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Worth getting a sound card for these speakers? - Page 2

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevevace2 View Post
idk everyone says its a huge improvement
All I know is that once I upgraded to a sound card the other day that all my music just sounded better lol. I was the same and wondered why even bother. also it outputs more power to the speakers so you get cleaner sound at higher volume.

I got my DX for $30 though lol
post #12 of 17
I would say yes but dun overdo it - if you want cans in the mix the Xonar DG $30 or less gets my vote ^^
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post #13 of 17
How much are you looking to spend on a card (out of curiosity)?
Edited by candy_van - 10/15/11 at 11:04pm
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanWebster View Post
All I know is that once I upgraded to a sound card the other day that all my music just sounded better lol. I was the same and wondered why even bother. also it outputs more power to the speakers so you get cleaner sound at higher volume.

I got my DX for $30 though lol
I'm not sure I agree with this. As long as your speakers are good they should be able to handle any source. This is why I prefer optical. I want absolutely zero pre amping/processing.

OP for speakers the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 are the absolute best($ for $). I have never heard anyone not be satisfied and I've beat mine to death over the last 4 years and they still perform.

That being said using onboard optical out to my Onkyo and actual full sized speakers is a huge step up. If I didn't have a home theatre setup I'd prob grab a cheap stereo receiver and some bookshelfs. For ~$500 you can have a great all around setup. But for $150 to $99 on sale the Klipsch are amazing if you just need comp speakers.
post #15 of 17
Here is my 2 cents.

The quality of your sound system basically determines your needs for a sound card or not. Those Insignia do not sound bad, for computer speakers they sound decent actually. But a sound card does have drawbacks as well.

You are running more software that is usually more "heavyweight" than built in audio control panels. For example, a typical Xfi adds about 300 Megabytes of space on your hard drive and the control panels takes up a decent amount of RAM. With a modern computer, no big deal. But still the difference will be likely noticeable.

I am a good example, for sale now here is my Auzentech Forte 7.1 sound card. It is a great sound card, no doubt. But my Klipsch Promedia's can sound just as good with my (admittedly very good) Analog Devices built in audio. But before I was forced to sell my Onkyo Receiver, I had better sound from the Forte.

If you do buy a sound card now, I would avoid the super-cheap ones and avoid any of them that cost over $110 new just because with what you have now, you would be wasting money because your playback device is not going to show you the increased component quality of a more expensive sound card.

I would get a Xonar DX if I were you if you REALLY feel you need a better sound system, but don't be surprised if the difference in sound quality is not that great like you would hope. I would not buy a higher end sound card unless you plan on getting better speakers soon.

I will make another suggestion and this is what I recommend to ANYONE looking to make their computer have the best audio quality: You want true audio quality? Get yourself a DAC like the Nuforce Icon 2 uDac. It hooks up to your computer via USB and is basically an external sound card with highest quality components (the internal OPAMPS are the same as high end receivers/audio players/musical instruments). It will blow away any sound card's playback quality and can be had for around $100. It will basically give you some of the highest quality playback on even an expensive sound system. The only thing that will sound better is a better DAC but you will spend more and the difference will likely be small. You get that, it will make your computer sing no matter WHAT sound playback device you use.

I hope this helps.
     
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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricsim78 View Post

You are running more software that is usually more "heavyweight" than built in audio control panels. For example, a typical Xfi adds about 300 Megabytes of space on your hard drive and the control panels takes up a decent amount of RAM. With a modern computer, no big deal. But still the difference will be likely noticeable.
This is absolutely laughable you would spend time drawing attention to 300 megs of software. The game Rage comes on 3 DVDs and requires a lot of hard drive space to install, but it is still just a a drop in the bucket on a one terrabyte hard drive.
CTXFISPI and CTXFIHLP are currently shown in my task manager as running processes and both say 00 under CPU usage.

A virus scanner takes up more resources.

I have read Ricsim's guides here on this forum in the past. I appreciate his work. But if the criteria for buying a quality sound card is how much space its SELECTIVE INSTALLATION CD chooses to take up on your hard drive is a concern, then something is very skewed in his logic and recommendation for the card.
Edited by chalkbluffgrown - 10/16/11 at 12:39am
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalkbluffgrown View Post
This is absolutely laughable you would spend time drawing attention to 300 megs of software. The game Rage comes on 3 DVDs and requires a lot of hard drive space to install, but it is still just a a drop in the bucket on a one terrabyte hard drive.
CTXFISPI and CTXFIHLP are currently shown in my task manager as running processes and both say 00 under CPU usage.

A virus scanner takes up more resources.

I have read Ricsim's guides here on this forum in the past. I appreciate his work. But if the criteria for buying a quality sound card is how much space its SELECTIVE INSTALLATION CD chooses to take up on your hard drive is a concern, then something is very skewed in his logic and recommendation for the card.
What is laughable is you missed the entire point.

300 MB isn't anything, we all know this. The point is is slowing your system down worth adding a sound card for a very marginal increase in audio quality, if at all? A X-fi will indeed bloat your system compared to a built in control panel on a built in audio solution. My Analog devices ADI2000B sounds very good and takes up like 20 MB on my hard drive. All while giving as much features as a Creative card.

Again, for his particular setup, and my arguably better speakers even, you won't really appreciate the benefits of a sound card (especially an expensive one) unless you have the playback devices that will actually SHOW you the quality of the sound card. This is why I am selling my Forte and sold my USB DAC. It wasn't worth running them and my built in sound sounds amazing as it is.

BTW my Soundmax takes up less than 1.5 MB with the volume panel and driver working. I would like to see an X-fi take up that little space!

My point is this: The OP is running Insignia speakers. A X-fi, Prelude, even a superior USB DAC isn't going to sound to it's potential through that setup. Now if he planned to upgrade his speakers or planned to get a pair of good quality headphones, then it would be worth it.

In other words, he would be slowing down this computer (even slightly) for a barely perceivable sound quality difference. The, "juice is not worth the squeeze"...not to mention sound cards can bring forth other issues (conflicts, bad drivers, bloat that does not want to go away).

Almost everyone defends the Creative Labs cards for some reason (reminds me of Apple worshipers...oops I mean users) but the truth is, there is a term called "Creative bloat" for a reason.

Creative Labs makes fine hardware, but I have never been a fan of their software and even on my Core i7, "snappy" is not a term I would use for their control panel or apps. Have you ever tried to manually remove a Sound Blaster Xfi software completely? It's not easy or quick and definitely not something you can do on a whim. Not to mention I liked the sound quality better on my onboard compared to the Sound Blaster X-fi and Titanium HD (surprisingly). And that was running through an Onkyo Receiver (analog all, not digital which bypasses).
Edited by ricsim78 - 10/16/11 at 6:34pm
     
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