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Is a sound card worth the big bucks?

Last response: in Components
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January 16, 2013 1:31:00 AM

I'm building a new rig and, for the first time, thinking about getting a sound card. The one I have my eye on is this one:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/creative-sound-blaster-r...

What I want to know is, is it really worth it. Will there be £70 worth of a difference between that and the onboard sound. Mind you, I'm using the infamous Logitech X-530, so nothing that high-end. If not, could you please recommend one that's best value for money.

Here's the rig:

MBO: ASROCK Z77 Extreme 4
CPU: Intel core i7 3770
GPU: Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce 3X
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB @ 1600mhz
PSU: Corsair CX750M
January 16, 2013 1:34:27 AM

Not if you have high quality speakers such as ie Audioengine 5+, since your running Logitechs I would stay with integrated sound which is damn fine as it is to be honest!
January 16, 2013 6:46:18 AM

If U Dont Mind Bad Audio Then dont Just Get New Speakers
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January 16, 2013 7:17:48 AM

If you've not got £200 headphone or a massive speaker setup then you won't notice the difference as your speakers will give a crappy sound whatever
January 16, 2013 10:59:31 AM

First off, I recommend against the Recon3D. Audiophiles slammed the series, and Creative has already replaced the line with the new Z series of cards. At that price point, the ASUS Xonar DX makes much more sense.

Secondly, you'd probably be able to hear the difference on a X-530 setup, but the better the speakers, the more a soundcard matters.
January 26, 2013 10:36:02 PM

Absolutely, a sound card WILL help you! Don't listen to people that say you need to spend "X" amount to hear the benefits... I hate how my hobby (Hi-Fi audio) has gotten to where the word "audiophile" is almost like branding oneself a snob. I own, use, and ENJOY equipment (speakers/headphones/DACs/Receivers/Amps/etc) that range from $30 to $7,500 and I have found one thing to be true in the "audiophile" world: COST DOES NOT EQUAL QUALITY (BUT SIMPLY TELLING SOMEONE THAT "SPEAKER X" COST SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN "SPEAKER Y" WILL MAKE THEM GREATLY FAVOR "SPEAKER Y" EVEN IF IT IS THE ULTRA-CHEAP ONE)!!!


If you plan on using headphones exclusively, the Asus Xonar DX or Essence STX will be the best card for you, from my experience.

However, if you plan on using speakers AND headphones (switching between them), the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD is your best bet.
The Z/Zx/ZxR are unproven at this point, and honestly I have to REALLY TRY to hear ANY difference between the Zx and the Ti HD, and that is with KRK Expose' E8B studio monitors (bi-amped w pure-silver 12AWG wiring) powered by a McIntosh amplifier....

TL;DR VERSION:
Headphones - ASUS DX/STX
Speakers (and headphones) - Creative Titanium HD
!