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Upgrade suggestions from ALC889?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I switched to a x-fi xtremegamer recently and after about 30 driver crashes, I went back to onboard. Honestly, I didn't notice a difference in sound quality at all (Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers and HA-RX900 headphones). I know onboard has cone a long way, but I was expecting a lot more than what I got.

What would be a good budget card to replace the ALC889 onboard sound? I really don't have a problem with the sound quality over speakers, and I guess I wouldn't know what to listen for if there was a difference.

Where I'm disappointed is when I use my headphones. I was looking at the xonar dg because it has the amp, but after my experience with the sb, I'm not so sure there is a good replacement under $60.

My main uses are gaming and music.
Suggestions?
Edited by Droogie - 6/2/12 at 6:36am
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post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 
Anyone?

I'm looking at this, which I could pick up today. http://orlando.craigslist.org/sys/3036801357.html


How does this card compare to say a Titanium HD? The price looks good on it.
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post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
So, noone has a good suggestion? I really don't know anything about sound cards. I bought this one because it was cheap, and figured it had to be better than onboard. I was wrong.

All I want to know is if there is a good alternatrive to the ALC889 Realtek for under $60, and if the Azuntech x-fi forte is a good card or not for gaming. Also looking to see what people think of the DG compared to onboard.
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post #4 of 37
Perhaps you'll be better off with a dedicated USB DAC/Headamp such as the Fiio E10?
The speakers should be OK with the on-board audio.

The problem with headphones is that a high output impedance from your source will interfere with the headphones' frequency response and damping, so this could be why you're disappointed with your headphones. The Fiio would fix that. wink.gif
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post #5 of 37
I have a x-fi xtremegamer (the slim profile one) in my PC and never had any driver problems so maybe your cards bad, Was a pretty big difference in sound quality especially in games.
Though I do use a FiiO E10 for my headphones and it works great, its a better DAC for music but not by much. It also has a line out that is not controlled by the AMP so thats a nice feature of it as well. I plan on getting a little dot mkII and using the FiiO E10 as its DAC.

For sound card get the xonar DG if you want a cheap sound card with built in amp, or the Xonar DX if you want a better DAC. The DX is about even with the FiiO E10, but the DX lacks the headphone amp.
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post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vittau View Post

Perhaps you'll be better off with a dedicated USB DAC/Headamp such as the Fiio E10?
The speakers should be OK with the on-board audio.
The problem with headphones is that a high output impedance from your source will interfere with the headphones' frequency response and damping, so this could be why you're disappointed with your headphones. The Fiio would fix that. wink.gif

I have no idea what you just said tongue.gif I know nothing about specs when it comes to audio. Sound is sound for me, mostly. I just know that games sound kind of flat through them, and things like EAX don't really work too well. It definitely worked better through the card I had, but it was too much of a problem.
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post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

I have a x-fi xtremegamer (the slim profile one) in my PC and never had any driver problems so maybe your cards bad, Was a pretty big difference in sound quality especially in games.
Though I do use a FiiO E10 for my headphones and it works great, its a better DAC for music but not by much. It also has a line out that is not controlled by the AMP so thats a nice feature of it as well. I plan on getting a little dot mkII and using the FiiO E10 as its DAC.
For sound card get the xonar DG if you want a cheap sound card with built in amp, or the Xonar DX if you want a better DAC. The DX is about even with the FiiO E10, but the DX lacks the headphone amp.

You must have been lucky. I've seen lots of reviews posted on this card with the exact problem I had. In fact, I've seen more negative than postitive due to it. A lot more.
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post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the assistance, btw.
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post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droogie View Post

I have no idea what you just said tongue.gif I know nothing about specs when it comes to audio. Sound is sound for me, mostly. I just know that games sound kind of flat through them, and things like EAX don't really work too well. It definitely worked better through the card I had, but it was too much of a problem.
I never much cared for stuff like EAX, so I don't know too much about it. But I do know you will NOT have it with a non-Creative USB DAC (which includes the Fiio E10).
But since Vista, as far as I know, most games are moving to OpenAL or DirectSound3D and both will work on any kind of hardware.
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post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Do you think I would notice a difference going to a dg or dgx?

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