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We need YOU...to give me suggestions on a new card

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Anonymous
April 2, 2002 3:51:43 AM

Well, I made the upgrade to XP, and whaddya know, my AUreal card doesn't work. Poor guy, looks like it's e-bay for you. Anyways, so looks like I'm in the market for a new sound-card, and I need some help.

Now, I want a good card, but not something top-of-the-line. I could buy a card that has 6 channels, inputs for mini-discs, guitars, and the computer gods know what else - but then again, I would be paying for 90% of what I don't need.

What I'm looking for is a card that has good sound, more than one analogue output, and an input for a mic. I'm going to be using it mainly for gaming and MP3's, but not anything like a 5.1 home theater system (don't have one of those).

Basically, I want a good card, but one thats not overloaded with features that I'm never going to use (i.e. some of those Creative cards). Can you guys offer any suggestions?

More about : give suggestions card

April 2, 2002 5:09:13 AM

Crashman will kill you when he finds out you're ditching your Aureal card.

Have you looked around <A HREF="http://www.vortexofsound.com" target="_new">here</A> yet?

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
Anonymous
April 2, 2002 3:09:32 PM

Yeah I tried the drivers off of there. The problem is kinda odd, though (both with the MS drivers and those drivers): when I first load WinXP up, I get sound. But after a few seconds of playing a sound, or when two sounds are supposed to play the same time, the sound just stops. When I go into WinAmp and try and play something, it reads for a second, then stops - but no sound is coming out. Windows Media player does something similar: it reads for a second, stops for a few, reads for a few more seconds, stops, reads then stops - all while no sound is coming out. It's as if the poor thing is struggling to work, but it can't under XP.

I just remembered this morning that I have a on-board sound card that I disabled a while back, so that's my sound for now until I get a new card or fix the ol' Aureal one.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by SSSuperDanman on 04/02/02 11:12 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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Anonymous
April 3, 2002 7:56:19 PM

So, do you guys have any suggestions on a new card?
April 3, 2002 10:15:02 PM

So far, I found that just using the driver included in Windows XP are best.

Here are some links for that card:
<A HREF="http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/chris.day/vortex.html" target="_new">Unofficial Vortex 2 FAQ</A>
<A HREF="http://aureal.cjb.net/" target="_new">Quantex Zone</A>
<A HREF="http://www.vortexofsound.com/forum.htm" target="_new">Vortex Of Sound Forums</A>

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red>
April 3, 2002 11:15:14 PM

Absolutely, though he did say he didn't want features he'd never use.

BTW, I haven't seen you on Tribes recently. You still playing?

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
April 4, 2002 12:00:59 AM

Hey Burger, do they make a Vertical Stand for the BOX that comes with the Game Theater...

Measure Twice, Cut Once!!
April 4, 2002 12:41:43 AM

yep i'm still playing but not as much got more school work now becuse the sysmster is over in 6 weeks

<font color=red>Gasoline + Fire</font color=red><font color=green> Can be a lot of fun</font color=green> :smile: :smile: :smile:
Anonymous
April 4, 2002 2:41:35 AM

From that FAQ:
"The situation with Windows XP is the same as in Windows 2000. This means that with some VIA and AMD based motherboards, some users will experience sound drop-out after a few seconds."

Stupid Via board....

Luckily, they had this:
"Q) My Vortex 2 soundcard cuts out after a few
seconds/minutes/hours in Windows 2000.
A) Please refer to the instructions on <A HREF="http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/chris.day/vortex 2 fix.html" target="_new">this page</A>"

Unluckily, that page doesn't exist! Anyone know what "fix" they were talking about here?
April 4, 2002 4:28:00 PM

No, but I'm sure you could just prop it up against something if you wanted.

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
April 5, 2002 6:51:25 AM

Check into the Sound Blaster Audigy, thats what I use.
www.creative.com will have information on it
if you want to buy one search for audigy on www.pricewatch.com should be able to get just the card with drivers only for like $50 or less.

No box but who cares. This card sounds awesome.
Has 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converters and 100dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
Versus the 16bit/48Khz specs on the Hercules card.

Also all the Audigys come with a firewire port if you dont have firewire already.

for the money the sound of this thing is absolutely incredible.

Also if you game its the card to have definitly, you get EAX (3d audio standard) 1/2 and the new EAX Advanced which is simply amazing. Its also backwards compatible with older DOS games if you use Win9X.

Also it does Dolby Digital (AC3) decoding so if you watch DVDs or if games start coming out with DD you are ready with an audigy.
With the hercules you have to use Powerdvd, Audigy will decode AC3 through any game or program you throw at it.

I've got friends with that hercules card and its got lots of inputs/outputs but I dont think it meets the quality of the Audigys output.
I dont think the 100dB SNR of the audigy is matched by the Hercules board but I couldnt find the herc specs anywhere.

Pricewatch
Audigy $50
GameTheater XP $87

your choice but you have the info..
some claim problems with audigys compatibilitys but I've owned sound blaster cards since their release in the 80s and I've never had a problem but I don't use cheap components either, many times problems get blamed on the wrong parts.
For instance a friend of mine got the 'squeel of death' that he thought was his audigy but he replaced his power supply with a good one and it never happened again..

so think about it.

