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Looking for a PCI sound card - 50% music, 50% games.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
In my system I have 1 x PCI Express and 1 x PCI slots free, problem is the PCI Express is reserved for a RAID controller, so it means the remaining PCI slot will have to be for a sound card - but there's not a lot of them out there. Does anyone have a recommendation for a PCI sound card, that's a good "all rounder"? Price limit is ~$200. I play games and listen to music, about 50/50 - not one more than the other.

I know about the Creative XtremeGamer PCI, and while good for games due to its hardware acceleration, compared to an ASUS Xonar the sound quality isn't as clear - so I read. I looked at the ASUS Xonar D1 and D2, both "seem" good, but I'm a bit concerned about driver quality and CPU usage in games. The target card will be simply output to a pair of AudioEngine A5's, no headphones or fancy audio system.

Thanks.
Workstation
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3930K @ 4.6 GHz ASUS Rampage IV Gene mATX EVGA GeForce GTX 690 4 x Corsair Platinum 2133 MHz 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
4 x Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung USB Bluray burner Corsair H100i Windows 7 Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eizo Nanao S2100 21" Steelseries 6GV2 Seasonic Platinum SS-860XP2 Corsair Obsidian 350D mATX 
MouseAudioOther
Razer Deathadder Creative X-Fi Titanium HD LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i 6Gbp/s 
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Workstation
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3930K @ 4.6 GHz ASUS Rampage IV Gene mATX EVGA GeForce GTX 690 4 x Corsair Platinum 2133 MHz 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
4 x Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung USB Bluray burner Corsair H100i Windows 7 Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eizo Nanao S2100 21" Steelseries 6GV2 Seasonic Platinum SS-860XP2 Corsair Obsidian 350D mATX 
MouseAudioOther
Razer Deathadder Creative X-Fi Titanium HD LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i 6Gbp/s 
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Reply
post #2 of 3
The Xonar series are usually praised about their drivers. They are typically more problem-free when compared to Creative. If you have room on your mobo for the D1, that would probably be my choice.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 p55-GD65 Sapphire Vapor-X 5750 2x2GB G-Skill Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
500GB WD Caviar Black Sony Optiarc Windows 7 Acer H233Hbmid 23" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Kingwin LZ-750 NZXT Tempest Evo Razer DeathAdder 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 p55-GD65 Sapphire Vapor-X 5750 2x2GB G-Skill Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
500GB WD Caviar Black Sony Optiarc Windows 7 Acer H233Hbmid 23" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Kingwin LZ-750 NZXT Tempest Evo Razer DeathAdder 
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Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Well I had a Creative XtremeGamer last year but had to pull it out as I needed the slot for another device, so I ran with motherboard sound in the mean time, but now some slots are free'd up, I'm wondering if to try another XtremeGamer (and they are getting rare) or if to try an Asus Xonar card. FYI, the XtremeGamer drivers worked fine in my system. The D2 does seem OTT for my needs, but I notice it uses ASUS's AV200 CPU, where as the D1 uses the AV100 - probably not much of a difference. I'll check on the D1 some more. Thanks.
Workstation
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3930K @ 4.6 GHz ASUS Rampage IV Gene mATX EVGA GeForce GTX 690 4 x Corsair Platinum 2133 MHz 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
4 x Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung USB Bluray burner Corsair H100i Windows 7 Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eizo Nanao S2100 21" Steelseries 6GV2 Seasonic Platinum SS-860XP2 Corsair Obsidian 350D mATX 
MouseAudioOther
Razer Deathadder Creative X-Fi Titanium HD LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i 6Gbp/s 
  hide details  
Reply
Workstation
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3930K @ 4.6 GHz ASUS Rampage IV Gene mATX EVGA GeForce GTX 690 4 x Corsair Platinum 2133 MHz 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
4 x Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Samsung USB Bluray burner Corsair H100i Windows 7 Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eizo Nanao S2100 21" Steelseries 6GV2 Seasonic Platinum SS-860XP2 Corsair Obsidian 350D mATX 
MouseAudioOther
Razer Deathadder Creative X-Fi Titanium HD LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i 6Gbp/s 
  hide details  
Reply
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