd
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 24 100 96 KHz 412
(39) $47.99 ViewAdd
Diamond XtremeSound XS51 5.1 16 - 48 KHz 708(83) $15.12 ViewAdd
Diamond XtremeSound XS71 7.1 16 - 96 KHz 702(96) $18.91 ViewAdd
Encore ENM232-6VIA VIA VT1723 5.1 24 - 96 KHz 433(9) $8.99 ViewAdd
Encore ENM232-8VIA VIA VT1723 7.1 24 - 96 KHz 665(54) $8.99 ViewAdd
HT Omega Claro Halo C-Media CMI8788 5.1 24 - 192 KHz 941(70) $199.99 ViewAdd
HT Omega Claro Halo XT C-Media CMI8788 7.1 24 - 192 KHz 867(36) $249.99 ViewAdd
HT Omega CLARO II C-Media CMI8788 7.1 24 120 192 KHz 888(15) $184.99 ViewAdd
HT Omega eClaro C-Media CMI8788 7.1 24 - 192 KHz 884
(50) $184.99 View


This is my Set-up:
CPU Intel Core i7-3930K 3.2GHz 6-Core
CPU Cooler Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid
Motherboard Asus Rampage IV Extreme EATX LGA2011
Memory G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
Storage Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Corsair Force Series 3 120GB 2.5" SSD
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 670 2GB
Case Lian-Li PC-X2000F ATX Full Tower
Power Supply Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V
Optical Drive Lite-On iHES212-08 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64-bit)
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about sound card sound difference worth card
  1. Well, I got me a Creative X-Fi Titanium Pro Fatal1ty, and there was a major difference in the quality of sound. Games didn't hiss anymore, no interference from my usb ports, sound just sounded better in all possible ways on my speakers. Cost me £90, but it came with a £20 optical cable.
  2. I am also shopping for a new sound card and while I do not have a definitive answer for you, there are a few things I can offer that might help you find what you are looking for. Good quality sound cards using good speakers will make a noticeable difference. The piece of information missing from your setup is your speakers/sound system and their method of connection to the card (mini-plugs, optical, RCA, etc). The best sound card in the world is not going to do you any good if the speakers are junk. Same goes for headphones - are you planning to use headphones?

    I am not sure all the cards you list will fit. Your mobo does not have an PCI slots.

    Another piece of information that would be helpful to know is how you plan to use the card. One of the more critical things to consider is whether or not you want to use the card for recording sound. Most computer sound cards are built with the idea of maximizing output. If you are planning on creating sound, this will change what you looking for. Even if you are just using the card to listen to sound, how you want to use it will make a difference. Gamers often have different requirements than people who listen to music. People that use their computers for home theatre's typically have multi-speaker setups.

    When looking at cards from the same manufacturer, you want to look at the base technology that produces the sound to see what differs between cards. In some cases, several cards in a line will share the same technology. Often, the difference in price between cards in a line are the connections and the software. If you are type of person that is going to setup their sound once and leave it alone, these extra features probably will not matter to you.

    I have owned a lot of sound cards. I found it beneficial to stay away from Creative as their software is bulkly, buggy and their support is erractic at best. That being said, a lot of people find their cards meet their needs.

    Getting the "best" card is difficult because sound is often in the ear of the beholder. Difference can be subtle and it generally takes a good ear to notice and understand the differences. For a lot of people, there isn't enough difference to justify the costs. If you are just trying to get something "good" and easy to find, a lot of people seem to like the ASUS line. From your list, I would chose the HT Omega eClaro C-Media CMI8788 7.1 24 - 192 KHz 884 and upgrade the opamps to my liking.
  3. MajinCry said:
    Well, I got me a Creative X-Fi Titanium Pro Fatal1ty, and there was a major difference in the quality of sound. Games didn't hiss anymore, no interference from my usb ports, sound just sounded better in all possible ways on my speakers. Cost me £90, but it came with a £20 optical cable.


    Twenty euro's for an optical cable? That is not a deal. Fatality branded stuff is a gimmick, I used to have that several years ago, it was really a crap buy, the front panel was a piece of junk and the cables from the sound card were ugly and in the way of other stuff; cables were to large. The sound card itself wasn't to shabby itself though.

    Quote:
    I have owned a lot of sound cards. I found it beneficial to stay away from Creative as their software is bulkly, buggy and their support is erractic at best. That being said, a lot of people find their cards meet their need


    That's simply not true, the only thing you will ever need for a creative sound card is the "Creative Audio Control Panel." It has all the settings you need and it works great.




    Also PAX drivers work like a charm instead of the ones directly from Creative.

    http://www.paxyoursoundout.com/Home/


    For the OP, do you use surround sound or stereo for gaming? Do you listen to high quality audio(.flac/CD's), watch movies?

    For gaming you won't need a high end sound card, you could get something along the lines of the following:

    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-Recon3D-SB1350/dp/B00654PUPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347825764&sr=8-1&keywords=recon+3d

    http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Channel-Sound-Card-XONAR_DG/dp/B0045JHJSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347825904&sr=1-1&keywords=asus+sound+card


    I use a Titanium HD since I watch movies, game, and listen to music through a good high quality pair of stereo headphones and sounds fantastic.

    http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Titanium-Internal-SB1270/dp/B0041OUA38/ref=sr_1_11?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347825904&sr=1-11&keywords=asus+sound+card


    Asus also has a really good card too if you have extra cash to blow, but it's not worth it if you're only gaming.

    http://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-XONAR-ESSENCE-STX-90-YAA0C0-0UAN00Z/dp/B001OV789U/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1347826335&sr=1-2&keywords=Asus+Xonar
  4. For most people without decent audio equipment, the ASUS Xonar DX is more then adequate. Anything higher grade then that is a waste without some decent speakers/headphones.

    If $70 is a bit too much, the ASUS Xonar DG(X) is a very good card at its price point.
  5. The primary uses would be for gaming, movies, itunes and skype.

    the speakers would be from the monitor or flat screen i have until i get a pair of quality speakers, not a bunch of them just like 2, 1 on each side of the monitor probably.

    the board has a PCI expressx1 and a PCI express 3.0 x16 slot, that should be sufficient in a sound card ?
  6. Best answer
    ASUS Xonar DX then.
  7. thank you!
  8. Best answer selected by treven.
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