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Hardware Sub-£100 Gaming Sound Card Reviews

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 8 Apr 2010.

  1. SlowMotionSuicide

    SlowMotionSuicide Come Hell or High Water

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    Thanks, I sure will. Regarding the SR125i's, I'm afraid they are out of my reach at this point (nearly triple the price), I'll consider the SR80i's if I find them better.

    Which got just proven by wafflesomd's post :thumb: Grado's got much love in the interwebs, and I kinda like the old skool-feel about them, so I'll just go and try them out myself.
     
  2. Blademrk

    Blademrk Why so serious?

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    Depends if the soundcard has headers for Headphone/mic on it.
     
    Sloth likes this.
  3. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Why not compare any Auzentech cards? I use a X-plosion Cinema 7.1 and at the price it sounds better and is physically better quality then my friends Audigy.

    I do admit that I did put up with onboard Realtek audio for years but finally shelled out when I purchased a home theater system for my room. I instantly noticed the difference with both music and gaming and paired with my Skullcandy GI headphones (and now my Sennheiser HD595) it is 100% better. Although there are still a few issues with sound cards and games (mainly due to console ports). Both Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Fallout 3 will not play sound through my sound card (I do know some Creative cards have the same issue) and I am forced to use the onboard sound and therefore use headphones instead of my home theater.
     
  4. sp4nky

    sp4nky BF3: Aardfrith WoT: McGubbins

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    As far as I can remember, and Wikipedia backs me up on this, the version below the Elite Pro was the Xtreme Music - there was no simple "Elite" version. I bought the Xtreme Music version when it came out and I was very happy with it but since I fried my last PC, I've relied on on-board sound.

    The featured card is indeed the X-Fi Titanium. The photo is precisely the one used on Scan
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Crea...itanium-Soundcard-PCI-E(x1)-71-speaker-output
     
  5. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog What's a Dremel?

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    OK, I'll clarify... The card used for the opening page. While both ASUS cards are the cards feartured in the article. However, the X-Fi card is as you identified, an X-Fi Xtreme Music and not the X-Fi Titanium.

    Anyway....
     
  6. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    actually with Vista and Win 7 you could leave both your onboard audio and your sound card active and choose your sources. So if you have either of those OSes then yes it would work.
     
  7. Bonzo45

    Bonzo45 Ex CPC

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    Aaah, that's good to know, yet another justification for upgrading to Windows 7.
     
  8. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog What's a Dremel?

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    Indeed. As far as I kow, hardware driver support within Windows 7 is better than any other previous OS.
     
  9. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Or at least magically more compatible.

    XP drivers sometimes can work on XP. :eek:
     
  10. GiantStickMan

    GiantStickMan What's a Dremel?

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    Nice timing on this article! I was looking for an upgrade from the onboard audio on my Zotac 9300itx in my carPC. I've got it running 2 x 12" subs and the bass is just too muddy. Hoping the Xonar DX solves this problem somewhat. Cheers guys!
     
  11. SchizoFrog

    SchizoFrog What's a Dremel?

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    What I do find interesting is how many people, and that includes people on here, that have no real idea about soundcards. Which leads me to believe that even so called enthuisiasts only feed of the information given to them by other sources rather than learning for themselves or at least tracking down the relevant information. We all know about CPU's, GPU's, Motherboards... etc... but when it comes to items that are not consistantly spouted about in the articles it soon becomes clear that the majority really have no idea....
     
  12. [USRF]Obiwan

    [USRF]Obiwan What's a Dremel?

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    My old SB X-FI has survived 2 system builds and will probably survive a couple more. So why buy a new sound card? I also have a GadgetLabs Wave 8/24 (from 97) and still using that one for my DAW setup. Absolutely clean sounding, no need to upgrade to a new Recording card also (unless the GL usergroup can't create new drivers for new OS's)

    I really think there is nothing to improve on sound cards since 1996?. Professional Sound cards/boxes still use DACs that where invented 20 years ago. Maybe put on some of the new capacitors they use everywhere nowadays but would that improve the sound that much? Take a very old soundcard (gravis?) and compare it to the new ones sound wise. I do not think there is much improvement in all those years.
     
