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Schould I get a sound card? Asus M5a97 motherboard

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello guys and gals ive been thinking about grabbing a sound card but iam not sure if I will get any benefit from it so iam looking for some input from u guys....Currently iam using The Asus M5A97 hooked up via optical to a Sony Digital surround receiver 5.1 model-STR-K850P,also running a subwoffer I think it has total 250 watts or similar not sure but if I pick-up a sound card will I notice better performance and what can u guys recommend for me? Ive seen the sound blaster cards go for $100 dollars is it worth it and is the stock audio on my mobo bad? It sounds great as it is iam not complaining but if its worth it ill grab a card- Let me know please? Thank you:thumb:
     
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post #2 of 14
over simplified opinion:
on board sound cards are pretty decent since it doesnt take much hardware to run good sound.
that being said they will probably lack an extensive amount of channels and will be lower quality than a decent stand alone sound card
also it shares the CPU if im not mistaken

Depending on how hard you push your sound, you might consider it. if you seek high quality, a stand alone card that you research and see performs well will be satisfying.

If you use your on board for standard sound and 'some what' demanding needs, you will be fine.



My situation:
i have a external sound card planted in my headset (7.1 surround sound headset) which is ok for the most part, but channels lack when a lot of things happen at once, in quake for example. rare enough for me to not care too much, as the headphones are pretty sick in general.
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post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMafia View Post

over simplified opinion:
on board sound cards are pretty decent since it doesnt take much hardware to run good sound.
that being said they will probably lack an extensive amount of channels and will be lower quality than a decent stand alone sound card
also it shares the CPU if im not mistaken

Depending on how hard you push your sound, you might consider it. if you seek high quality, a stand alone card that you research and see performs well will be satisfying.

If you use your on board for standard sound and 'some what' demanding needs, you will be fine.



My situation:
i have a external sound card planted in my headset (7.1 surround sound headset) which is ok for the most part, but channels lack when a lot of things happen at once, in quake for example. rare enough for me to not care too much, as the headphones are pretty sick in general.

No offense, but that is not the right way to think about sound cards these days.

The CPU issue is a non issue now a days.

IDK what you are talking about what you say channels. Do you mean surround sound channels (ie 2.1-3.1-5.1-7.1)? If so then that is generally a non issue for motherboards. You have to go with a REALYYYY budget board to not get at least 5.1. The OPs motherboard supports at least 5.1.

Also, it DOES take a lot of hardware to have good sound. That is not even debatable.

Also.....what do you mean demanding sound???? Sound....is sound.....is sound...............................is sound. There hasn't been a need to even think about your sound demand since like 2001 maybe?

And your headphones simply suck. The demand of sound is not what is killing the channels on your headphones, it is the poor quality.

I am not saying you are wrong, but your thinking seems pretty antiquated.

@OP: Just pick up a sound card that can compress your audio in DTS or dolby digital live.
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
So basicly my motherboard should have at least 5.1 is what you guys are saying correct? Iam gonna try to look-up the specs on it and see what I can dig up-so theres no need to go out and blow $150 dollars on that sound blaster card 3-d recon its called? They have some in the higher range as well but I wasn't sure if id benefit from it and also if its even worth it to spend $100 dollars or a sound card because the mobo dosent even cost that much lol- I will look for a card to compress dts or dolby digital live.Thank you
     
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Oh side note- Whats some good headphones I can pick-up for a decent price? I think my wife and daughter pretty much had it with my bass slamming games and explosions iam just waiting 4 an ashtray to come flying my way one of these days haha! I need something that has clear sound,decent bass, but not headphones for $300 dollars I cant afford that, turtle beach are those any good?
     
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post #6 of 14
Ah my bad. I will respond to your last two posts.

So here is what is going on in your system. Currently, you are going from your mobo to your sony receiver to use 5.1 audio.

Well I am ASSUMING. you are going from your optical out to your receiver. That means that all you are doing is sending pure data to your receiver which does the audio processing.

