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Sound Card for Gaming/Music 2013

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
The first thing I'm going to do, is Welcome You all to this thread.
My purpose in this thread is to get some response as to which Sound Card should I choose for Gaming.

I'm in not a very knowledgeable person about the audio stuff, but I did browse very many (could say, even countless) threads, to find my answer as to which Sound Card should I choose ( I spent around 2 - 3 weeks, browsing the web)
But I just couldn't come to conclusion, as because of either the Thread was old (1,5 year to 3 years), or it didn't have a clear answer for me.


So basically, I'm looking for a Sound Card for Gaming (Very Often), and Music (I also do listen to Music, and I do like clear to hear clear sound).
I play games such as: (lot FPS) Battlefield 3, CS, CoD, and MMO's, RPG's (Skyrim, FarCry3) and some other Single Player games.
I do listen to music very frequently too, also I do listen to almost every kind of Music, from heavy Bass to heavy Treble (if I can say that).

I will be using
Headset: Sennheiser PC 360 G4ME (I already own these),
and I will be getting some high quality 2.1 Speakers.



So requirements for the Sound Cards I would like to buy would be:
Under 301$,
Emulation of sound from Stereo to either 5.1 or 7.1 Surround Sound on my Sennheiser PC 360 (best would be 7.1, I won't have problem if it's either a Dolby Headphone or CMSS-3D),
The analogue I/O doesn't matter as long it can Emulate Stereo to Surround, and have enough I/O compatible for my Sennheiser PC 360 and 2.1 Speakers,
In-built Headphones AMP (I read that it does help for headphones/sets, correct me if I'm wrong),
PCI-Express,
and minmum 24-bit 96 KHz, also at least over 105 dB
and Good Music Sound (it can suffer a little, if the Surround is Very Good).



I was kind of thinking about these Sound Cards (but I'm just not sure what Specs to consider):
1. Creative SB Titanium HD
2. Assus Xonar Essence STX
3. Asus Xonar DX
4. Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (but I heard that the ZxR doesn't have Surround Emultaion, or something in that direction)
5. Creative SB X-FI Titanium Fatal1ty Professional

But I'm open for propositions, and Yours opinions folks.
So please, help me get a good sound card for Gaming and Music.
Edited by KsnNwk - 4/8/13 at 11:44pm
post #2 of 14
subbed. lets get a good convo here.

And a very warm welcome too happysmiley.gif
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiegreg View Post

subbed. lets get a good convo here.

And a very warm welcome too happysmiley.gif

Hehe.
Thanks for fast response smile.gif
I'm just so excited to get some answers and explanation considering the Sound Cards.

(Well, my friend told me once, that 1 product can be very different for each person, and it's best to try it out yourself. But I'm one of these that NEEDS to get an kind of confirmation for what to go for, and if I'm going to buy something. I always want to be assured that the thing will fulfil my expectations.)

I will be anticipating people's response smile.gif
Edited by KsnNwk - 4/8/13 at 3:00pm
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Would anyone give me suggestion, regarding which sound card should I choose?
Like I mentioned before, a Sound Card for gaming, for Sennheiser PC 360.
post #5 of 14
Well I've heard that creative is made for games and Asus is made for multimedia. I think any thing over two hundred dollars is way to much for a sound card. I have an Asus DX xonar and seems to pack a louder boom than my friends creative that was for the same price. If your in to dub step or something like that you might want to consider buying an Asus sound card because they have amps in them some their $200 ones. And something to look at as well is is the soundcard able to put out a 96khz or a 192khz. To me the difference is great enough to go for the 192khz for $50 more. And to give you a example just imagine it as a monitor. A 60 hz monitor vs a 120hz monitor.

Next I look at the db of every connector on the sound card. I would check what the max db on your headphones and then purchase the sound card that has similar specs on the head phone jack.

