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Opinion/Experience - Realtek ALC892 vs X-FI XtremeGamer?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

Just wondering who prefers what. My new board comes with a Realtek ALC 892 and I also have a X-FI XtremeGamer sitting in the system too.

Now, I can't decide. The onboard comes with an additional software layer, Sound Blaster Cinema for all the software stuff.

ALC892 with SB Cinema
Flat without the enhancements, but excels in gaming (sound positioning, background noise). But is extremely varied with sounds (e.g. loud singing in music but quiet instrumentals. Loud foreground and environmental sounds, quiet explosions in games)

SB XtremeGamer
Flat without enhancements, but more consistent with the sounds (e.g. both singing and instruments are similar levels. Same in games)


My speakers are decent and in my old system the difference was night and day. Could it be onboard has come a long way? Or something else? Both have advantages and disadvantages.

But I assumed a discrete sound card would still sound better, but I'm torn between them now.

Opinions thumb.gif
Edited by mikeo01 - 10/22/13 at 7:16am
post #2 of 8
Yes, the onboard soundcards have come a long way. But they have large problems with grounding/etc. as the mobo design is usually bad for the onboard.

Are these your speakers? Because that's what your sig says...
Plus the xtremegamer is not really a great card for music.
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah I did notice that problem, but aside from that it seems decent.

Yeah those are my front speakers smile.gif

Well when I had my X-FI in my old system the sound quality was a lot better than my onboard, however they are now similar.
post #4 of 8
Ahem... I try to keep this as neutral as possible without going to any insults towards your speakers.

Are you in your right mind when you say that you have decent speakers? Those aren't even considered speakers in my mind...
The only reason you could have heard the difference with your old setup is that the onboard audio had massive issues with grounding/emi.

Thumb rule is that the soundcard/DAC must not be over 50% of the price of your speakers. That money should be spent on better speakers and get more bang for buck that way.
Edited by Tiihokatti - 10/22/13 at 8:13am
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well these used to be my old speakers and they were worse.

I managed to get my X-FI very cheaply.

What would you consider "decent" speakers?
post #6 of 8
Aside from the boutique brands like Swan or M-Audio, PC specific speakers are horrible. At least, everything I've heard that's come out in the past ten years or so is. I actually have not heard PC speakers from Logitech et al at any price point that come close tossounding as good as my MS Digital Sound System 80 from like 1998!
Most all computer speakers are designed to look expensive while using the absolute cheapest components available. Basically, they follow the Bose business plan.

Go to a local refurb audio equipment store and spend $50-150 on a set of sweet vintage speakers and an older amp or receiver (must have pass thru) to power them, and you will hear a huge difference.
   
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Just been comparing again and trying to listen carefully. I can slightly tell the X-FI is better, it's clearer.

I think the only advantage and way my ears are telling me the onboard is good is because of the varying volume for different situations.

Also, I would never spend that much on just speakers. I knew someone who had Creative Gigaworks T20 IIs and although they were good, they wasn't that much better than mine really. I couldn't tell the difference as he had them up so loud.

What I am looking for in quality? Most speakers I hear sound the same to me (except the really cheap ones, tinny or muddy sounding).
post #8 of 8
What I would call decent is:
ESI nEar05
M-Audio AV40
M-Audio BX5 D2
And any decent passive speakers (used Wharfedale Diamond/etc) paired with decent amp (Lepai T-amp for example).

All the sub-80$ PC-speakers... I would only use them with a laptop while travelling. And even then I would much rather use headphones.
Thumb rule is that to beat good headphones you need 2-3 times more expensive active speakers (like my DT770 vs B3031A).
And good headphones doesn't always mean expensive rolleyes.gif

And btw, Logitech quality = Creative quality in speakers. Don't expect anything mindblowing from them.
Personally I see my speakers/headphones as the best buy I have ever made. They are build to last, so why would I spend only 10€ on speakers that I use daily for +5 years?
Edited by Tiihokatti - 10/23/13 at 1:57pm
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