Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Sound Card Upgrade / Reccomendations


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 19 September 2017 - 10:11 AM

Hey

 

I'm thinking of Upgrading my sound card as i want my music to sound more crisp and clear when i upgrade the speakers, with my rig what would you guys reccomend?

Please note: This build was bought 2nd hand and not done by myself.

OS Name    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Version    10.0.15063 Build 15063
Other OS Description     Not Available
OS Manufacturer    Microsoft Corporation
System Name    DESKTOP-6HH5N0M
System Manufacturer    System manufacturer
System Model    System Product Name
System Type    x64-based PC
System SKU    SKU
Processor    Intel® Core™ i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz, 3301 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date    American Megatrends Inc. 1201, 17/08/2012
SMBIOS Version    2.7
Embedded Controller Version    255.255
BIOS Mode    Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer    ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
BaseBoard Model    Not Available
BaseBoard Name    Base Board
Platform Role    Desktop
Secure Boot State    Unsupported
PCR7 Configuration    Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory    C:\WINDOWS
System Directory    C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device    \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale    United Kingdom
Hardware Abstraction Layer    Version = "10.0.15063.502"
User Name    DESKTOP-6HH5N0M\Mitch
Time Zone    GMT Daylight Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM)    8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory    7.95 GB
Available Physical Memory    5.83 GB
Total Virtual Memory    9.20 GB
Available Virtual Memory    6.81 GB
Page File Space    1.25 GB
Page File    C:\pagefile.sys
Device Encryption Support    Reasons for failed automatic device encryption: TPM is not usable, PCR7 binding is not supported, Hardware Security Test Interface failed and device is not InstantGo, Un-allowed DMA capable bus/device(s) detected, Disabled by policy, TPM is not usable
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions    Yes
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions    Yes
Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware    No
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection    Yes

Current Sound:

Name    NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Manufacturer    NVIDIA
Status    OK
PNP Device ID    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10DE&DEV_0016&SUBSYS_10DE0101&REV_1001\5&694F476&0&0001
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\nvhda64v.sys (1.3.34.26, 221.40 KB (226,712 bytes), 19/05/2017 18:03)
    
Name    NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Manufacturer    NVIDIA
Status    OK
PNP Device ID    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10DE&DEV_0016&SUBSYS_10DE0101&REV_1001\5&694F476&0&0101
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\nvhda64v.sys (1.3.34.26, 221.40 KB (226,712 bytes), 19/05/2017 18:03)
    
Name    NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Manufacturer    NVIDIA
Status    OK
PNP Device ID    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10DE&DEV_0016&SUBSYS_10DE0101&REV_1001\5&694F476&0&0201
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\nvhda64v.sys (1.3.34.26, 221.40 KB (226,712 bytes), 19/05/2017 18:03)
    
Name    NVIDIA High Definition Audio
Manufacturer    NVIDIA
Status    OK
PNP Device ID    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10DE&DEV_0016&SUBSYS_10DE0101&REV_1001\5&694F476&0&0301
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\nvhda64v.sys (1.3.34.26, 221.40 KB (226,712 bytes), 19/05/2017 18:03)
    
Name    Realtek High Definition Audio
Manufacturer    Realtek
Status    OK
PNP Device ID    HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0887&SUBSYS_10438445&REV_1003\4&3AD857FA&0&0001
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\rtkvhd64.sys (6.0.1.7836, 4.87 MB (5,111,040 bytes), 02/06/2016 10:26)
    
Name    NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM)
Manufacturer    NVIDIA
Status    OK
PNP Device ID    ROOT\UNNAMED_DEVICE\0000
Driver    c:\windows\system32\drivers\nvvad64v.sys (3.60.2.0, 47.12 KB (48,248 bytes), 16/05/2017 22:57)

 

 

Is my current sound card any good? Just thought i would get your thoughts on this i'm very much an audiophile and love my music.

Thanks guys,


Mitch

 

 







 



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 jonuk76

jonuk76

  • Members
  • 2,178 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, UK
  • Local time:08:11 PM

Posted 19 September 2017 - 07:19 PM

The onboard sound should be quite decent and is equipped with an optical (digital) output.  What speakers are you getting? Or at least what kind were you thinking of.


7sbvuf-6.png


#3 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 08:00 AM

The onboard sound should be quite decent and is equipped with an optical (digital) output.  What speakers are you getting? Or at least what kind were you thinking of.

Hey!