Athlon XP 1700+,KT266A,Geforce3
April 5, 2002 12:59:12 PM

I have the Audigy too and I agree it's a steal for $50-60, but a couple comments:

1. The Firewire port is not 100% compatible with the 1394 standard.

2. The AC3 decoding only decodes the *audio* and it's *not* hardware accelerated, purely software decoding. You still need PowerDVD or similar to decode the video. Also, in my opinion, PowerDVD does a better job at decoding the audio as well, so you're better off just turning it off on the Audigy.

3. Like any PCI sound card, it's not fully DOS compatible. It can fool *many* DOS games into thinking it's a real SB16, but there are also many it can't. There's no way around this except to run a true ISA SB16 alongside the Audigy. Also, the Audigy continues the Live's travesty of not being able to use hardware MIDI (Soundfont) in a DOS box. Instead, it uses the software synthesizer, which sounds like junk. The Aureal cards could do this. Again, the only solution if you want the Audigy is to also run an ISA SB16 with a nice MIDI daughterboard on the Waveblaster connector.

Anyway, it's indisputable that the Audigy's sound quality beats the pants off all of Creative's previous offerings. They finally got rid of the cheap DACs. No more background hiss and no more muddled clarity.

Ritesh
April 5, 2002 3:50:06 PM

Quote:
Has 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converters and 100dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).


Check the recent review of the Extigy, Tom doesn't seem to agree with you on that.

I've listened to both the Audigy and Game Theater XP (which I have), and the Game Theater XP is far superior in 3D positioning and sound quality. Also, the EAX is screwed up with the Audigy, at least when using the drivers I was at the time (not sure which version they were, it was another person's computer).

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
April 5, 2002 5:47:35 PM

Whoa...didn't see that one. My card's still be dropping out on me sometimes. I'm gonna email Chris (Quantex Zone webmaster) and ask him what's up with the dead link. I need to get this fixed.

<b>Edit:</b> You gotta go to his main page first. <A HREF="http://quantex.cjb.net/" target="_new">Link</A> Then, click the link for "<A HREF="http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/chris.day/vortexfix.html" target="_new">Vortex 2 2000/XP fixes here</A>"

<font color=red><A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com" target="_new">btvillarin.com</A> - My Windows XP-based Website</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by btvillarin on 04/05/02 10:51 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 5, 2002 6:16:05 PM

Its not agreeing with me, its agreeing with the card producers themselves.

In fact if you can't get 100dB SNR out of the audigy then it would be false advertising and I bet you they got 100sometime, somehow somewhere. I dont think 90dB SNR is anything to sneeze at.

Either way its still the better card. I'd rather have the security knowing that if games start coming out with EAX Advanced I have it.
I'd still rather have AC3 decoding in the drivers like the Audigy rather than nothing like the Gametheater XP, if games start using 5.1 surround I'll be ready for it and I don't have to use Power DVD (which doesnt play games :p )

Neither card is suitable for professional work so arguing that is a moot point.

Athlon XP 1700+,KT266A,Geforce3, Audigy.. 'nuff said.
April 5, 2002 7:27:34 PM

Quote:
Its not agreeing with me, its agreeing with the card producers themselves.


That's basically what I meant, I said it badly. Sorry about that.

Quote:
In fact if you can't get 100dB SNR out of the audigy then it would be false advertising and I bet you they got 100sometime, somehow somewhere. I dont think 90dB SNR is anything to sneeze at.


90dB isn't terrible, but if I buy something based on the fact that I get 100dB (which I personally probably wouldn't), then I want to actually get 100dB.

Quote:
I'd rather have the security knowing that if games start coming out with EAX Advanced I have it.


Advanced HD is very nice, but it's odd no games have it yet (to my knowledge). Hopefully other cards will start to support it soon, which will give competition and help get it into the market sooner, games-wise.

Quote:
I'd still rather have AC3 decoding in the drivers like the Audigy rather than nothing like the Gametheater XP, if games start using 5.1 surround I'll be ready for it


"Start"? Games have had surround support for a while now.

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
Anonymous
April 5, 2002 8:31:57 PM

Ahh, thanks, I'll try this fix out soon. But I still think I'm going to get a new card - doesn't feel right having a card that isn't officially supported anymore.

Like with my ol' Geforce256 - it may be the first of the GeForce series with only 32 megs of ram, but because nVidia still releases drivers for it, with the newest drivers, I can play Counter-Strike at 1024x768 with a framerate of around 60-70 no sweat - something the origional drivers couldn't have done.

New drivers <i>do</i> bring improvements to old hardware, and since Aureal isn't coming out with new drivers anytime soon, I think it's time to get a new card =/
April 5, 2002 9:10:04 PM

The XP drivers work just fine for me on two boards, an ECS k7s5a and an intel815 MSI-6337. I think that you trouble most likely resides with the chipset of the motherboard you are using ( if VIA ) yo may wan't to try the latancy patch's that some report help cure Soundbalster problems.

It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
April 6, 2002 6:05:33 AM

I forgot about my dolby digital games, I always play them in 4speaker EAX mode anyway.
I'm a little peeved about the 100db issue but oh well i got plenty of card and a firewire port cheaply.

Athlon XP 1700+,KT266A,Geforce3, Audigy.. 'nuff said.
April 6, 2002 6:37:55 AM

Yeah, I wouldn't let the 100dB SNR or 24/96 bother you too much.

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
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