Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Battle of the [Sound]Cards!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Battle of the [Sound]Cards!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

So, after searching for many many months on the internet, I have decided to start a battlethread for Sound Cards. The point here is to give Overclock members a chance to compare/contrast comparable Sound cards, as well as defend their cards or consider others. I've always valued side-by-side comparisons, and also those with price points added in.

So the rules are simple, make your post meaningful (generally more than 20 words so we all get something out of your post). You can choose to do a quick review of your card or a comparison of two cards you have owned. I've provided a format/rating guideline so I can read your posts. You don't need to answer all the questions, and it can be in any format. I'd just like to know.

To Mods: IF something like this already exists please let me know.
  • What is the card like to live with? (I.E. Great, Good, Bad, Ugly)
  • How often is it used? (Always on, Daily, Occasionally, etc. Try to give us an impression of the intensity of use also, I.E. gaming 2-3 hours a day or watching BluRay movies etc etc)
  • Audio Experience? (Are you a professional in audio, a noob, an enthusiast?)
  • What is the card normally used with? ( Headphones, Hi-Fi Home Audio, Gaming Headset, etc)
  • Price? (How much did YOU get if for? How?)
  • Conclusion. (Give score out of 5, 5 being AMAZING. Would you recommend it to someone? etc. etc.)

For the benefit of everyone here, I'll give a review of the two cards I just spent 3 weeks testing for my own benefit (Yay! Fry's 30 Day Guarantee). Its on my Overclocker's blog, so here is the link.

Lynn Performance Reviews and Comparisons: X-Fi vs Xonar
Edited by lynnperformance - 11/2/11 at 2:44pm
post #2 of 13
Blog link bad.
Worse than crack.
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570k Asrock z77 extreme4 Saphire R9 290 Samsung green 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 ssd Samsung f3 spinpoint Win8 pro X-star 2560x1440 27in 
KeyboardCaseMouseMouse Pad
Microsoft x4 Sidewinder Haf 922 Razor Naga Fragmat 
  hide details  
Reply
Worse than crack.
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570k Asrock z77 extreme4 Saphire R9 290 Samsung green 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 840 ssd Samsung f3 spinpoint Win8 pro X-star 2560x1440 27in 
KeyboardCaseMouseMouse Pad
Microsoft x4 Sidewinder Haf 922 Razor Naga Fragmat 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 13
give me content!

the reps will follow!
ಠ-ಠ
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500K ASUS P8P67 Deluxe EVGA GTX580 Mushkin DDR3 Silverline Stilletto(4x4)16GB 1333MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar BLACK  Kingston V200 2x LG DVD RAM w/ lightscribe Win7 Pro 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
BenQ XL2410T 23.6" 120Hz LED LCD Razer Lycosa ENERMAX REVOLUTION 850W CM HAF 922M 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Mamba ALLSOP high precision mousepad Creative Labs X-fi Titanium HD 
  hide details  
Reply
ಠ-ಠ
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500K ASUS P8P67 Deluxe EVGA GTX580 Mushkin DDR3 Silverline Stilletto(4x4)16GB 1333MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
WD Caviar BLACK  Kingston V200 2x LG DVD RAM w/ lightscribe Win7 Pro 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
BenQ XL2410T 23.6" 120Hz LED LCD Razer Lycosa ENERMAX REVOLUTION 850W CM HAF 922M 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Mamba ALLSOP high precision mousepad Creative Labs X-fi Titanium HD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Can you guys not access the link? If thats the case I may just post the review on the thread.
post #5 of 13
Eh...?
Why put the STX up against the admittedly inferior Fata1ty?
Do a head to head against the Titanium HD.
Creative had sound stack problems with all their cards up to the HD because of Windows Vista and 7 having no dedicated support for discrete sound.
And the Titanium HD is currently within $3 of the STX, while the Fatal1ty is $10 cheaper for the "Champion", and $30 cheaper for the vanilla.
Blue Fury
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A8 6600k asus Sapphire 290X Tri-OCX 4GB 2x4 (8)GB G-Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZVertex3 60GB Seagate 1TB WD 500GB Samsung 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung Evo 850 ASUS DVDRW24x Corsair H100 W10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
55" 4k Hisense Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Corsair CX750 AzzA Hurrican 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Deathadder 3500 Diablo3 RoS LE onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
Blue Fury
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A8 6600k asus Sapphire 290X Tri-OCX 4GB 2x4 (8)GB G-Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
OCZVertex3 60GB Seagate 1TB WD 500GB Samsung 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung Evo 850 ASUS DVDRW24x Corsair H100 W10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
55" 4k Hisense Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Corsair CX750 AzzA Hurrican 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer Deathadder 3500 Diablo3 RoS LE onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nixuz View Post
Eh...?
Why put the STX up against the admittedly inferior Fata1ty?
Do a head to head against the Titanium HD.
Creative had sound stack problems with all their cards up to the HD because of Windows Vista and 7 having no dedicated support for discrete sound.
And the Titanium HD is currently within $3 of the STX, while the Fatal1ty is $10 cheaper for the "Champion", and $30 cheaper for the vanilla.
While that is true, I can only review what I had on hand right? I mentioned flag ship, but I didn't mean flagship to be exclusive, especially if you note that I compared a gaming soundcard (Fatal1ty) to a Hi-Fi Music soundcard(Xonar). That BTW, is according to the purpose designated by the manufacturer. The other thing was, I actually bought the Fatal1ty first, since I thought the 3.5" bay was cool. (Yup, I got suckered into it)