I'm a noob at sound cards but this is pretty much all I know about them
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post #6 of 14
For gaming I'd say pick the Titanium HD, at least when I last looked to the subject it had an edge over the Essence STX in surround support (that seemed important to you). Otherwise I'd pick the Essence STX any day thanks to a better headphone amp and overall better sound quality. However, you'd get along fine with a DX too, it's powerful enough for the PC360's and you'd also save quite a lot of pennies.
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for response folks.
I checked Sennheisers PC 360 specifications, and it supports up to 112 dB, so I was checking some sound cards again.
Since you rote that the Creative has edge over Asus about Surround, I thought then to choose 1 of Creative Sound Cards.
Then these are my top 3 choices:
Titanium HD
Titanium Fatal1ty Pro
Sound Blaster ZxR

So I was thinking mostly about these 3, and I was considering mostly ZxR, because it come out just recently. But I read that the Surround in ZxR is different than in previous Creative Cards (and most comments were that it was worse). Can anyone answer if that's true, about Surround?

But I also read the comments that Titanium HD is very good, but will it support also a 2.1 Speakers?

About Fatal1ty, I read that people mainly pay for the name, but also that it is around the same quality as Titanium HD but additionally has 5.1 analogue support.
Edited by KsnNwk - 4/9/13 at 6:25am
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KsnNwk View Post

Thanks for response folks.
I checked Sennheisers PC 360 specifications, and it supports up to 112 dB, so I was checking some sound cards again.
Since you rote that the Creative has edge over Asus about Surround, I thought then to choose 1 of Creative Sound Cards.
Then these are my top 3 choices:
Titanium HD
Titanium Fatal1ty Pro
Sound Blaster ZxR

So I was thinking mostly about these 3, and I was thinking that the foremostly ZxR come out just recently, but I read that the Surround in ZxR is different than in previous Creative Cards (and most comments were that it was worse).
But I also read the comments that Titanium HD is very good, but will it support also a 2.1 Speakers?
About Fatal1ty, I read that people mainly pay for the name, but also that it is around the same quality as Titanium HD but additionally has 5.1 analogue support.
Hmm I checked the ZxR again and it seems to be an actual upgrade over the Titanium HD as it has overall better components. I thought it was just a gaming gimmick. They have a dedicated surround chip now and it's received some great review scores. It has switchable opamps like the THD too. However then the Sound Blaster Z/Zx comes to the picture too, they are both well-equipped gaming sound cards but don't have all the great high-quality components the ZxR has. Powering the headphones is not that much of a concern with these since the PC360's are easy to drive and most PC speakers are active (they're plugged to the wall socket) so it's not a problem either, obviously you get a better sound from the ZxR and the THD than the Z. That Fatality card is very old so I'd say leave that out. 2.1 speakers are supported cause all they need is a single 3,5mm stereo output and that's found in pretty much all available cards, that's not the case with the Essence STX though since it has 6,3mm outputs but all it needs is a 6,3 to 3,5 adapter anyways.

Edit: sorry I'm a bit hasty, the amplified headphone port in the ZxR is also 6,3mm / 1/4" so you do need an adaptor but that's probably supplied with the card. It does not have support for 5.1 analog.
Edited by infernoRS - 4/9/13 at 6:40am
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by infernoRS View Post

Hmm I checked the ZxR again and it seems to be an actual upgrade over the Titanium HD as it has overall better components. I thought it was just a gaming gimmick. They have a dedicated surround chip now and it's received some great review scores. It has switchable opamps like the THD too. However then the Sound Blaster Z/Zx comes to the picture too, they are both well-equipped gaming sound cards but don't have all the great high-quality components the ZxR has. Powering the headphones is not that much of a concern with these since the PC360's are easy to drive and most PC speakers are active (they're plugged to the wall socket) so it's not a problem either, obviously you get a better sound from the ZxR and the THD than the Z. That Fatality card is very old so I'd say leave that out. 2.1 speakers are supported cause all they need is a single 3,5mm stereo output and that's found in pretty much all available cards, that's not the case with the Essence STX though since it has 6,3mm outputs but all it needs is a 6,3 to 3,5 adapter anyways.

Edit: sorry I'm a bit hasty, the amplified headphone port in the ZxR is also 6,3mm / 1/4" so you do need an adaptor but that's probably supplied with the card. It does not have support for 5.1 analog.

Thanks for the response.
Seems that, I will be getting a ZXR or Titanium HD, I will buy the sound card around next month smile.gif
Thanks for the assistance, it proved very helpful for me.

Take care guys.
post #10 of 14
Get the ZxR and dont look back.

I also have the Sennheiser PC360's and wit the ZxR, gaming is on a whole new level. It is also amazing for music.
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