Sound card advice


Abarbarian

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I have looked at the following sound cards and can not make up me mind which to get. Sugestions for other makes would be welcome but I think I am decided on a Asus.

I have Senhiser HDR 170 cans and pc as per specs. I am not going to get a posh tv surround set up and only have a modest Hi-Fi.It looks like the PCI-E port is covered by my GFX card which is a shame.

I play games and music, movies and radio plays with the pc amd will connect the pc to the hi-fi in the winter.

I have very little money at the moment and probably in the future.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/21256/3

Xonar U3 -- usb connect so would be sort of useful for upgrading and possibly traveling though I do not have a lappy.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/soundcards/2010/10/26/asus-xonar-dg-review/2

Xonar DG PCI --- cheap as chips but very good sound.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/soundcards/2010/04/08/sub-100-gaming-sound-card-reviews/2

Xonar DS PCI ---- Cheap but good sound -- has interesting cheap upgrade feature -- there’s a replaceable JRC 8017C op-amp on the front output, so audiophiles can make their own upgrades.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/14500/21

Xonar DX PCI or PCI_E ---- Great card but a bit out of my budget but could stretch to it if it is really worth the money. The fact that my PCI-E slot is not usable means that I would have to get a PCI version which means upgradeability might be compromised, ie, will my next mobo still have a PCI slot, maybe I'm looking too far ahead here.

I'm thinking DG or possibly DS for the plug in op-amp whatever that is :lol:

(I have a vague idea what a 0p-amp is)
 
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floppybootstomp

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A sound card is one component worth spending money on. Onboard sound on modern motherboards is very good quality and will easily match the performance of cards costing around the £30 mark so imo not worth changing.

An op-amp is simply an audio amplifier contained in an IC (integrated circuit, chip) and they come in different qualities and prices.

Imo steer clear of any USB sound devices.

What exactly is your budget range, min and max?

It's basically a choice between Creative, Asus & Auzentech unless you enter the realm of music studio sound cards which are a whole different ballgame.

One of the Asus soundcards will sit in a pci-e slot and this is the best audio connection you can make in a computer. I owned an Asus Xonar for a while and it fitted in a pci-e slot and it sounded fabulous. But I got rid of it as it was incompatible with two games - Oblivion and Fallout 3.

Some ten months after I got rid of my Asus card they managed to make a set of drivers that tackled the problem with the two Bethesda games.

I replaced the Xonar with an Auzentech Prelude 7.1 which I still use and I'm very happy with it, imo it's as good as the Xonar even though it fits into an ordinary pci slot. That cost £150 at the time but it's no longer made, it has a Creative X-Fi chipset and uses Creative drivers.

Here's some cards to look at, note this (imo) is probably the best online supplier there is but their prices are a little higher than most:

http://www.kustompcs.co.uk/acatalog/Kustom_PCs_Shop_Sound_Cards_30.html

imo all three makes offer quality products, make your choice based on features and price.
 

Abarbarian

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I have very little money at the moment and probably in the future

Ta fer the info flops. Can't afford the high end. was looking to get rid of some slight interference sounds on the cans and get the best audio I can for gaming for as little as possible. :D
 

floppybootstomp

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Ok, understood.

I haven't much experience of current low end sound cards but in your shoes I think I'd go for this one, the Asus DS at £38.40 plus postage.

The price at Kustom PC's, incidentally, is cheaper than OCUK's and I expect their postage is cheaper than OCUK's £9.25 as well.

And that's about all the advice I can offer, really - do you really need a built in headphone amp as featured in the cheaper Asus card?

Good luck :)
 

Abarbarian

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Thanks for the advice folks.

I hate shopping.

So I can get including shipping,

DG for £25

DS for £40 pick up from Curry's

DX for £50 pick up from Curry's

The DX might not fit with me present setup I could get a D1 but they are £55 to £60 inc postage.

The DS would be a further £5 if I upgrade the op-amp.

So there is £15 in between all of em.

Me thinks I'll go for the DS unless anyone has any last minute advice simply cos I can geekily upgrade.

I hate shopping. :lol:

An I bet as soon as I order prices will drop or better sliced bread will be invented at half the price. :lol:
 
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Abarbarian

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Went for the DS for £40 pick up from Curry's as the site finder told me that there was a store in town. Came to the checkout and was told there was no store and I could have free postage. So I'm waiting :drool::drool:.
 

Abarbarian

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Card arrived. installed. Latest drivers from Asus installed. No sound. :(

Can get sound when doing tests within the asus software but nothing when using Spider Player or Zoom Player. Windows 7 says everything is working fine and driver is up to date. :(:confused::(

So what is wrong ??????????????

Any ideas folks.


:cry::mad::(:blush::mad::confused::wall::(
 

floppybootstomp

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Onboard sound disabled in Bios?

Had a good look around the sound card software?

S'bout all I can think of.
 

Abarbarian

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Thanks.

Bios only has Auto or OF for sound.

:cry::confused::blush::(

K'm just abiut ti throw in the towel. What else can the world throw at me . :(
 

floppybootstomp

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Have you actually heard any sound coming out of the speakers?

Do video files have sound? Sound files?

What was that problem you had with Bioshock 2? Not related I suppose?

Clutching at straws really - no idea :confused:

Latest drivers for Win 7 64/32 Bit?
 
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Abarbarian

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:wall:You would think that with a AMD cpu and a Asus mobo and a Asus sound card that there would be some similarity in instructions or cross talk between the components. So how is that when me Bios says AUTO it means we are in AUTO but we ain't telling you what is on auto and you might well say that logic demands that in an instruction set relating to sound it would mean auto switching the sound source thingy but it ain't and we ain't telling so boo shucks to you.

Anyways rant over.

I have sound like I never heard before.

If I click the HF button in the Asus suite I get deep bass as though I were standing in front of the stage. Then if I press the SURROUND on me HDR 170's I am there.

Can't wait to try in a game or two but I'm too whacked so it is something to look forward to tomorrow.

Led Zep sounds :wall::wall::wall::D:wall::wall::wall::dance: an I bet Hendrix will blow me little socks of.

Ts fer the help flops much appreciated.:thumb:
 

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