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Anyone got a soundcard?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mehta23, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Android Expert
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    Just wondering if anyone has a soundcard other than the built in one in their computer.
    I have the Asus P8Z77 V-LX (a pretty cheap one) and have started looking at the Asus Xonar which isn't that expensive and if it's liekly to make a big difference, I'll be quick to get my hands on it.

    If it helps, my current headphones are the Bose OE1
     

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Any sound card like this should be an improvement to what's built into the mainboard. How big a difference all depends on what the built-in sound is like. The sound is only a vary minor part of any mainboard and reducing costs is a priority, particularly for the analogue components, like the caps and amp that drives the headphones or speakers, the mic pre-amplifier. etc. Do you think that your current sound is a bit noisy, lacking in bass and treble, the mic input might be particularly noisy and insensitive. If so there should be a very noticeable difference with using a card like the Xonar.

    You got good headphones, driving them with something quality should make a noticeable difference. The source has to match as well of course, so if it's something like low bit-rate 128kbps MP3s, they'll still sound like crap.
     
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  3. davoid

    davoid Android Expert
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    I have a Creative Soundblaster x-fi fatal1ty Extremegamer Pro which was cutting edge audio hardware when I bought it.

    It has dedicated hardware for separate audio streams that allows for superior 3d sound positioning in games. But unfortunately Microsoft changed the way they implemented audio from Vista onwards, and now hardly any games support this superior audio ability. Most games use software to process the audio. :(

    However, it still has awesome quality sound which can be identified by its signal/noise ratio. The higher the better. My card has studio-quality audio.

    I would use the signal/noise ratio as a deciding factor when choosing sound cards, as you may find that your motherboard's onboard sound has a high s/n ratio and is worth using. I agree with mike though, that a dedicated sound card is more likely to have a high s/n ratio because better components and design are implemented.

    This would be my main area of research. I suspect that the gaming audio features of your linked xonar card are also obsolete now because it seems like an old card, so check its signal/noise ratio to compare with other cards.
     
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  4. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Android Enthusiast
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    I've been an audio geek since I first ran the pc version of ff7 on an old sb16 card and wondered why it sounded nothing like the PlayStation. :p

    I started researching and down the rabbit hole I went. :D

    For a time, my main rig ran two sound cards simultaneously in Win98SE without complaint: an SB Audigy 2 ZS and a Yamaha hardware XG-MIDI card called the Maxi Sound Fortissimo.

    For the record, both behaved excellently, even when ran in tandem by my MIDI sequencer. :cool:
     
  5. Slug

    Slug Check six!
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    Yup, a venerable Creative X-fi Extreme which is only used for VOIP and gaming. In normal use I prefer silence. :)
     
  6. Dngrsone

    Dngrsone Android Expert
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    Not since I started using a laptop.

    I did want to get one of those motherboards with the vacuum-tube amplifiers built into it, but of course, they were way expensive (still are too much for my budget)

    Of course, they are terribly obsolete, now, but I wouldn't mind getting one to make a wall-sculpture with.
     
  7. Shocky

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    I have the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro, great card but as somebody mentioned above almost all games use software audio these days so as good as the card may be, it's features are mostly wasted.
     
  8. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Android Enthusiast
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    I have a feeling Microsoft made those changes in their sound architecture purely to disrupt the sound blaster monopoly......
     
  9. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Android Expert
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    What's a good, but fairly cheap soundcard?

    Just in case it makes a difference in deciding on a soundcard/if I need one, my motherboard has this : Realtek
     
  10. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Android Expert
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    I had another look through the net and found that a lot recommend the Xonar DG, but have a look here:

    Am I right in thinking that the DG will just make things louder?
     
  11. Slug

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    Not louder, clearer. The "dB" figure is a measure of the signal/ noise ratio, with a higher figure being better.
     
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  12. Joelgp83

    Joelgp83 Android Enthusiast
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    Exactly. You know those horrible speakers at the fast food drive thru that you can't hardly make out what they're saying? That's a low signal/noise ratio.:p
     
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  13. Mehta23

    Mehta23 Android Expert
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    Oh right, sounds good! Although the frequency number thing (forgot what it meant) seems to be quite a lot lower with the soundcard... Is this not bad?
     

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