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teffmyster

Best Soundcard!

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Hold on master_scythe the entire 'all you need is digital out' is extremely miss leading, the typical digital audio output is s/pdif. S/pdif is designed to output digital bitstreams both encoded and 'raw'. 'Raw' pcm signals are not compressed and retain all of the originally processed data, these are limited to stereo output. Bitstreams allow for multi channnel audio ie 5.1 to be output via s/pdif, an example of a bitstream is like you'd find on a dvd. The problem is s/pdif as standard will only produce 'raw' bitstreams not encoded bitstreams, such that the majority of motherboards digital outputs will not allow for 5.1 to be output from games etc. To get 5.1 out of games through s/pdif you need a dolby digital or dts encoder chip of some description on the motherboard, either built directly into the audio processor or as a stand alone unit. These aren't included on many motherboards, thus sometimes a seperate sound card with this capability will be required. As i posted previously T your motherboard has everything that you need for now, but should you ever upgrade you'll have to get either a motherboard or sound card with a dolby digital or dts encoder.

 

But other than that all things consider about T's needs:

-Mostly gaming

-Doesn't know particularly much about audio

-Seems to have an interest in learning more

 

I'd endorse the purchase of the z5500's for the time being, why?

Well for a little bit more than what you would have being paying for a sound card you'll get an audio upgrade that you will give you an upgrade that is 100% appreciate over what you have now. The z5500's aren't the best, no where even close. But you know what they are an excellent starting point for you, they have both analogue and digital connectivity so you can experiment with both options. Over time you may well develop a further interest in audio systems, at which point you can upgrade to suit.

Edited by m0zes

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all the points made by m0zes are true.

 

but all that means is you may need a cheap soundcard with the already mentioned above features rather than a $400 soundcard and sub par speakers you have.

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but all that means is you may need a cheap soundcard with the already mentioned above features rather than a $400 soundcard and sub par speakers you have.

True that, $100 buys you a sound card to get the job done. I think it's pretty safe to say that if your struggling to understand differences between digital and analogue output you probably aren't familiar enough with your own taste in audio to know what oamp to replace the stock unit with to make your favorite songs come to life for your ears. Replaceable components on a sound card are an excellent feature, but their purpose isn't so that you can install a "better" component but rather so that you can adjust the quality of the audio output to suit your own tastes.

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ok.... Yeh thnx everyone here i think i learnt abit :P. Tho i think i will get the D2X card because I will be useing analog stereo till see what to do next :P. The thing about the Z5500D speakers is i dont trust logitech. These speakers will have to last me through at least 2 computer changes so i want to keep my options open in the 5.1 surround speakers area. I will keep the Z5500D in mind though.

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Well, how long will two computer changes take?

 

It's not like consumer speakers change all that much over the years.

 

And it's not like buying a nice set of 5.1 speakers, and an amp/receiver, is cheap - or will be necessarily better than, say, logitech speakers, over the same time-frame (assuming 5 or 6 years).

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on the speakers you have now, you wont notice the difference between an old Soundblaster LIVE and a Xonar. dont waste the money. either take the step to digital or be content with the level you have.

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I use the fatalty1 sound card here. it is the one with 64mb onboard ram version, its still good, play music fine, game fine, movies fine. infact does everything fine.

 

what I look for in a snd card? The input/output and the onboard processor it has. plus support as many movie features you can, like dolby digital/THX (oh I love THX) stuff. other than that drivers. but to normal and I stress normal, most dedicated snd card sounds the same. the only difference is the drivers/control panel that allow you to tweak the sound output to either enchance experiences.

speakers wise I doubt many could hear the differences of most $200+ speakers, unless they are hi-fi speakers. and if you do have those, you normally use a pre-amp/amp anyway. so that beat the purpose of a snd card. as most onboard snd has optical output. which I believe are all the same.

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on the speakers you have now, you wont notice the difference between an old Soundblaster LIVE and a Xonar. dont waste the money. either take the step to digital or be content with the level you have.

 

Yes I know thats why im trying to look for a good set of 5.1's. Everyone saying the logitech ones but i siriously dont trust them and i always hear problems about them.....

 

 

Edit: Yay i finally found my speakers website, for anybody who was wondering what speakers i have look here http://www.bonoboss.co.kr/products1_conten...ind1=&no=24

Edited by teffmyster

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Teffy how much are you willing to spend on the speakers? If you go for a component system you can split up your purchases:

Purchase 1:

-Sound card

-5.1 reciever

-2x Bookshelf speakers

 

This will give you a very nice stereo system that you can gradually add more parts to

 

Purchase 2:

-Subwoofer

 

You've now got a 2.1 system, the subs added some low frequencies that have been missing from your system

 

Purchase 3:

-Rear speakers or fronts with current front being used for rear

-Centre speaker

 

Your system is now complete

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Teffy how much are you willing to spend on the speakers? If you go for a component system you can split up your purchases:

Purchase 1:

-Sound card

-5.1 reciever

-2x Bookshelf speakers

 

This will give you a very nice stereo system that you can gradually add more parts to

 

Purchase 2:

-Subwoofer

 

You've now got a 2.1 system, the subs added some low frequencies that have been missing from your system

 

Purchase 3:

-Rear speakers or fronts with current front being used for rear

-Centre speaker

 

Your system is now complete

 

I understand what your saying but i was thinking something like,

 

Purchase 1:

 

Soundcard

 

Purchase 2:

 

5.1 speaker system

 

Purchase 2:

 

Blu ray player

 

 

Its just abit more easier for me to understand that way.. Im intrested in the 5.1 receiver thing, what exactly is it, is it an amp? sorry for the noobish questions lol.

