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johnny05

Sound card vs Onboard sound?

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I'm currently using onboard sound "Realtek on-board ALC889A" with my Yamaha 2.1 desktop speakers.

but I've been thinking about buying the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium PCIE.

Am I going to be able to tell the difference? will everything sound better? is it worth it?

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I got a Creative Xfi Extreme Audio and it kicks the shit out of the realtek onboard, fair bit more clarity in music especially, although im no audiophile, but it was logic who told me that i would hear a difference when others said i wouldnt...glad i listened.

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Yeah I have a creative xfi extreme audio too. Even though its an older chip. Still rounds so much better then onboard.

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Yeah I have a creative xfi extreme audio too. Even though its an older chip. Still rounds so much better then onboard.

And if you're a gamer the performance benefits between onboard and a card are instantly noticeable for high end games...

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For anybody reading this thread, yes a sound card beats onboard any day!!!

 

About 3 months ago I got fed up with the sound from my PC - onboard Realtek, el-cheapo miniature amp and bookshelf speakers - due largely to the noise (barely perceptible hissing coming and crackling, slightly fuzzy sound), and dug out an old Audigy 2 card. At the time that was one of the best, and mine is the Platinum model with the external box with heaps of connectivity. It had sat in a box for a few years for a few years after an embarrassing first attempt at an HTPC way back when. It was actually an experiment - I figured that a couple of years progress would have meant the once-mighty card was, due to the march of progress, now an average performer and the Realtek probably by now out-performed it. Mostly, the reason I installed it was for the external box to put a headphone socket in easy reach. My initial diagnosis was that the cheap amp was the source of the problem.

 

After tracking down the drivers in Creative's obsolete products ghetto I listened to an MP3 without expecting much. And got blown away by the sheer awesomeness of the experience. Initial skepticism blown completely out of the water! Oh, and plugging in to the cheap amp showed that it wasn't the amp causing the problems. I replaced it anyway: another old bit of gear - a pre-HDMI AV receiver I couldn't even give away, and was consequently sitting on the floor looking untidy.

 

Since then, after reading theDude's post (http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=17911) I started using the 24-bit Winamp plugin and am currently re-encoding most of my CDs using FLAC. At each point I approached the issue expecting to hear no difference or just insufficient benefit (FLAC files, while much smaller than WAVs, are still a lot bigger than MP3s for instance, so I wanted audibly better results before starting to invest the weekends it's going to need to do the collection along with the extra disk space required).

 

My advice as a result of this? It won't take much to find a reasonable sound card that will do a better job than onboard audio. It's not a huge investment (of course, that assumes you care in the first place - obviously there's not much value if your priorities lie elsewhere). Remain skeptical though - if it's free test it for yourself and compare, if it's going to cost money track down a review site that isn't awed by big pricetags and make sure that you aren't being scammed by an upmarket Nigerian in a lab coat (obscenely expensive HDMI cables spring to mind here). But in the end, temper skepticism with some enthusiasm. After all, at the end of the day it's a good investment if it makes you want to go back and listen to your whole collection from the beginning to find out what you were missing out on last time, right?

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which card is best?

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium PCIE or Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1 Cinema or ASUS Xonar Essence STX

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which card is best?

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium PCIE or Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1 Cinema or ASUS Xonar Essence STX

From the post I linked above...

 

There's a sound card comparison on OCAU.

This is the consensus:

Overall order for Music:

Xonar STX

Xonar D2X = Auzen Forte

Xonar DX

X-Fi Titanium

Auzen X-plosion 7.1

Xonar U1

X-Fi Xtreme Music

 

Overall order for Gaming:

Auzen Forte

X-Fi Titanium

Xonar D2X

Xonar STX = Xonar DX

X-Fi Xtreme Music

Xonar U1

Auzen X-plosion 7.1

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which card is best?

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium PCIE or Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1 Cinema or ASUS Xonar Essence STX

From the post I linked above...

 

There's a sound card comparison on OCAU.

This is the consensus:

Overall order for Music:

Xonar STX

Xonar D2X = Auzen Forte

Xonar DX

X-Fi Titanium

Auzen X-plosion 7.1

Xonar U1

X-Fi Xtreme Music

 

Overall order for Gaming:

Auzen Forte

X-Fi Titanium

Xonar D2X

Xonar STX = Xonar DX

X-Fi Xtreme Music

Xonar U1

Auzen X-plosion 7.1

I can confirm that the "PCI EXPRESS" X-FI cards that ship with many ASUS and MSI boards are defintely stronger than onboard sound, but not quite as good as a standalone card.. take it from an audiophile.

 

1000

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I've had both the Xonar D2X and X-Fi Titanium. I stuck with the Xonar D2X in the end. Drivers seem better and it can do a few things the X-Fi can't.

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I've had both the Xonar D2X and X-Fi Titanium. I stuck with the Xonar D2X in the end. Drivers seem better and it can do a few things the X-Fi can't.

Are these new "fancy pants" non-creative cards compatible with older games ?

 

1000

 

I've had both the Xonar D2X and X-Fi Titanium. I stuck with the Xonar D2X in the end. Drivers seem better and it can do a few things the X-Fi can't.

Are these new "fancy pants" non-creative cards compatible with older games ?

 

1000

 

and on the same subject, What's the difference between the XFI "TITANIUM" cards and the XFI "EXTREME AUDIO/GAMER" range ? I can't see any difference at all.

 

1000

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I can confirm that the "PCI EXPRESS" X-FI cards that ship with many ASUS and MSI boards are defintely stronger than onboard sound, but not quite as good as a standalone card.. take it from an audiophile.

I can confirm that the "PCI EXPRESS" X-FI card contains an ADI AD2000B chip and isn't a true X-FI card. It is just like an X-FI Xtreme Audio card. It will make your cpu work harder as all the X-FI bells and whistles are emulated in software. Steer clear of those add in cards.

 

Are these new "fancy pants" non-creative cards compatible with older games?

'Fancy Pants'?... I don't understand. Do you know anything about the Xonar cards?... They would be even more compatible with games than the X-FI cards are; especially with all the driver issues creative have had.

Edited by Barry The Penguin

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realtek onboard soundcards have caused me nothing but greif.

 

a few months ago i baught a DSE brand sound card that hadnt been manufactured since two years before my motherboard. not did it sound better, it was more stable, had better driver support and a far superior midi synth.

 

get away from realtek. replace it with a brick oif you have to.

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which card is best?

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium PCIE or Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1 Cinema or ASUS Xonar Essence STX

From the post I linked above...

 

There's a sound card comparison on OCAU.

This is the consensus:

Overall order for Music:

Xonar STX

Xonar D2X = Auzen Forte

Xonar DX

X-Fi Titanium

Auzen X-plosion 7.1

Xonar U1

X-Fi Xtreme Music

 

Overall order for Gaming:

Auzen Forte

X-Fi Titanium

Xonar D2X

Xonar STX = Xonar DX

X-Fi Xtreme Music

Xonar U1

Auzen X-plosion 7.1

 

Some people must have you on 'ignore' Barry!?

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I'm gonna get me a Xonar card for Christmas, I reckon.

Attached to?

 

I'm still using my Yamaha amp and 3 way speakers from the 70's!

As detailed in another thread.

 

Hopefully I'll have a pair of AKG 701/702's by then so I can fiddle with the op amps!

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