If money allows, I'll try to do a comprehensive comparison with the HD.

Its not a professional review. So read it with a grain of salt.
Edited by lynnperformance - 11/2/11 at 3:36pm
post #7 of 13
Not sure how relevant my old Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is to anyone, but I love it. It's never given me grief. All I'll say about the Sound Blaster Live! that I used is that it neither sounded as good or functioned correctly all the time.

I use the Turtle Beach all the time for playing music, games and an occasional movie. I use it with an Altec Lansing 5.1 speaker system and 3D/Surround audio is impressive. I've also done some recording through the Line In jack and the results were satisfactory. I don't remember how much the card cost, I bought it in 2001.
As to my experience, well, I guess I'm an enthusiast (just not an up to date one).

I would rate it 4 out of 5 because it lacks 24-bit support and doesn't have the hardware acceleration capability of the newer cards. If the Turtle Beach ever broke I would probably buy another one used.

I'll definitely watch this thread so I'll know what sound card to buy for a new rig build.
Sleeper
(31 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
P4 Northwood SL6PG Dimension 8100 HIS AGP HD4670 Samsung RDRAM (D die) {2GB} 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
Seagate 7200.9 Seagate 7200.10 Samsung SH182M Yamaha CRW-F1e 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Scythe KM01 Scythe Katana III S-Flex 92mm 2500rpm x2 Kaze Jyu Slim 100mm 2000rpm 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Scythe 40mmx10mm Antec Spotcool XP Home Dell M781s 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dell QuietKey Silencer MKII 750W Dell Dimension 8100 (Modified) Intellimouse Optical 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Altec Lansing 251 Vantec 18" round EIDE cable Belkin PCI 5 port USB 2.0 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Belkin 4 port Hub USB 2.0 Logitech MOMO Racing Force Feedback Logitech Wingman Cordless RumblePad Saitek P2500 Rumble Force 
OtherOther
Hewlett Packard 4400C Flatbed Scanner Hewlett Packard CP1525NW Laser Jet Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
Sleeper
(31 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
P4 Northwood SL6PG Dimension 8100 HIS AGP HD4670 Samsung RDRAM (D die) {2GB} 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOptical Drive
Seagate 7200.9 Seagate 7200.10 Samsung SH182M Yamaha CRW-F1e 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Scythe KM01 Scythe Katana III S-Flex 92mm 2500rpm x2 Kaze Jyu Slim 100mm 2000rpm 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Scythe 40mmx10mm Antec Spotcool XP Home Dell M781s 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dell QuietKey Silencer MKII 750W Dell Dimension 8100 (Modified) Intellimouse Optical 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Altec Lansing 251 Vantec 18" round EIDE cable Belkin PCI 5 port USB 2.0 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Belkin 4 port Hub USB 2.0 Logitech MOMO Racing Force Feedback Logitech Wingman Cordless RumblePad Saitek P2500 Rumble Force 
OtherOther
Hewlett Packard 4400C Flatbed Scanner Hewlett Packard CP1525NW Laser Jet Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 13
I've got one of the older solutions in the Creative X-Fi Elite Pro:



I've owned a pretty high level dedicated home theater for about 7 years so I am familiar with and know great sound. My last HT consisted of a BAT VK6200 dedicated amp and Integra 9.8 processor at the heart of the sound. I'd consider myself a home theater audiophile.

The X-Fi Pro Elite card itself and control panel are beautiful. The card itself has a cool X-Fi logo that lights up with a blue glow when the card is powered on. The card and control panel are easy to use, and the software that comes with the card is easy to scroll through.

I paid $375 for it back in 2006, (man prices have come down since then-lolz) use it on a daily basis for all of my gaming and movie/tv watching over my Beyerdynamic headphone. I can watch tv 2-3 hours a day on a busy tv day like Wednesday, and will game 2-3 hours at a time. In my 5 years of owning the card it has performed flawlessly. Never a problem, other than a minor driver related hiccup here or there when changing out drivers. My fault though for shortcutting clicking out of apps and such.

