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USB or PCI-Express for audio card

post #1 of 5
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I'm at the last phase of my computer build, which is audio -- I want audiophile quality music first and foremost -- I wish to use my system for hobby music production using my 88-key yamaha keboard (p-60) - I also wish to have top notch sound for listening to music. ... Anyway, I've narrowed the speakers down to the KRK RP-5 studio monitors for $300 for the pair --

http://www.zzounds.com/item--KRKRP5


audio solution I'm looking at :
http://www.focusrite.com/products/audio_interfaces/saffire_6_usb/key_features/

I was thinking I'd go USB instead of the e-mu Pci-express solution as I plan on getting a second 580 GTX gpu for SLI in the future and the 3rd pci-x slot for a future RAID-5 controller board ... Are there any major drawbacks to using the USB solution? I know that it takes a bit of processor overhead but do you guys think it would noticeably downgrade my gaming performance?
    
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post #2 of 5
I am certainly not an audiophile myself, but for the little that I know and have seen from fellow members they usually stick to PCI cards.
     
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post #3 of 5
yeah usually we recommend PCI/e cards in order to benefit from the APIs , and they usually have better components from USB cards (you can say price to performance) , but they are not bad at all
    
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post #4 of 5
For gaming USB/Optical/coaxial "sound card" aka DAC won't be the best option, but there are more than plenty that have superior audio quality over PCI/PCIe cards.

What's your budget on everything? It seems like you also want more than just a DAC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by experience333;15359051 
I am certainly not an audiophile myself, but for the little that I know and have seen from fellow members they usually stick to PCI cards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crag;15359410 
yeah usually we recommend PCI/e cards in order to benefit from the APIs , and they usually have better components from USB cards (you can say price to performance) , but they are not bad at all

Ahh you guys are so mislead.
    
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post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by aksthem1;15359476 
For gaming USB/Optical/coaxial "sound card" aka DAC won't be the best option, but there are more than plenty that have superior audio quality over PCI/PCIe cards.

What's your budget on everything? It seems like you also want more than just a DAC.





Ahh you guys are so mislead.

All of this.

OP: If all you want to do is tunes there are some great USB DACs out there that will sink any PCiE soundcard fast. Catch being the decent/good DACs are going to cost 2x+ as much as a Xonar Essence ST(X). The other notable catch having already been noted that if you have any want of Dolby DSPing, I only know of one USB DAC that does it and it ain't a high-performer in audiophile terms.

USB DACs have great sound...but can be far less versatile.
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DD Boxen
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230 Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3 Powercolor 6970 2GB G. Skill 1600mHz Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
SpinpontF3 1TB, WD 250, and WD320 Lite-On DT Waterblocks DT5Noz Waterblock Swiftech Komodo 6900-1 Waterblock 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR-220 Drive radiator Swiftech MCR-220 QP radiator 6xGentle Typhoon AP-15s Archx64 KDE4.5, Windows 7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eyefinity 3-head 5265x1050 OCN Ducky!! MX Blue Switches XFX 750W Black Edition Mountain Mods H2gO 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Razer Naga Asus Xonar Essence STX Sennheiser 595 Sony STR-DE995 A/V receiver 
OtherOther
Lian Li Card flash memory reader Asus PCE-N15 Wifi-N card 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1055T Gigabyte 790 Sapphire 4850x2 2x2GB 1600mHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSKeyboard
A few Yes Vista/7 Das Keyboard 
Power
Ugly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 1.2 GHz Something kinda small Qualcomm Adreno core 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
None N/A WebOS 3.0.2 9.7" XGA, multitouch 
PowerCase
6300mAh Piano Black 
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