Thanks for your reply, yeah i did think it wasn't a bad sound card at all being NVidea, I was actually also going to ask for reccomendations for speakers, i've heard monitor speakers are amazing and used by a lot of music producers and djs, I guess i really don't know where to start I listen to various genres such as; Trance, House, RnB, Hip Hop, Drum n Bass, and Dance, mostly 90s I guess i want speakers that can hit every single note across these genres, produce decent bass but at the same time sound "Crisp"


Let me know if you have any ideas where you think i should start!

I live in the UK btw.



#4 cat1092

cat1092

    Bleeping Cat


  • BC Advisor
  • 7,015 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina, USA
  • Local time:03:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 10:28 AM

Actually, monitors equipped with speakers are generally not good at all, however there may be an output for external speakers on these that'll provide great sound also to headphones (which I use). Something that I've never understood, seems like the OEM's of GPU's would include these ports on the exterior of the card itself, many monitors has no speakers, nor as much as a headphone jack. :(

 

Also, the MB's speaker ports can be great, many has Realtek HD audio, and some includes a digital (TOSLINK) output, the preferred type. If you provide your specs with Speccy, we can better assist you, very easy to do & your licence key & IP address as seen by you, will be hidden from us (check out my sig below for examples. First, download, install & post your Speccy snapshot. While I cannot post a step by step snapshot, all you need to do after installing Speccy is to click onto the File tab, then Publish Snapshot. You'll then be provided with a link within seconds to copy/paste in your next post. Here's the download link for Speccy., if you click the author's site, will get a newer version, although the older still runs well & doesn't require install, just make sure to click onto 'Speccy64' after extracting. :)

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/speccy/

 

Once you've given us this information, we can better assist you! :)

 

BTW, jonuk76 is also from the UK, so likely knows a lot more about products available in the region than myself. :thumbsup:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#5 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 11:17 AM

Hi, I think you got the wrong end of the stick when i mentioned "Monitor Speakers" these aren't actually Computer Screen Speakers they are actually called "Monitor Speakers" commonly used for producing a quick google search "Monitor Speakers" will reveal what i'm on about (They are seperate) Not on the screen itself... Confusing i know lol.


Heres my speccy link, thanks for all your help so far.

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/YpsXJQJBnKoHDgUmfbhTLc4

I should have reffered to them as "Studio Monitor Speakers" Kind of my fault there =p


Edited by hamluis, 20 September 2017 - 12:03 PM.
Merged posts - Hamluis.


#6 jonuk76

jonuk76

  • Members
  • 2,178 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, UK
  • Local time:08:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 12:11 PM

I'm using some affordable (M-Audio BX5) studio monitors.  I think they are quite a good option at the budget end of the studio monitor scale.  The idea of studio monitors is that they provide as accurate and neutral a sound as possible (i.e. not artificially over the top in any frequency range), and they are intended for use at short distances.  You can combine them with a subwoofer if necessary for greater bass extension.

 

Other options like the Yamaha HS series, KRK Rockit/RP range, JBL LSR's, may cost a little more but are worth a look. Top quality ones like the Adam monitors are nice but they are pretty expensive.

 

They normally perform best with a balanced input which you won't get from a standard sound card.  USB audio interfaces like this Focusrite Scarlett or this Roland Rubix 22 (essentially fancy external sound cards) are a pretty good option, and have input capability if your uses extend to hooking up DJ equipment for recording purposes.

 

A few things to consider are the space you have available in terms of the desktop, and the size of your room.  For example big monitors with 8" drivers might be an appealing prospect but they will take up a fair amount of desk space, and might be a bit much for a very small room.


Edited by jonuk76, 20 September 2017 - 12:14 PM.

7sbvuf-6.png


#7 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 12:28 PM

I'm using some affordable (M-Audio BX5) studio monitors.  I think they are quite a good option at the budget end of the studio monitor scale.  The idea of studio monitors is that they provide as accurate and neutral a sound as possible (i.e. not artificially over the top in any frequency range), and they are intended for use at short distances.  You can combine them with a subwoofer if necessary for greater bass extension.

 

Other options like the Yamaha HS series, KRK Rockit/RP range, JBL LSR's, may cost a little more but are worth a look. Top quality ones like the Adam monitors are nice but they are pretty expensive.

 

They normally perform best with a balanced input which you won't get from a standard sound card.  USB audio interfaces like this Focusrite Scarlett or this Roland Rubix 22 (essentially fancy external sound cards) are a pretty good option, and have input capability if your uses extend to hooking up DJ equipment for recording purposes.

 

A few things to consider are the space you have available in terms of the desktop, and the size of your room.  For example big monitors with 8" drivers might be an appealing prospect but they will take up a fair amount of desk space, and might be a bit much for a very small room




Jon,

 

Hi mate! Yeah i'm looking for speakers which are able to fill an average sized living room, space is not a problem as i have a massive computer desk and plenty of room each side of my pc screen, Is it not worth going for the monitor studio speakers for what im looking for in that case?