The console software has 3 modes. Gaming,



Audio Creation,



and entertainment mode.



The audio creation gives great control and a very well laid out control panel over a number of different options. I'd definitely recommend never to short cut a shut down sequence when changing out drivers as that has led to a problem or 2 with my computer recognizing the card in windows xp 32 bit. Performance on Windows 7 has been flawless.

Overall aside from missing a bell and whistle or 2 on the newer titanium cards, I have been extremely happy with the performance of my Elite Pro. Using my card to now listen to movies, tv and use for gaming on a daily basis over my 770'ss is a great experience. The dynamics and transients this card is able to reproduce over my cans is amazing and on a scale of 1-5 I'd rate these

4.5 for overall audio performance. I'd give them a 5 but I know they are missing some of the newer options that more recent cards have. There are no hdmi ins/outs on the card, or dvi for that matter. For sheer sound quality though they are excellent though.

4.0 Software and support. It took a while for Creative to update some of the drivers when Window 7 first came out.

I really love this sound card. It's a quality product through and through and a great 'daily driver' so to speak. I definitely would recommend it if not having hdmi & lossless codecs available aren't an issue.
Edited by tehRealChaZZZy - 11/2/11 at 3:57pm
tehNewbuild
(17 items)
 
CM 830
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500K 4.7 ghz @ 1.3v ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 Asus Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 16 gigs G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
450 gig Western Digital Velociraptor 450 gig Western Digital Velociraptor Antec KUHLER H2O 920 Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VW246H 24" Saitek Gamer Corsair AX1200 Silverstone FT02B-W 
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Razer Abyssus Razer eXactMat Creative Titanium HD Denon AH-D5000 Headphones 
Other
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel e6600 Asus P5W DH Deluxe GTX 275 8 gigs CORSAIR XMS2 6400C5DHX 
Hard DriveMonitorPowerCase
Western Digital 300GB Raptor Asus VW246H Enermax EGX1000EWL Cooler Master Stacker 830 
  hide details  
Reply
tehNewbuild
(17 items)
 
CM 830
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500K 4.7 ghz @ 1.3v ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 Asus Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 16 gigs G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
450 gig Western Digital Velociraptor 450 gig Western Digital Velociraptor Antec KUHLER H2O 920 Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VW246H 24" Saitek Gamer Corsair AX1200 Silverstone FT02B-W 
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Razer Abyssus Razer eXactMat Creative Titanium HD Denon AH-D5000 Headphones 
Other
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 Headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel e6600 Asus P5W DH Deluxe GTX 275 8 gigs CORSAIR XMS2 6400C5DHX 
Hard DriveMonitorPowerCase
Western Digital 300GB Raptor Asus VW246H Enermax EGX1000EWL Cooler Master Stacker 830 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 13
^ X-Fi Elite Pro is junk. Had it for 5 years till one of the G-LuXon (crap) caps got greasy then leaked. It's old and overpriced. Even my SoundMAX 7.1 from an old Abit mobo sounded better afterwards. If you want a solid card, go with a refurbished Bravura from here;

http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/refurbished.php

It has Nichicon Muse ES caps for deep sound and bass, along with Elite polymers for VRM, and film caps for converters.



-----------------

The only cards that have a better stock cap config on top of my head are HT Omega Halo (series) and Auzen Home Theater HD.
eBay Hunt
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5640 X58 UD9 Four GTX 470's 3X2 GB Reaper 1866's 
Hard DriveMonitorPower
VRap 600 GB HP P1230 Real Power Pro 1250/Teapo's on the secondary 
  hide details  
Reply
eBay Hunt
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5640 X58 UD9 Four GTX 470's 3X2 GB Reaper 1866's 
Hard DriveMonitorPower
VRap 600 GB HP P1230 Real Power Pro 1250/Teapo's on the secondary 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 13
I started making music about 5 years ago, and I bought an M-Audio firewire 1814 for the job. My computer runs 24/7... literally, it's never turned off, so my sound card has run for 5 years, non-stop. It's still going strong, and still sounds excellent, so I'm more than happy with it.
The Beast
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 3770k Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 2X Asus HD6950 DirectCU ll Crossfired 2X 8GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2X Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD Samsung Writemaster Windows 7 Ultimate 3X BenQ G2420HDBL 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G19 Corsair AX1200 Corsair 650D Cyborg R.A.T 9 
Mouse Pad
Gigabyte MP8000 
  hide details  
Reply
The Beast
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 3770k Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 2X Asus HD6950 DirectCU ll Crossfired 2X 8GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2X Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD Samsung Writemaster Windows 7 Ultimate 3X BenQ G2420HDBL 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G19 Corsair AX1200 Corsair 650D Cyborg R.A.T 9 
Mouse Pad
Gigabyte MP8000 
  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 › Battle of the [Sound]Cards!