The issue is that optical out does NOT support 5.1 audio on it's own. It simply does not have enough band width. To get 5.1 audio you need to compress your 5.1 audio to send it through the optical out. To do this you use dolby digital live, or DTS (there are probably other ways too, but those are the ones I know of). Well motherboards on their own normally don't have this ability and I am positive that yours doesn't. If you say that you are getting 5.1 audio, then you are doing something different than what I am aware of.

To have dolby digital live or DTS, you need a sound card with optical out, spidif out, or a data line out with an adapter that is designated for dolby digital live.

Those sound cards are sort of hard to find though. So I would recommend simply google around and find something on ebay and ask us before you buy what ever sound card you find. (I can't recommend a sound card since I am not the 5.1 guru around here. I prefer 2 channel sound...I hope you can understand)

As for headphones, mmmmmmmmmm would you consider used headphones?
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes sir that is how i am connected through motherboard optical to reciver optical out, i appologize if i didnt specify.i would probbly pick one up at micro center since its so close to my house... Iam gonna swing by the store tommorow see what they have, ill write down the model numbers and what not so u guys can help me pick whats best for me.as for the headphones i wouldnt mind at all buying used just as long as they work or dont smell like cabbage lol! Thanks so much i would be lost without u guys,i dont buy anything unless i check here 1st! This place just rocks! ..... You sound like a guru to me_ you know alot more then i do!
     
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Mafia/ what kind of headphones are u using if i may ask? U know i akways thought 5.1 meant 5 speakers plus 1 center channek speaker? Iam using 2 front speakers, 2 surround speakers, 1 center channel, and 1 sub woffer. When i 1st put my system togeter i went out and bought a pair of logitech speakers to use for everyday.to say i was dissapointed would be an under statment so i hooked up some higher end home audio to my rig and what a diffrence it made! Lately ive been thinking to hook up a car amp and a nice jl audio subwoofer but iam gonna need a much stronger psu or a stand alone psu to drive the amp.... I think?was thinking something like 800_1000 watts rms?that might be a little overkill but this is ocn right?
     
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post #9 of 14
Sorry for the delay, I just got home from work.

As for the headphones if you sit close enough to your receiver, then get some used sennheiser HD580s, or HD600s/650s. NOT the 555s not the 598s not anything other than those 3 headphones.

IDK how good your receiver is.....but you might...........MIGHT get away with some used hifi man HE-400s. To get it in your price range though, it would be a miracle.

Lastly, I love these and the guy actually has a fairly decent price on them. http://www.head-fi.org/t/657702/fs-audio-technica-ath-ad900x-150-hours . Audio technica probably makes the best gaming headphone out there. Even though it is more for music, it is so light and airy sounding that you can leave it on your head for hours and barely feel it.

Here is the thing....

All of the good gaming headphones are open headphones. Open means that you and everyone else can hear them. Usually if you are in a room alone and close the door, you are fine, but just don't go expecting that you can take them on the buss or anything.

The openess does provide a better sound stage. The bigger the sound stage, the more immersible the audio becomes.

Unfortunately you sacrifice bass in the process. Personally I think the ones I have mentioned above all have great bass for open headphones. (oh and if you see hoards of people saying that audio technica has no bass, it is because they generally refer to other models and then lump the higher end models in with them. That has happened 3 times on this site to be prepared).

If you would rather have bass and less sound stage, you can go for closed.

These are loved by many. http://www.head-fi.org/t/653521/dt-770-pro-250-ohm-barely-used

I personally don't like them because they do not suit my musical taste, but for bass heavy things, I guess they are pretty good. For that price however, I would be MORE than willing to buy them myself despite my distaste.
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post #10 of 14
If you are using optical out, it is to my understanding that the receiver does all of the decoding. This means that you shouldn't need a sound card. (Feel free to correct me on this.) If so, you will only need headphones from what I understand. I have the Sony MDR-V6, ($~70) which are decent closed headphones. Another option is the JVC HA-RX900 ($55 on Amazon), which are also pretty good closed cans. The ATH-M50s are a favorite among closed cans, but are a little more expensive ($110-120). For open cans, the Grado sr80i and sr60i are pretty good for their price points.

Hope this helps.
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