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looking for a good high def surround sound vid card


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33 replies to this topic

#1 triggerhappypappy

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 08:49 PM

Hello, I am looking for a good high def surround sound video card. I have a windows xp home 32 bit computer.
Also I am considering updating my motherboard,but not sure on how to do this.
any help would be great!
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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 04:28 PM

Most HDMI capable video cards that support surround sound pass though aren't that good. Some cards allow for a connection to an audio card that will improve sound quality. Most GeForce 9 and ATI 4xxx series cards allow for audio pass through, but note that DVI does not transmit audio, only video. You will need to use an HDMI cable. If you're planning on updating your motherboard, you will need to purchase a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM. You will also have to reinstall the operating system. Which boards have you been looking at?

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#3 triggerhappypappy

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:09 PM

would it be cheaper to but a new computer? how much would it cost to upgrade as you suggested?(a rough estimate will do).
As for the motherboard, I really haven't put much thought into it. what kind of motherboard would you suggest?
I might just settle with a high quality surround sound,considering our economic situation. It seems like a lot of work and money.
If you don't mind, I would like to have some help with this!
Thank you..
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#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:46 PM

How much it would cost depends on a few factors. Do you want to use your current CPU? If so, what is it? Do you want to use your current RAM? If so, what RAM do you have? If you answer no, the choices are limited only by your budget and speed requirements. The cost can be, if you want to use quality parts, $300 and up. I'm replacing a CPU, Motherboard, and RAM on a PC and it costs about $350. That $350 has a quad-core Phenom processor, an Asus motherboard, and 8GB of RAM. If you want to use a high def video card capable of audio pass-though with the PC, you will need an HDMI card and monitor/television. A good alternative, is to use the DVI connection found on most video cards for video, and connect your audio to a quality sound card that has multiple outputs. I'm very impressed with the Xonar line of cards.

Sound Cards

ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express - I have this card, it's expensive but very nice. You should know that it is PCI-express and requires a connection to your power supply. It's a little more involved installing it. It also comes with a suite of audio creation tools making it a high-quality pro-sumer card.
ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Ultra Fidelity Sound Card with Complete Dolby/DTS Sound Technologies - This is the standard PCI version of the card above and includes all of its features. Unlike the first card, it does not require a connection to your power supply making installation easier. It's great if you have an older PC without any free PCI-express slots.
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express Interface Sound Card - This is the stripped down version of the D2X card above and has the same power supply requirements.
ASUS Xonar D1 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Once again, this is like the DX card above but for standard PCI slots.

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#5 the_patriot11

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 01:59 AM

this card, when its in stock again, will give you your HD sound, this is assuming of course, your running a more modern computer with a HD capable video card and blue ray drive and your motherboard has a PCI express x1 lane. it supports full HD, through either HDMI or HD cables, and this thing will kick some serious tail, unfortunatly its also valued at 240 bucks, hehe kinda pricey but be worth the money if you want your machine to be a good media machine. by the way, you really dont need 8 gigs of ram to play HD content, ive ran it on my 22 inch widescreen at home at the full 1080p with only 2 gigs, though in todays world it wouldnt hurt to use 4, and as long as your CPU is somewhat modern (doesnt have to be high end for HD, just say a dual core 2 ghz or above be my recomendation) and a good HD video card-were talking prolly ATI 3xxx series or nvidia 9xxx series or better, then you'll do fine. anyway heres the link for the card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16829132008 unfortunatly its 240 bucks, so its quite pricey

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

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#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 06:54 PM

The card you linked to is out of stock. You don't need 8GB of RAM for movies, but RAM is cheap so if you could afford it, go for it. I say stick with DVI for the video signal and use the sound card to get the best surround output, that way you can have the best in both ends.

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#7 the_patriot11

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 03:05 AM

well, you cant argue with that logic, and that card will be in stock soon but the ones you listed work good to, I didnt take a close look at them my bad. but thats the way Id do it to-run the HD through the vid card and get a sound card like this. :D

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#8 triggerhappypappy

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 09:23 PM

My computer (bought in 2004) is a hp pavillion a867c. Intel pentium 4 processor /hyper thread technology. 1 gig ram.
250 gb hard drive. Intel graphics accelerator 900 w/ upto 128mb shared video memory
processor speed 3.40 ghz.When I bought it in 04 it was really nice .now its just ok! I want to upgrade my ram for sure.
I have no clue as far as the motherboard is concerned.
Based on what I have shown above, What do you recommend I do?

