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Build Advice Soundcard advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hamfunk, 11 Nov 2015.

  1. Hamfunk

    Hamfunk I AM KROGAN!

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    I'm a bit out of the loop and doing a build for a friend, what's the best budget option for a soundcard or has onboard sound taken leaps forward?

    I've heard great things about the Asus cards and had plenty of bad experience with the drivers for creative cards! Max spend is prob around £50.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    Does he use a headset?

    I am a big fan of the cheapy Asus Dg cards as they have a headphone amp built into them.

    Can also use the 3rd party unified drivers with them, not had a problem with driver issues with any of mine.
     
  3. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I was using an Asus for quite a while, then it started to sound weird (like there was an effect on or something). I tried changing the drivers but nothing helped so I bought a Soundblaster Z which I thought was marvelous (look on Ebay they sell for around £45).

    I then tried the Asus in my wife's PC and it worked fine, so to this day it's still a mystery. But yeah, SBZ is a fantastic card :)
     
  4. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Avoid Creative as they tend to not maintain their drivers once the product is 1 year old (got 4 Creative audio gear between 1996 and 2006 and it always ended that way).

    50 quid won't get you much is we are talking about audiophile friendly board. I have an M-Audio 24/96 that I'm very happy with but it is PCI only. As suggested by jrs ... USB DAC is the way to got unless you're willing to spend more (the ESI Maya44 XTe is nice if you can extend).

    Also ... Stereo or 5.1 ? That quite an important question.
     
  5. Hamfunk

    Hamfunk I AM KROGAN!

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    I wouldn't say he is an audiophile and I think the use will be limited to stereo.

    From what i'm reading here, it sounds like onboard sound will do for the time being and the £50 is prob better spent elsewhere in the build (It could narrows the gap between an i5 and i7 CPU). The option to upgrade later is always there.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  6. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Rotary Cat.

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    I'll second the advice with regard to Creative, having had a similar experience, twice, with them failing to update drivers.
     
  7. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    I believe that onboard sound has improved considerably from the bad old days, so I'd probably just stick with that for now and save your friend some pennies. If he's not happy with the sound for whatever reason then he could consider a soundcard at a later date, but I suspect onboard will be perfectly adequate for his purposes.
     
  8. thom804

    thom804 Minimodder

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    Unless you're willing to spend big money on pseudo-improvements, using diamond substrates, ground up pixies ears, and a 6ghz sound processor that atomises soundwaves, making them more crystal clear than before, then I wouldn't bother.

    On-board sound is more than good enough for everything but recording studios.
     
  9. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    onboard is pretty bad with decent headphones. On my AKG K701 I can ear all the artifacts coming from the motherboard electrical noise.
     
  10. thom804

    thom804 Minimodder

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    So, like I said, studio quality stuff.

    Your average Joe gamer isn't going to spend more on headphones than they do on a graphics card, and so spending <£50 on a soundcard using £250 headphones is totally redundant.
     
  11. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    I did as a try and got the expected result xD. Those cans are hard to drive, so wasn't expecting much.
     

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