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Sound cards primarily for gaming

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi, forgive the lengthy post, but I'm kind of wordy. I've been reading up on this forum about sound cards for gaming (very informative, by the way) and I would like a little advice on the difference between various price ranges. The three cards that have been emphasized are the Xonar DG, the Xonar DX, and the X-Fi Titanium.

Here's what I have taken away so far: the DG is best for headphone usage (not entirely sure why) and is the best card in the "impulse buy" price range; for 50 dollars more the DX allegedly has better sound for gaming; for another 50 dollars more, the X-Fi Titanium has even better audio, but only when it comes to games. I am not entirely sure how to choose between these three.

My objective, in terms of audio, is less about super-accurate audio for pinpointing opponents online (though that IS important), but rather for scaring myself silly hiding from enemies in games like Thief and Stalker. I use headphones a lot.

It seems like the choice between the DG and the DX is pretty clear: just a matter of how much I want to spend on my audio. The choice between the DX and the X-Fi is a little foggier. Does its "real" EAX (whatever that means) have enough of an edge over the DX's emulation to justify its price premium? I've read conflicting reports here on whether the DX's audio is indistinguishable, or a pale imitation of the X-Fi's. Creative's drivers are also a huge concern. I recall them being rather reviled by just about everyone. Has the situation improved much? I'd like to continue my "no blue screens due to anything but user stupidity" streak.

I am leaning toward the DX, though the DG is sitting in my Newegg cart right now. Some guidance would be appreciated.

Here's my setup and usage:

I'm running Windows 7 64-bit. I use a 2.1 speaker setup, but I usually switch to headphones for any serious gaming. Gaming comes first, music is a secondary concern, but I don't really care about how movies sound. My headphones are Sennheiser HD201s, and I am quite alright with upgrading to something in the ~$100 range, just not this very moment. PCI or PCIe, not a concern. I do play a lot of "legacy" games from the late 90s, early 00s.

Thanks.
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Blacktron
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post #2 of 6
I bought the Xonar DG for like 20 bucks off newegg and ive compared my headphones using onboard sound v the DG and you can really notice the difference. The DG has a built in Headphone AMP which is normally found in those higher end soundcards. I have ad700's and have used the built in 7.1 dolby virtual surround sound on the card for games like BFBC2 and BF3 and its awesome. So I can vouch for the DG's as for the DX and XiFi i dunno if you got the money get the DX cause Asus is da best

Edit: Also ill vouch for AD700's because of their amazing sound stage You cant go wrong really buying and a DG or a DX cause both are way better then the onboard sound.
Edited by rulzo - 10/19/11 at 1:34pm
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post #3 of 6
EAX isn't used in games anymore but the emulation in Xonar cards doesn't work all that well, they only support EAX 1,2 and 5, not 3 or 4 to my knowledge (unless that was changed by driver update) and even then I have a few EAX 2 games which didn't work. Other than that I have a DX with HD595 and really like it, it gives great sound, very clear with no distortion.
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post #4 of 6
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...-products.html

couple threads down from yours explains the most rec'ed audio stuff for price ranges. give it a look also
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
That is one of the threads that I perused before posting. It summarized much of what I gleaned from other threads, mainly that the DG, DX, and Titanium are all great cards in their respective price brackets, but still leaves a lot unsaid. According to it, the Titanium HD is best for gaming, but it does not explain what I'd be getting for my extra 50 bucks.
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Too Many Bees! View Post
That is one of the threads that I perused before posting. It summarized much of what I gleaned from other threads, mainly that the DG, DX, and Titanium are all great cards in their respective price brackets, but still leaves a lot unsaid. According to it, the Titanium HD is best for gaming, but it does not explain what I'd be getting for my extra 50 bucks.
I think it's better sound parts. On the box, it prominently states, "The Audiophile's Choice" and "High fidelity audiophile grade components." Not sure how high quality it actually is but it's perceived to be pretty good.
    
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