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Soundcard - PCIex1

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My motherboard is getting crowded, and so I'm looking for a good soundcard to match up with my HD 555s, but fits in a PCIex1 slot.

Do these cards tend to be more expensive and/or of lesser quality because they take up less space?

My old card was an Xfi Xtreme Gamer, so right now I'm using a Fiio E7. I'm looking for a soundcard that will blow these two away, and really make my headphones shine (and when paired up with the E7 as an amp, are even more powerful!).

Any suggestions? Budget varies, but under $100 is most realistic, around $150 if you can convince me, and nothing over $200.
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post #2 of 13
If you want an amp in your soundcard, a Xonar STX is the way to go. It powers 300 ohms well, and can technically do up to 600.

Plus, sound quality is pretty stellar.

$158 on the egg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132010
post #3 of 13
xtreme gamer isn't really a sound card, if you were happy with its sound you might as well use the onboard.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pangolinman;15228896 
If you want an amp in your soundcard, a Xonar STX is the way to go. It powers 300 ohms well, and can technically do up to 600.

Plus, sound quality is pretty stellar.

$158 on the egg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132010

Well I already have the Fiio as an amp. Is this amp better? Or I guess I could sell the Fiio and budget it towards this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazarada;15228937 
xtreme gamer isn't really a sound card, if you were happy with its sound you might as well use the onboard.

Granted, it's not amazing, but it's certainly better than onboard. Much like my HD 201s were my first real headphones, they're nothing compared to my new HD 555s. The Xfi was my first real sound card, but it's time for a serious upgrade.
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post #5 of 13
For comparison, the E7 is about on par with a Xonar DX in terms of SQ. The titanium HD is comparable to the STX, but it does not have a headphone amp. Your options are probably Titanium HD out to Fiio E7 or sell the E7 and get an STX. Or you can get a USB DAC.
post #6 of 13
I think my xonar sounds much better than a guy with an E7 who lives nextdoor, but this is just my anecdotal evidence. This is going to my Grados btw.

edit: much much better. the E7 sounds like it compresses the whole range of the music to me.
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pangolinman;15229168 
For comparison, the E7 is about on par with a Xonar DX in terms of SQ. The titanium HD is comparable to the STX, but it does not have a headphone amp. Your options are probably Titanium HD out to Fiio E7 or sell the E7 and get an STX. Or you can get a USB DAC.

The Titanium is $20 more expensive than the STX (Link1 & Link2, correct?)

And isn't the E7 a usb DAC?

I'm new to higher priced sound cards, so I'm not sure what will sound good or bad, or if $20 here or there will make that much of a difference.

Part of me just says stay with the Fiio.
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWolfe;15229217 
The Titanium is $20 more expensive than the STX (Link1 & Link2, correct?)

And isn't the E7 a usb DAC?

I'm new to higher priced sound cards, so I'm not sure what will sound good or bad, or if $20 here or there will make that much of a difference.

Part of me just says stay with the Fiio.

Most often the Titanium HD goes for ~$130.
Yes the FiiO is a USB DAC, but it is a Portable usb dac, cant stick in the higher quality components.

For price/performance, a Tianyung Zero USB dac will be a good kickoff point for audio, but its rather large. Between portable and static, look at the Headroom total Bithead DAC AMP, i've heard many positive things about this and it is exactly in your price range.

What exactly are you looking for, sound card, or external DAC? The external DACs are more for quality, not for positional 3D audio in games. That comes from software more commonly found on sound cards.

If it were my choice, i would sell the E7 and go for an STX
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pangolinman;15229399 
If it were my choice, i would sell the E7 and go for an STX

This is far too confusing. I don't want to go through the trouble of selling the Fiio, finding another DAC, finding an SC to pair it with, etc etc etc.

I think I'll just do what you'd do. Selling the Fiio and get the quality SC.
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post #10 of 13
The Creative X-Fi Titanium is a good choice:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102024

You could probably find them for cheaper elsewhere, but I just trust Newegg the most.
I went from onboard, to a Xonar DX, to this, and love this the most.
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