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Sound Card for Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1? Soundblaster Z or Xonar Essence?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to audio so was hoping you all could offer some advice.

I have Promedia Ultra 5.1s and a pair of Logitech G930s.

I tend to use the speakers more often.

Would there be any purpose to get an external sound card for my speakers?

I can get a used Soundblaster Z for ~$55 shipped and Xonar Essence for ~$105 shipped; used ZXR would be ~$140.

Put in a bit of OT recently and would like to reward myself so the price isn't a huge factor but getting good bang for the buck matters.

I've read that the Soundblaster is better for gaming and Essence for music; I don't game much as of late (primarily DoTA) and a few random other games now and then. Tend to watch a lot of shows/movies and listen to music.

Would I even notice a difference between the external cards when outputting through the Klipsch's vs the onboard sound? Not an audiophile by any means.

Thanks.
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Samsung 850 Evo 500GB (OS Drive) 2x Western Digital 2TB Green (WD20EARS) 1x Western Digital 2TB Green (WD20EARX) 1x Western Digital 4TB Red (WD40EFRX) 
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2x Sony Optiarc DVD RW AD-7240S Corsair Hydro Series H100i 5x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-14 Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
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Samsung S27A950D (Primary) Dell MP2400 (80" projection) Dell Compact Black USB Keyboard (RT7D50) Corsair AX1200 Modular 
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post #2 of 4
Have you looked into a DAC?
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post #3 of 4
DAC for 5.1 system is either:
1. Too expensive
2. It's an AVR

Sound Blaster Z should be a good pair for the speakers. It also allows you to get much better headphones than the G930 (which doesn't use the soundcard at all).

Essence STX is a no go and ZxR is not really worth it with your current audio setup (Most of the expensive features would be left unused).
Edited by Tiihokatti - 4/19/14 at 12:59am
Silent Hawk
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3x Spectre Pro LED 2x TY-140 Windows 7 Samsung S23A700D 
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Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K @4,4GHz Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Gigabyte HD7950 Windforce @1200/1450 2x Corsair Vengeance 4gb 1600mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1Tb Random LG DVD/RW Antec Kühler H2O 620 (with AC F12 push/pull) 3x AC F12 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
1x Glide Stream Windows 7 Samsung S23A700D Logitech G105 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Super Flower Golden Green Pro 750W Rosewill Blackhawk Asus ROG GX1000 Xonar DG 
AudioOther
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80ohm Xilence Fan Controller 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K @4,3GHz Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Gigabyte HD7950 Windforce @1150/1500 2x Corsair Vengeance 4gb 1600mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1Tb Random LG DVD/RW Antec Kühler H2O 620 (with AC F12 push/pull) 2x AC F12 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
3x Spectre Pro LED 2x TY-140 Windows 7 Samsung S23A700D 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G110 Strider Essential 600W Bitfenix Shinobi (modded) Logitech G400 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries QCK+ Xonar D1 Behringer B3031A Superlux HD-681 EVO 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. From what I had read it seemed like the Z was fairly similar to the ZX/ZXR minus the daughter card and some gold caps and other things.

Not planning to upgrade my speakers anytime soon so guess I'll go with the Z.

Will leave me some cash on the side to look into upgrading my GPU at some point.

Rep'd both of you.
Current System
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon X5650 (4GHz @ 1.275v) Asus Sabertooth x58 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 980ti Corsair Platinum 16GB (2x8GB) 2133 DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 500GB (OS Drive) 2x Western Digital 2TB Green (WD20EARS) 1x Western Digital 2TB Green (WD20EARX) 1x Western Digital 4TB Red (WD40EFRX) 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
2x Sony Optiarc DVD RW AD-7240S Corsair Hydro Series H100i 5x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-14 Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Samsung S27A950D (Primary) Dell MP2400 (80" projection) Dell Compact Black USB Keyboard (RT7D50) Corsair AX1200 Modular 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Corsair Obsidian 800D Microsoft USB Intelimouse (Ball) Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1 Logitech G930 Wireless Headset 
  hide details  
Reply
Current System
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon X5650 (4GHz @ 1.275v) Asus Sabertooth x58 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 980ti Corsair Platinum 16GB (2x8GB) 2133 DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 Evo 500GB (OS Drive) 2x Western Digital 2TB Green (WD20EARS) 1x Western Digital 2TB Green (WD20EARX) 1x Western Digital 4TB Red (WD40EFRX) 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
2x Sony Optiarc DVD RW AD-7240S Corsair Hydro Series H100i 5x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-14 Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Samsung S27A950D (Primary) Dell MP2400 (80" projection) Dell Compact Black USB Keyboard (RT7D50) Corsair AX1200 Modular 
CaseMouseAudioAudio
Corsair Obsidian 800D Microsoft USB Intelimouse (Ball) Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1 Logitech G930 Wireless Headset 
  hide details  
Reply
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