Thanks for your help!!
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#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 10:03 PM

Five years, for me, is a good lifespan for a PC without a major overhaul. Problem is, many of HP's PC's are designed with proprietary power supply connectors making a motherboard replacement a bit tricky. However, when I put your model number into Google, I see that an off-the-shelf power supply is suggested, so you may not have those connectors. Your PC is quite old in technological terms. If you were to upgrade your video card, it will be bottlenecked by the CPU and your power supply may not be able to provide enough power. If you want to upgrade this PC, you should spend as little money on it as possible now since it is obsolete and you will need to either build or buy a new one soon anyways. If you wish to upgrade your RAM, you can get up to 4GB of DDR-400 memory, like the G.SKILL Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory kit. If you wanted 4GB, you, obviously, would need two kits. Note that the memory standard, DDR-400, is old and being phased out. This means that the memory costs more than newer models.

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#10 triggerhappypappy

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 09:20 PM

I was looking inside my computer and it seemed like there was no vid card/as if it was (built in) if you know what I mean..

That's a bummer.I was afraid something like this would happen. Honestly,my computer really isn't that bad. It still rates above average in most cases.I will take your advice on upgrading the ram to 4 gigs.That should speed her up pretty good Huh?
It will cost roughly $140 for both sets.What kind of improvements should I expect?

I can live without high def for now.How about making what I have better! I have 3 children and a wife to support,so I don't think a new computer right now is a logical solution.(considering our economic standings)
I would like to improve the audio/video..Thank you for your help.
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#11 the_patriot11

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 10:53 PM

the problem with your PC is the underrated PSU its only 300 watts max which means this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102757 is probably be the best card you can throw in there, and it would be pushing it. You really need a new PSU before you get a new card. this sound card though should be able to run fine on ur system. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16829102023. to make any decent upgrades to it (ie video card sound etc.) I would actually recomend not buying anything right now and saving up and building a new system.

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Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#12 DJBPace07

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 11:00 PM

Your computer is not above average in most cases. Your CPU is underrated, you can certainly get 4GB of RAM but the speed will be slow, and a single PCI-express slot. If you get a new video card, it will most likely be bottlenecked and you will need a better power supply. Be careful with Creative products, they may end up charging for drivers again. I agree with the patriot, you should just save you cash and get a new one later.

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#13 fairjoeblue

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 03:00 AM

The weak link in a HP computer is the rebranded "Bestec" power supply.
It may say "HP" or "Compaq" but it was made by Bestec.
Bestec power supplies are best known for going bad & frying the motherboard in the process.
[Emachines have Bestec power supplies & that is exactly what gave emachine a bad name]

Having the newest, latest, greatest, fastest, is nice but not really neccessary for what you are going to use the computer for.

I recently overhauled a comparable HP for someone after it started "acting up" .
The owner plays World Of Warcraft.

What I used & how much it cost, [real low budget as the guy is laid off] ,

OKIA 450 Watt power supply, off of ebay, $19.95 delivered.
[Made by Broadway. I've used a lot of them & have never had one fail]

Sapphire Radeon X1650 XT 256MB PCI-E video card [used,gauranteed] off of ebay $25.00 delivered.
[Works great, puts out a decent display, isn't the "newest" but is a big step up from "onboard" ]

Crucial 2GB [ 2 X 1GB] PC5300 [667MHz] dual channel memory kit from newegg.com $22.95 delivered.

So, for $67.90 I gave an old dog a new leash on life.

The owner is happy as a clam, after he took it home & hooked it up he called me & said, as he put it, Man, that thing FLOATS compared to what it used to be.

You really don't need a super computer to watch movies or listen to music.
Get the add-ins & upgrades you need & you'll have a unit that will play movies very nicely for a long time [IF you get a new power supply :thumbsup: ] .

Edited by fairjoeblue, 13 February 2009 - 03:02 AM.

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#14 the_patriot11

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 03:38 AM

the strong point about most HP computers is the ASUS motherboards in them. and i dunno, i have a HP (bestec) power supply that has lasted like 5 years and is still kickin. in fact nearly every HP or compaq ive used never had PSU problems in my experience, but adding to new of a vid card to it will fry it in a hurry, they really wernt made for upgrades. :D

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#15 DJBPace07

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 04:30 PM

The best power supplies, in my opinion, are from Corsair or Silverstone. That X1650 XT is from 2005, why be obsolete from the beginning? If all you want to do is listen to music, you don't need a powerful PC. Something like the EVGA 512-P3-N944-LR GeForce 9400 GT, which was released in 2008 and requires a 300W power supply, would be a great alternative.

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