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Which sound card for AV40?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm currently using my mobo's onboard Realtek ALC892 to output to my M-Audio AV40. It sounds pretty good to me right now, but of course I'm always open to improvements. I do plan on getting a powered sub down the road, most likely the Dayton SUB-100. I probably will stick to a 2.1 setup, though. Most gaming will be done with headphones, so my speakers are primarily for music.

It seems like either the Asus Xonar DX or D1 would be the best choice, but here's my dilemma. My Sabertooth X58's top 2 PCIe x16 slots are occupied by my 6950's, which effectively blocks the PCI slot and one PCIe x1 slot. That limits me to the DX with its PCIe x1 connector. But the DX requires a nasty 4-pin floppy power cable. Given that I'm in the process of sleeving my PSU cables with MurderMod sleeving, having more cables to sleeve is the last thing I want to do.

So... what other options do I have? Are there any PCIe x1 soundcards that don't require external power but still sound great for music with my particular setup? What about PCIe x16 soundcards? I have one unused PCIe x16 slot at the very bottom of my mobo:



Edit: How is

card? It costs around the same as the Xonar DX, uses PCIe x1, and I don't see an external power connector on it.
Edited by aznofazns - 5/22/11 at 8:42pm
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post #2 of 10
1) your link is broken

2) you can run a x1 pci-e card off of a x16 slot. It'll just look silly and might mess with the bandwidth on your other slots depending on your motherboard (No clue about yours, sorry)

3) I'm using an Auzentech Forte. It works well with my AV-40, ATH A700, and Etymotic ER6i. It may not be quite as good as the high end Asus cards purely for music but it makes up for it in gaming if that matters any. Needs a static shield though and as I recall it is no longer sold you you would have to pick it up used.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post
1) your link is broken

2) you can run a x1 pci-e card off of a x16 slot. It'll just look silly and might mess with the bandwidth on your other slots depending on your motherboard (No clue about yours, sorry)

3) I'm using an Auzentech Forte. It works well with my AV-40, ATH A700, and Etymotic ER6i. It may not be quite as good as the high end Asus cards purely for music but it makes up for it in gaming if that matters any. Needs a static shield though and as I recall it is no longer sold you you would have to pick it up used.
Oops. Meant to link this:
The bottom PCIe 1.0 x16 slot on my mobo is limited to x4 mode, so there shouldn't be any issue there, right? I'm pretty sure the two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots can run at x16/x16 regardless.

The Auzentech Forte is going for $135 right now. Is it worth the extra money over the Xonar DX? And where can I get a static shield?

I can get a refurbished DX for $55. I may just go this route and suck it up since the floppy power cable would barely be visible at the bottom of my case anyway.
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by aznofazns View Post
Oops. Meant to link this: Amazon.com: Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card: Electronics

The bottom PCIe 1.0 x16 slot on my mobo is limited to x4 mode, so there shouldn't be any issue there, right? I'm pretty sure the two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots can run at x16/x16 regardless.

The Auzentech Forte is going for $135 right now. Is it worth the extra money over the Xonar DX? And where can I get a static shield?

I can get a refurbished DX for $55. I may just go this route and suck it up since the floppy power cable would barely be visible at the bottom of my case anyway.
The Auzentech Forte X-Fi is worth it over the Creative X-Fi for sure.
Shouldn't be a problem for any of them in that last slot.
Gotta make your own shield. Same deal for the creative X-Fi if you go with it.
I personally avoid anything refurb, but if you don't mind, thats a good deal.

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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero4549 View Post
The Auzentech Forte X-Fi is worth it over the Creative X-Fi for sure.
Shouldn't be a problem for any of them in that last slot.
Gotta make your own shield. Same deal for the creative X-Fi if you go with it.
I personally avoid anything refurb, but if you don't mind, thats a good deal.

Other than the fact that a massive amount of people have complained about their Forte's dying within a year.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
What would I use to make the static shield? Could I just cut up my mobo's anti-static bag?
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post
Other than the fact that a massive amount of people have complained about their Forte's dying within a year.
*shrug* never heard of this, i have no issue with mine after 2 years. No evidence whatsoever but I'm going to go ahead and say PEBKAC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aznofazns View Post
What would I use to make the static shield? Could I just cut up my mobo's anti-static bag?
Won't be pretty but it'll work ok.

There are some better, prettier, slightly more expensive and time consuming options which typically involve ems paper, some foil, and foam insulation.

You can give the baggy a try and see how you like it though. Sound and looks are subjective, the difference between both methods may not make any difference to you. Don't skip the shield altogether though, just about all x-fi cards are horribly sensitive to malfunction due to static (hint hint people who say their is broken). I can rip mine off for a few days and wait for enough static to build up for it to go haywire and record it if you like. you'll see what its kind of a big deal lol. In the event it happens, a reboot fixes it btw.

And in case anyone is wondering, my x-fi xtreme music does it too if unshielded.
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmmm. But how does the Forte compare to the DX? It's much more expensive. I'm also kind of opposed to the static shield workaround for it. Aesthetics, believe it or not, are very important to me, and I feel that a homemade static shield would look a bit cheesy in my case.
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by aznofazns View Post
Hmmm. But how does the Forte compare to the DX? It's much more expensive. I'm also kind of opposed to the static shield workaround for it. Aesthetics, believe it or not, are very important to me, and I feel that a homemade static shield would look a bit cheesy in my case.
Eh its a pretty good card. It is NOT as good strictly music speaking but if you game much you will appreciate its other features.

The price is certainly a big factor if you are basing it against the price of the refurb, and if you are willing to deal with refurb than that may just be a deal breaker.

As for the shields... If you do it right it looks better than the stock card. You know those little metal shrouds over the asus cards (and some of the x-fi cards)? They're just half-ass shields themselves.

At any rate, both are great cards and will really bring out your speakers VS onboard.
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Arcane
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post #10 of 10
Op if you got headphones get the Xonar DG. With music and with speakers your speakers will give you better quality than a more expensive card will give you
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