#8 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

I may just try Bookshelf speakers if anyone has tried this?



#9 jonuk76

jonuk76

  • Members
  • 2,178 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, UK
  • Local time:08:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 01:07 PM

They *can* provide room filling sound but their intended use really is "near field monitoring". Used for mixing, producing etc.  They do a nice job as general computer speakers of course, when in the correct listening position.

 

CDYkx2B.jpg

 

For less specific (room filling) use I wonder if you might be better off with a hifi amp and speakers?  Something like this Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (with some appropriate stands) and this Marantz PM6006....  Just some tentative suggestions, obviously your own tastes (and budget!) come into play.  One advantage of this is the amp is digital.  You can connect via an optical cable from your PC to the amp, and this will use the amps high quality DAC for best results.


Edited by jonuk76, 20 September 2017 - 01:13 PM.

7sbvuf-6.png


#10 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 01:16 PM

They *can* provide room filling sound but their intended use really is "near field monitoring". Used for mixing, producing etc.  They do a nice job as general computer speakers of course, when in the correct listening position.

 

CDYkx2B.jpg

 

For less specific (room filling) use I wonder if you might be better off with a hifi amp and speakers?  Something like this Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (with some appropriate stands) and this Marantz PM6006....  Just some tentative suggestions, obviously your own tastes (and budget!) come into play.  One advantage of this is the amp is digital.  You can connect via an optical cable from your PC to the amp, and this will use the amps high quality DAC for best results.


Both are a nice budget option and WhatHiFi awards, I like this man! Strange i'd never really thought of Marantz as a decent brand until now. But yes i am thinking ratyher than the monitors i'm thinking of doing something like this instead, i won't even need an external sound card if i do it this way because of the amp



#11 jonuk76

jonuk76

  • Members
  • 2,178 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Wales, UK
  • Local time:08:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 02:10 PM

No problem :)  Marantz make some nice good quality gear in that price range.  Yamaha's like the AS-501 are also worth a look for comparison.  Good luck finding a setup that works for you  :thumbsup2:


7sbvuf-6.png


#12 QQQQ

QQQQ

  • Members
  • 380 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:02:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 03:30 PM

While they are not monitors I love my Klipsch Promedia 2.1's https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19S-0005-00080

If you have a Best Buy near they usually have some setup so you can go listen. Very clear and they get loud, actually too loud for my needs but they sound awesome. (can be a bit bass heavy for some but I like that)

Also love my Soundblaster Zx, I used my sound card on my motherboard for a year before buying this and I think it really made a difference. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102049

Good bookshelf speakers and an amp are great combos's too from what I have researched but it will cost more.



#13 mitcheyfex

mitcheyfex
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 82 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:07:11 PM

Posted 20 September 2017 - 03:44 PM

Wow thanks for all your input guys much appreciated, i've actually been looking at Klipsch bookshelfs with the marantz amp, but then again i just don't know! even like the speakers Jon suggested, and i too like a bit of bass.



#14 cat1092

cat1092

    Bleeping Cat


  • BC Advisor
  • 7,015 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina, USA
  • Local time:03:11 PM

Posted 21 September 2017 - 02:56 AM

Wow thanks for all your input guys much appreciated, i've actually been looking at Klipsch bookshelfs with the marantz amp, but then again i just don't know! even like the speakers Jon suggested, and i too like a bit of bass.

 

Being that you like some bass, Polk Audio has some good offerings at decent pricing, if available in the UK. I used to purchase both home (freestanding, in-wall, outdoor) & auto speakers at Crutchfield.com, as well as radar detectors & auto AM/FM receivers with CD/DVD players, I found their selection & service when needed second to none. Of course this was prior to my getting into computer days, yet I still get their emails & an occasional magazine, kind of hard to believe back in 1980, less than 100 total products were offered, to include some of the Polk line that's still featured over 37 years later. :)

 

https://www.crutchfield.com/S-Py8htsdpfTZ/

 

Sticking to their promise of lifetime support, about 2 years back, the technicians there updated (or upgraded) my radar detector purchased from them back in 1998! Can't beat that type of dedication, had long lost the invoice, moved three times, yet was identified by the S/N when registering for protection & the original address to which it was shipped. Really, Crutchfield bent over backwards by the generous upgrade (although not completely covers newer technologies), and 99.8% of corporations wouldn't had bothered w/out proof of purchase and/or registration. Yet they did, and should I need some true audio speakers or related equipment, won't hesitate to purchase. When purchasing an auto system, a custom wiring harness with the right adapters ships with every system, as long as the make/model of vehicle provided (required for warranty). That's a $40 package at Best Buy & may not be as of good quality, some such adapters has thinner wires, for best protection of both the vehicle & equipment, thicker (lower gauge) wires are superior. 

