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Considering getting a sound card

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I'm currently using onboard audio, and it's mediocre (as you'd expect). It doesn't help that noise is introduced from my overclocking adventures. So I'm looking for a decent audio card without spending a fortune.

 

At this point in time I'm eyeing the ASUS Xonar DX. Reviews seem to praise it.

 

My budget is around the $100 mark. Should I be considering anything else? Thanks.

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i just bought this http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...roducts_id=8169

i love it, im by no means an audiophile but it makes my low bitrate mp3s sound awsome and lets me set the sub cutoff in control panel.

no driver problems i had no driver problems with my old xfi fatality fps when i bought it when vista came out either.

i havent tried an auzentech or asus card so i cant compare them.

im happy with my purchase.

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dont bother spending the extra $80 bucks. Most comp shops will either have second handies, or a $15-25 option. Spending $100 on sound is just overkill, unless you ARE an audiophile, in which case you wont notice FUCK ALL difference anyways.

 

Its like buying a HSV calais instead of a barina. does the same thing, just different. And cheap.

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drive both and tell me they are the same! i know what i would drive.

you can tell the difference ask atomicans if they can hear the difference.

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Cars:

point taken, yes, more comfy, more power. But considering that by law its limited, it SHOULD only be doin the same thing.

Computers:

Unless you're intending to set this up for a htpc, or just a 7.1 system to pump your music, it shouldn't matter.

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May I make a huge and 'wacky' suggestion?

 

Find a USB sound card normally used for DJing or audio work.

 

Some can be had VERY cheap (i'll try find some examples).

 

1. being outside the case, less chance for noise

2. Being studio gear even the cheapest 'crap' is usually better than a PC card (though MAY have less processing options\features. If you ever use them)

3. a USB soundcard means you now have a better selection of outputs\inputs. As you have 2. I use my $2 USB soundcard for my headset+mic, so skype and games can have dedicated control, and I can still play music through my speakers. its awesome.

 

Lemme find some cheap exmaples.

 

http://www.storedj.com.au/products/BEH-UCA202

Edited by Master_Scythe

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im trying to track down a internal DJ spec sound card...its next to impossiable...without spending a forturne...

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im trying to track down a internal DJ spec sound card...its next to impossiable...without spending a forturne...

The old Audigy 2 with breakout box. Has 2 inputs, 2 outputs, top quality audio. With ASIO4ALL i got it down to 16ms on my system.

 

why would you ever want one INTERNAL anyway? If you're djing get a decent laptop (ironically; a macbook is a good idea) or a nice external one (NativeInstruments audio interface - used with Traktor Scratch Duo, Serato Scratch Live Hardware V3, etc)

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true..having a lappy with a external one is good for trakktor and ableton use and sticking with a asus,creative or other name internal ("gaming") sound card for desktop...

Edited by jdog

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I like the ASUS cards but this is in your price zone too.

 

http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-studio.php

 

This one isn't much over $100.

 

http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-raider.php

What's the advantage of going Auzentech over ASUS? Apart from them being a little cheaper, that is.

 

I'm trying to keep well away from Creative after they screwed people with shitty drivers, then targeted the community which hacked them to work.

 

May I make a huge and 'wacky' suggestion?

 

Find a USB sound card normally used for DJing or audio work.

Internal solutions seem to have better bang for buck, so I'll stick with them.

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USB interfaces aren't that great for music production. Sometimes they work, but at latency levels low enough to practical enough for real time use, you run into bandwidth problems. It's fine if you are just playing back music, but if you want to run ins and outs simultaneously, for example record and monitor, or run external audio through the computer for effects processing, you will get clicks and pops. Firewire is the only way to go. This is a different topic to the op though.

 

I don't think there is much of a difference in cheap audio cards, about as similar as the different kinds of supermarket bread. Onboard is the worst, so anything is a step up.

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Internal solutions seem to have better bang for buck, so I'll stick with them.

fair enough I guess; but whats 'Bang for Buck' for you?

 

For me its clarity and hardware features. Hence why I stay away from the big names in PC cards; none are as good as an entry level 'performer' card (though with sound thats all oppinion).

 

 

I assume you're looking for things like THX certification, Virtual Surround, special effects, and all the widgets that come with PC sound cards?

Which is fair enough; a lot of people like em.

 

I personally only use 2.0 or 2.1 sound and all I do is game a bit and listen to a lot of music; so the above wasnt important for me. All I ever want is decent DAC's really.