  13. DbD

    DbD Minimodder

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    Took my SB X-Fi out of my system and now just use on-board sound as the creative drivers were just another possible cause of instability since I installed windows 7. Sound wise can't tell the difference between it and whatever on-board sound I have. Waste of money imo.
     
  14. nia-desu

    nia-desu goddess of the clocks

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    This article needs a page on why anyone would want/need a sound card in today's market. I mean, I really don't see the reason to. I abandoned dedicated sound cards since the Realtek ALC 650, and I've had nothing but good results since.

    What's the point? (Not asking to be a smartass, but I'm asking like, really, I want to know.)
     
  15. Lockon Stratos

    Lockon Stratos I Will Snipe You!

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    Personally I dont think there NEEDS to be one - generally speaking dedicated soundcards offer a lot better sound quality then built in Realtek AC97 codecs etc etc. same goes for gaming. Unfortunately for Xonars - it doesnt have a hardware DSP like XFi has to process the sound so all the hardwork is dumped onto the CPU (this is where a faster CPU or multicore CPU comes in handy) with Hardware DSP's such as XFi's all the sound is processed on the soundcard which frees up additional resources hence higher FPS in games.

    Realtek codecs aint the best by far - they will probably be fine for someone who doesnt want the system to do anything other then for internet, word processing, some music & maybe the odd movie - but having a dedicated soundcard (doesnt matter if its a Xonar or XF-I) can bring Audio/Music/Movies/Games to life due to the higher end components that go into making the cards (in most cases unless you buy the cheaper cards) Realtek AC97 is a basic standard for PC Audio. even though the more uptodate HD codecs such as the 8xx series & upwards do a good job it still doesnt cut it like having a dedicated soundcard.
     
  16. impar

    impar Minimodder

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    Greetings!
    Link to a review showing that?
     
  17. Lockon Stratos

    Lockon Stratos I Will Snipe You!

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    Pretty much ANY Xonar review you pick up on GOOGLE shows it

    Not sure if you can put links up on this forum but for arguments sake - lets say a Xonar D2X vs. XF-i

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-xonar-d2x-review/5

    ------

    its common sense stuff really. Xonar cards dont give you 'true hardware acceleration' in games DirectSound (EAX) games. sure it works but at the expense of offloading the hardwork onto your processor.

    there are loads of reviews out there. the higher end Xonar cards such as the ST & STX fall into the same category because they arent hardware DSPs. the cards only EMULATE EAX. but for games that require openAL - the Xonars are fine.

    google some Xonar D2x & STX reviews. its really easy
     
  18. Lockon Stratos

    Lockon Stratos I Will Snipe You!

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    OK - let me rephrase that....ANY review aside from Bit-techs own because they havent reviewd the Xonars in as much detail as other sites have.lol. Bit-techs reviews dont have gaming benchmarks
     
  19. smc8788

    smc8788 Multimodder

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    You don't buy a sound card for higher FPS, and if you do, you're an idiot. Also, try linking to some reviews where they test with a decent quad-core CPU and graphics card. Pretty much all games are GPU limited these days.
     
  20. Lockon Stratos

    Lockon Stratos I Will Snipe You!

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    It all depends what you want your machine for - but dont forget there are people out there that want to squeeze every last drop of performance out of their machines & even if it just nets them an extra 5-10fps in games they would still go ahead & buy a soundcard for that reason.

    so your argument is partially invalid. while I agree that most games today are CPU limited. having a decent soundcard with a hardware DSP to accelerate your audio while you game can free up valuable resources on the processor which can be then used to get you more fps.

    So people arent 'idiots' as you so put it - they are just more hardcore (& probably a little richer) then you lol

    Personally I love my music n games & after owning 3 XF-i cards & 2 Xonars I would rather get run over by a rubbish tipper then go back to the bland sterile sound of builtin realtek codecs.

    -----

    you can scream & shout about it to your hearts content but there are people who take their Audio & system performance very seriously
     
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