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Teffy how much are you willing to spend on the speakers? If you go for a component system you can split up your purchases:

Purchase 1:

-Sound card

-5.1 reciever

-2x Bookshelf speakers

 

This will give you a very nice stereo system that you can gradually add more parts to

 

Purchase 2:

-Subwoofer

 

You've now got a 2.1 system, the subs added some low frequencies that have been missing from your system

 

Purchase 3:

-Rear speakers or fronts with current front being used for rear

-Centre speaker

 

Your system is now complete

 

I understand what your saying but i was thinking something like,

 

Purchase 1:

 

Soundcard

 

Purchase 2:

 

5.1 speaker system

 

Purchase 2:

 

Blu ray player

 

 

Its just abit more easier for me to understand that way.. Im intrested in the 5.1 receiver thing, what exactly is it, is it an amp? sorry for the noobish questions lol.

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Ok just touching back to what we were talking about before, I get the D2X and i can plug the z5500D's in it straight away by optical or coxial, is that right?

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I understand what your saying but i was thinking something like,

 

Purchase 1:

 

Soundcard

 

Purchase 2:

 

5.1 speaker system

 

Purchase 2:

 

Blu ray player

 

 

Its just abit more easier for me to understand that way.. Im intrested in the 5.1 receiver thing, what exactly is it, is it an amp? sorry for the noobish questions lol.

In that case buy the sound card and 5.1 system together, as master_scythe has suggested your current speakers will not allow you to really appreciate the difference between the DX2 and onboard. Thus it's pointless making the purchase right now, your better of holding off until you've got the money to do the complete system at which point you will most certainly appreciate the difference.

 

As nick posted the receiver is the amp - put when you're looking at manufacturers websites they call them receivers, the amp forms part of the over all unit

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Ok just touching back to what we were talking about before, I get the D2X and i can plug the z5500D's in it straight away by optical or coxial, is that right?

That's correct, however the z5500's also come with analogue inputs. The digital to analogue conversion is better on the DX2 than in the z5500's, thus i'd recommend connecting the two together with analogue connectors as it will give you the best audio output from that particular configuration.

Edited by m0zes

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Ok just touching back to what we were talking about before, I get the D2X and i can plug the z5500D's in it straight away by optical or coxial, is that right?

That's correct, however the z5500's also come with analogue inputs. The digital to analogue conversion is better on the DX2 than in the z5500's, thus i'd recommend connecting the two together with analogue connectors as it will give you the best audio output from that particular configuration.

 

Sorry i dont understand.

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You get Xonar D2X and Z5500's now.

Xonar D2X goes in your computer.

Connect the Z5500's to Xonar D2X using the three Analogue Stereo Connectors. Do not use Optical or Coaxial.

 

It cannot be put any more simply.

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You get Xonar D2X and Z5500's now.

Xonar D2X goes in your computer.

Connect the Z5500's to Xonar D2X using the three Analogue Stereo Connectors. Do not use Optical or Coaxial.

 

It cannot be put any more simply.

I thought digital was better... oh well.

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When connecting the DX2 to the z5500's you have 2x options of how to connect the two together, or rather how to get the audio from the sound card to the speakers, they are analogue and digital. Sound by definition is an analogue output, we hear audio by waves [analogue] not 0 & 1 [digital]. While a computer might process audio digitally, at some point it has to be converted to an analogue signal so that we can hear it. The conversion from digital to analogue is where the final audio signal quality is determined, that is low quality components results in noise being added, frequencies lost, frequencies distorted, think of it as the signal being corrupted. With the DX2 + z5500 configuration there are 2x places where the digital to analogue conversion can take place, in the sound card and in the speaker system. If you want the conversion to take place in the speaker system, you use a digital connection, as the audio data will be transferred digitally. On the other hand if you want the sound card to do the digital to analogue conversion you use the analogue connectors. In this case the speakers do not process the signal, they send it straight to the amplifier which outputs to the speakers.

 

Which option should you choose?

What this comes down to is which device will give you the best digital to analogue conversion. With the DX2 + z5500 configuration the DX2 has a far better digital to analogue conversion, thus it will give you the best audio output. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the digital bitstream the z5500's would be converting to use 5.1 is actually compressed, that is audio data is purposefully removed from the signal to reduce the amount of data being transfered. This isn't the fault of the z5500's but rather it's how encoded 5.1 bitstreams work.

 

Digital audio better/worse?

 

Realistically digital audio is worse, the only reason we use digital audio is because analogue audio in it's native form is infinitely massive in terms of the amount of data and thus processing power require to work with it. Digital audio was introduced to over come this limitation, engineers basically said right the human ear can hear x, y, z, so we will simplify the analogue signal to digital using these parameters, now audio can be easily processed and stored.

Edited by m0zes

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ooooo i thought that connecting it to a sound card by analog it will be analog sound and connecting it by optical it will be digital sound..

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Along with what m0zoes said.

 

When you listen to your music on mp3 or videos on avi, the audio is compressed (digital, 1's and 0's). You want to convert this digital audio (1's and 0's) to something you can hear ie a sound wave.

 

To do this you need a Digital to Analogue converter (DACs). These DACs can be found in sound cards and 'receivers' (like the one on the Z5500's).

 

Essentially the more money you spend, the better DACs you get.

 

With a sound card the digital audio gets converted to analogue audio and sent over the analogue connections to the speakers.

With Z5500's the digital audio can get sent straight from the computer (essentially bypassing the sound card) to the Z5500's receiver, where the DAC's then convert the digital audio to analogue.

 

The DACs on the sound card are better than the DACs in the Z5500 receiver.

So you get better sound quality by converting on the sound card, not the speakers.

Edited by Barry The Penguin

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Nope what you end up hearing will always be analogue.

 

That's a nice way of putting it barry

Edited by m0zes

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