Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › A couple soundcard questions.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A couple soundcard questions.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I had a couple questions regarding purchasing of a sound card (as you can see in my sig rig, I've got onboard currently). Basically, I've moved past the point of questions like "is it worth it?" and more to "what are some of the best cards in the price: performance ratio that I'm looking for?"

Also I am trying to find out if buying a card with a built-in headphone amp is worth it.

I don't really want to buy a Creative card as I've had bad experiences with them before and I don't care for their customer support.

I'm looking for a card that will do very well with music (lots of bass heavy stuff like dubstep, trance, ebm, dnb, house, and then some other things like industrial, trip-hop, punk, classical etc) and gaming (BC2, TF2, HoN, etc). I also watch a lot of HD movies on my computer.

My setup is currently an excellent set of Logitech 2.1 Z2300 speakers. For around $130, they've been an absolute pleasure to worth with and I have no complaints in the two or three years or so that I've owned them. Upgrading to Z5500s or another set in the future is a possibility. As far as headphones, I've got a set of Sennheiser HD280s. Very, very responsive and lovely headphones. Also no complaints.

As far as cards, I was thinking along the lines of the Asus Xonar DX that is often recommended around these parts but I am mildly concerned with the hit-and-miss nature of the Newegg reviews.

Additionally, I was looking at this comparison and was curious what kind of input you all might have.

Thanks!
The Quadfather
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k @ 4.6 GHz / 1.360V; batch# L101B255 Gigabyte P67-UD4-B3 Gigabyte Radeon 7950 3GB Windforce G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 (x2) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 series 128GB SSD, 2x WD 1TB HDDs, 1... ASUS DRW-24B1ST Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 24" P2450H, Samsung 24" 2493HM, Achieva... Ducky Shine Corsair 850W AX modular PSU HAF 932 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 Razer Goliathus 
  hide details  
Reply
The Quadfather
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k @ 4.6 GHz / 1.360V; batch# L101B255 Gigabyte P67-UD4-B3 Gigabyte Radeon 7950 3GB Windforce G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 (x2) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 series 128GB SSD, 2x WD 1TB HDDs, 1... ASUS DRW-24B1ST Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 24" P2450H, Samsung 24" 2493HM, Achieva... Ducky Shine Corsair 850W AX modular PSU HAF 932 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 Razer Goliathus 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 8
I went from and Audigy 2 ZS to a Xonar Essence STX with an Sennheiser HD-555 and Shure SRH840's. I personally have had no issues with Asus drivers, but there are Uni Xonar drivers if you have any issues with the official drivers. It's important to not there is no analog 5.1, so if you buy a speaker system like the Z5500 with the STX, you are certainly out of luck.

Regarding my experience with the Essence, I can't seem to notice a difference between my Audigy 2 ZS and my Xonar Essence (which there should be a significant difference). Heck I don't even notice much of a difference even between onboard. However I don't have very sensitive ears and have trouble even telling the difference between 128bit MP3's and Flac.

Ultimately, it depends whether you are satisfied with what you have now. If you are, then I would probably recommend against it, but if you aren't, then perhaps buying a sound card is a good option.

You should also look into perhaps getting external DAC's if you want to get higher sound quality in music than most sound cards could provide. Just search around head-fi in the computer audio section for a bit to get a feel for what people like.
Edited by Luminouslight - 8/14/11 at 5:00pm
 
El Escorial
(17 items)
 
La Reconquista
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 4770K GA-Z87-UD5H MSI GeForce GTX 780 G.SKILL Trident X 10-12-12-31 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro Samsung F3 XSPC Raystorm CPU Waterblock XSPC Razor GTX Titan/GTX780 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Gentoo x86_64 Windows 7 Professional 64 bit QNIX QX2710 Gateway FHD2401 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless Seasonic SS-760XP2 Fractal Define R4 Window Logitech G500 
Audio
Asus Xonar Essence STX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 D0 @ 4.0 Ghz Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R PNY GTX 470 OCZ 6GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Western Digital Green Samsung F3 Western Digital Blue x16 DVD-ROM burner 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Arch Linux Windows 7 Professional x64 Qnix QX2710 Gateway FHD2401 24" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestictouch Corsair 650w CM 690 II Logitech G500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 64 Athlon San Diego 4000+ MSI MS-7191 XFX Nvidia Geforce 7800gt 2 Gig DDR 400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 250 gig Harddrive Windows XP SP3 COMPAQ 7500 COMPAQ default 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
"Power Up" 550 Watt XION Solaris XON-406 Logitech Lazer Mouse Fate/Stay Night Mouse Pad 
  hide details  
Reply
 
El Escorial
(17 items)
 