 

BTW, this is a family & very friendly startup from years back and still that type of business with same values. If nothing else, you may find a personalised solution for you there that you may be able to find in your area, or may provide a promo to help defray shipping costs. I cannot say if they supply non-US standard AC wall plugs, although am sure there's adapters available in your area. :)

 

No obligation & note that I don't represent the company in any way, am only testifying to their service & selection, be it budget, extreme or in the middle of the pack (where I'm at), you just may find something on the site that you'll want. :)

 

Still makes my mouth water when checking out their site & catalogs, and if still working, would had remained a customer with a bi-yearly purchase (minimum), my last one was for outdoor speakers by Polk, what a hard pounding these took for over two years & were still going strong when selling the home. :thumbsup:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#15 cat1092

cat1092

    Bleeping Cat


  • BC Advisor
  • 7,015 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carolina, USA
  • Local time:03:11 PM

Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:35 AM

While they are not monitors I love my Klipsch Promedia 2.1's https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=19S-0005-00080

If you have a Best Buy near they usually have some setup so you can go listen. Very clear and they get loud, actually too loud for my needs but they sound awesome. (can be a bit bass heavy for some but I like that)

Also love my Soundblaster Zx, I used my sound card on my motherboard for a year before buying this and I think it really made a difference. https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102049

Good bookshelf speakers and an amp are great combos's too from what I have researched but it will cost more.

 

QQQQ, here's a better understanding of what one gets with the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers, although somewhat overpriced in today's market & consumers needs to watch out for shady sellers pushing refurbished products as new. :)

 

https://www.anandtech.com/show/774

 

While these have obviously withstood the test of time, no way will I pay more than MSRP, unless a needed offering that can't be found elsewhere. Being a 2001 model (same year as my car), should be sold at clearance/overstock pricing, rather than $40 over. Potential purchasers will most certainly want to add the optional SquareTrade plan, which for me has paid for itself at least three times, received full purchase price refund of items, one with less than 20 days left under their three year coverage, yet they asked no questions. Other 3rd party warranty services will send out a refurbished (or upgraded if not available) version of what was covered & after 90 days, will cancel the plan, stating their obligation has been fulfilled. 

 

No such bullcrap with SquareTrade, they don't send out garbage for replacements, costs less to fully refund, most customers will purchase an upgraded product & then a new warranty from them, a winner for all parties. :)

 

BTW, I like that sound card you linked, has a real TOSLINK output that lower priced models doesn't, at it's price point, looks to be a more than adequate model for most needs (on a non-ASUS system). There are dedicated cards for these systems of the ASUS brand that's likely more suited to the MB, regardless of Intel or AMD build. While some of the reviewers may be overblowing their negative opinions by not knowing how to install/use these cards, it's also known best to match brands where possible. 

 

On many of the computers I work on, rarely see a dedicated sound card like a decade back, I presume because most premium MB's has a small dedicated sound card onboard, known as different brands (example, SupremeFX). Had I known a little more about these, could had purchased the original 250 ohms headphone set, rather than the one purchased as a compromise, was looking at this model. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0011UB9CQ/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I14H1DVQF0LICD&colid=1LHAGL0DDQG2I

 

Still, the model I purchased linked below may well have been the best, replaceable, detachable cords (the Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro has a single fixed cord) & likely the best choice for me. The reason I looked elsewhere was that some reviewers didn't know what they were speaking of, I learned after purchase that most all quality MB's has some form of high powered proprietary sound chip capable of pushing 250 ohms. Some may had still been on PC's of a decade back, although back then, most decent offerings had a dedicated sound card as an upgrade or included with system. Today, some OEM's are still pushing MaxxAudio like it's new tech & when did a sound standard become eligible for a Grammy? I had always thought (until then) that these were reserved in very limited numbers for talented performers in the entertainment industry, not technological innovations. Plus most of these systems lacks a TOSLINK port, how can these qualify for a Tony award, let alone a Grammy, I find that part so amusing. :lol:

 

BTW, the headphones that was purchased a few months back instead of the Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro (250 ohm model), I love these, as does many others! :thumbsup:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50x-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B00HVLUR86/ref=sr_1_3?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1505984525&sr=1-3&keywords=audio+technica+ath-m50x

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users