 

USB interfaces aren't that great for music production. Sometimes they work, but at latency levels low enough to practical enough for real time use, you run into bandwidth problems. It's fine if you are just playing back music, but if you want to run ins and outs simultaneously, for example record and monitor, or run external audio through the computer for effects processing, you will get clicks and pops. Firewire is the only way to go. This is a different topic to the op though.

 

I don't think there is much of a difference in cheap audio cards, about as similar as the different kinds of supermarket bread. Onboard is the worst, so anything is a step up.

USB 2.0 and ASIO drivers are all thats needed; I can vouch 100% on that. Latency down to 16ms, inputting and outputting at the same time, on a single core machine, and it was flawless.

 

Ive also run 2 of those cards at once off a hub before i got a propper digital DJ setup, even the 2 cards working at once didnt cause any issues. I didnt notice any human audiable problem untill 6ms; but the testing tools recommended 16ms; and it was lag free enough for my needs; so it sat there.

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fair enough I guess; but whats 'Bang for Buck' for you?

 

For me its clarity and hardware features. Hence why I stay away from the big names in PC cards; none are as good as an entry level 'performer' card (though with sound thats all oppinion).

 

I assume you're looking for things like THX certification, Virtual Surround, special effects, and all the widgets that come with PC sound cards?

Which is fair enough; a lot of people like em.

 

I personally only use 2.0 or 2.1 sound and all I do is game a bit and listen to a lot of music; so the above wasnt important for me. All I ever want is decent DAC's really.

Clarity is the main thing for me. Special EQ effects would be nice to enhance some of the tracks I have which were recorded by a bunch of chimps.

 

The main thing I like about internal solutions is that they're out of the way.

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I'll bet weren't running two inputs and outputs at the same time on both interfaces on the same hub. No way that there would be bandwidth. For an output only set up it's ok. If I remember correctly, recording a stereo in and monitoring direct with the latency set high was ok using an M-Audio Fast Track. Recording and monitoring through the computer at the same time, forget it. USB 2 just isn't consistent enough. Hardware monitoring is the way all USB interfaces get around the bandwidth problem.

 

^in response to scythe's post. On iphone. CBF editing (:

Edited by komuso

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well Clarity is damn good with 48 kHz converters.

 

But yeah some internals will do that too. Its just much cheaper to go USB and it guarantees its away from your noisy RF overclocked chips. Each to their own.

 

For others who may be interested i'll try find a review. I'm curious on other peoples experiences too now....

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well Clarity is damn good with 48 kHz converters.

 

But yeah some internals will do that too. Its just much cheaper to go USB and it guarantees its away from your noisy RF overclocked chips. Each to their own.

 

For others who may be interested i'll try find a review. I'm curious on other peoples experiences too now....

Actually, USB is the worst thing to use on an overclocked machine. It gets affected by noise quite significantly. Edited by .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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But its digital.... noise shouldnt matter as long as the 1's and 0's make it through.

 

To compare to a human.

 

10101010101 is easy to read

I01O1ol0101 is not as easy; but its still clearly the 'same thing' to decode.

 

I'm sure you already know all this >< but to a PC digital signals and noise dont matter as long as its still decodable.

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It depends how it's made. USB devices use power from the USB port. If that power is noisy, it can cause weird issues. Put it this way, if I connect my speakers via USB to charge them, I can hear my mouse movements through the speaker via crackle. Perhaps your solution can clean a bad power input, but either way, I don't want external because my brother will try to rip it out and perhaps attempt to eat it.

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im trying to track down a internal DJ spec sound card...its next to impossiable...without spending a forturne...

The old Audigy 2 with breakout box. Has 2 inputs, 2 outputs, top quality audio. With ASIO4ALL i got it down to 16ms on my system.

 

why would you ever want one INTERNAL anyway? If you're djing get a decent laptop (ironically; a macbook is a good idea) or a nice external one (NativeInstruments audio interface - used with Traktor Scratch Duo, Serato Scratch Live Hardware V3, etc)

 

I have one. With the 5.25 bay box and all - it was in my computer (still is I guess - but the computer no longer works). Had great sound!

Edited by TazFromOz

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Cheap external ones are shit.

They're usually worse than onboard.

 

Pro ones are great but cost more than in internal equivalent.

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ROFL Cyber; I assume you have a young brother or likewise.

 

However my mind came to some type of cyborg devouring tech. "NO BROTHER! I NEED THAT FOR SOUND!" "mmmm DAC's"

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ROFL Cyber; I assume you have a young brother or likewise.

 

However my mind came to some type of cyborg devouring tech. "NO BROTHER! I NEED THAT FOR SOUND!" "mmmm DAC's"

1 year old sibling. He's already broken the antenna off my tower, and he makes a daily effort to trash my room...

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