La Reconquista
(13 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 4770K GA-Z87-UD5H MSI GeForce GTX 780 G.SKILL Trident X 10-12-12-31 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro Samsung F3 XSPC Raystorm CPU Waterblock XSPC Razor GTX Titan/GTX780 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Gentoo x86_64 Windows 7 Professional 64 bit QNIX QX2710 Gateway FHD2401 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch-2 Tenkeyless Seasonic SS-760XP2 Fractal Define R4 Window Logitech G500 
Audio
Asus Xonar Essence STX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 D0 @ 4.0 Ghz Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R PNY GTX 470 OCZ 6GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Western Digital Green Samsung F3 Western Digital Blue x16 DVD-ROM burner 
OSOSMonitorMonitor
Arch Linux Windows 7 Professional x64 Qnix QX2710 Gateway FHD2401 24" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestictouch Corsair 650w CM 690 II Logitech G500 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 64 Athlon San Diego 4000+ MSI MS-7191 XFX Nvidia Geforce 7800gt 2 Gig DDR 400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 250 gig Harddrive Windows XP SP3 COMPAQ 7500 COMPAQ default 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
"Power Up" 550 Watt XION Solaris XON-406 Logitech Lazer Mouse Fate/Stay Night Mouse Pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qubits;14582412 
My setup is currently an excellent set of Logitech 2.1 Z2300 speakers. For around $130, they've been an absolute pleasure to worth with and I have no complaints in the two or three years or so that I've owned them. Upgrading to Z5500s or another set in the future is a possibility.

Do not get the Logitech Z5500s. They are horrid for the price in any measure.

That said, all depend on your budget.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luminouslight;14583486 
Regarding my experience with the Essence, I can't seem to notice a difference between my Audigy 2 ZS and my Xonar Essence (which there should be a significant difference). Heck I don't even notice much of a difference even between onboard.

uh oh.
sinep
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 GA-X58A-UD3R MSI GTX 650Ti Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 4TB + Crucial M4 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Asus VG248QE </3 Sidewinder X4 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Wheel Mouse Optical Sideways Puretrak Talent Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Red Sony MDRZX300 
  hide details  
Reply
sinep
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 GA-X58A-UD3R MSI GTX 650Ti Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 4TB + Crucial M4 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Asus VG248QE </3 Sidewinder X4 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Wheel Mouse Optical Sideways Puretrak Talent Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Red Sony MDRZX300 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 8
as stated, depends on testing conditions. Really. Can scientifically explain it if you wish.
post #6 of 8
From my experience, i get the impression that the soundcard market is pretty poor unless you got deep pockets. And even then driver support is a pita.
post #7 of 8
It depends on your gear, your not gonna notice a different if your gear isnt up to par. Then some people just cant tell the difference while other people can. Yes it totally worth buying a sound card, Besides a Xonar DX, a Xonar DG is another good choice but only because it has a ingraded decent headphone amp.

I didnt have any driver issues while using the Xonar STX, Just Like I dont have any issues using my X-Fi HD.


@Luminouslight Since your headphone dont req a amp to be amped I suggest you use the RCA output. The RCA outputs are higher quailty then the Headphone amp out and using all 3 op-amps. Which why it makes as a good dac when connected to a external amp sam with the X-Fi HD.
Super Abrams Tank
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core I5 3570k Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H XFX HD7950 DD Samsung 30nm 2x4GB DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-2000 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 60GB SSD 2x500GB LG Blu ray HD-dvd combo DVD-rw drive Cooler Master V6GT 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64bit Samsung 2343 Logitech K320 Silverstone ST750EF 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Cyborg R.A.T. 3 Desk keyboard tray Audio-GD NFB-12 
Audio
Audio-Techinca A900x 
  hide details  
Reply
Super Abrams Tank
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core I5 3570k Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H XFX HD7950 DD Samsung 30nm 2x4GB DDR3-1600 @ DDR3-2000 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 60GB SSD 2x500GB LG Blu ray HD-dvd combo DVD-rw drive Cooler Master V6GT 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64bit Samsung 2343 Logitech K320 Silverstone ST750EF 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Cyborg R.A.T. 3 Desk keyboard tray Audio-GD NFB-12 
Audio
Audio-Techinca A900x 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK. Just ordered the Xonar DX. On sale now for ~$70 on Newegg. I swear just a few hours ago, it was $89.
The Quadfather
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k @ 4.6 GHz / 1.360V; batch# L101B255 Gigabyte P67-UD4-B3 Gigabyte Radeon 7950 3GB Windforce G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 (x2) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 series 128GB SSD, 2x WD 1TB HDDs, 1... ASUS DRW-24B1ST Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 24" P2450H, Samsung 24" 2493HM, Achieva... Ducky Shine Corsair 850W AX modular PSU HAF 932 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 Razer Goliathus 
  hide details  
Reply
The Quadfather
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5-2500k @ 4.6 GHz / 1.360V; batch# L101B255 Gigabyte P67-UD4-B3 Gigabyte Radeon 7950 3GB Windforce G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB DDR3 (x2) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 830 series 128GB SSD, 2x WD 1TB HDDs, 1... ASUS DRW-24B1ST Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 Home Premium x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung 24" P2450H, Samsung 24" 2493HM, Achieva... Ducky Shine Corsair 850W AX modular PSU HAF 932 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 Razer Goliathus 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › A couple soundcard questions.