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sound card


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6 replies to this topic

#1 RainbowSix

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 04:34 PM

I'm planning on selling this build and building another. One thing I've had trouble finding is a sound card. I am not entirely sure of my budget for this because I don't know when I'll be getting it.
I'm not particular about the chipset; I just want it to sound good.
Here are my needs:

1) It must support 96KHz, 24-bit audio (or better).
2) It must have Windows 7 64-bit drivers.
3) It must have a Pci-E x1 interface.
4) It must have front panel connectors.
5) It must be able to auto-switch between the front and rear panel connectors when headphones are plugged in or removed.

The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium looks promising, but many of the reviews seem to be contradictory on the areas of Windows 7 compatibility and auto-switching.

Edited by RainbowSix, 26 March 2010 - 04:48 PM.

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#2 meuchel

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 10:26 AM

is something wrong with the onboard audio on most new motherboards?
they match all your requirements other than PCI-e

#3 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 02:33 PM

Doesn't onboard audio put more work on your CPU?
I've also heard that a sound card gives noticeably better sound quality, but I've never been able to test this.

Edit: Upon further research, it seems that the consensus is that the only noticeable quality improvement is when you have very expensive speakers. I am still concerned about the additional load on the CPU. Is it significant?

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 April 2010 - 02:38 PM.

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#4 dpunisher

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 03:31 PM

Doesn't onboard audio put more work on your CPU?
Is it significant?


Not unless you're building a system with a sub GHz CPU. If you are, I have an old Hollywood DVD decoder card in my stuff somewhere...............

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#5 RainbowSix

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:04 PM

So, from what I hear, there is little to no reason for someone with cheap speakers and a good CPU to buy a standalone sound card? It's nice to know that I can put that money towards something else.

Edited by RainbowSix, 07 April 2010 - 07:04 PM.

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#6 meuchel

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:12 AM

right, unless you have a really nice speaker set you won't notice sound quality issues.
you aren't doing any synthesizing or audio work are you?
that would be the only other issue is with incoming sound processing.

Edited by meuchel, 08 April 2010 - 10:13 AM.


#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:32 PM

With audio, the principle of garbage in, garbage out applies. If you have a high end audio card along with high end speakers or headphones, then you will notice a difference. More so if you rip music with Lossless codecs. I have a Xonar D2X PCI-E card, it is very expensive, but I have a very expensive pair of headphones I use almost constantly. There are cheaper alternatives if you want slightly better sound than an X-Fi, but don't expect a night-and-day difference between on-board and dedicated unless you have quality speakers or headphones. A good alternative to the X-Fi is the ASUS Xonar DX.

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