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Should I get a sound card? onBoard P5K vs. X-Fi

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I plan on getting 5.1 z-5500 speakers, and plan on using the onboard sound in the P5K Deluxe, would I notice a difference at all if I got a X-Fi card? If so, which model would you recommend/most suitable with my new system; click on the "Project: SPAWN 2.0" thread for specs
post #2 of 22
Yes. You don't need crazy high end speakers to tell the difference actually, just decent ones that have a nice full range.

Did you mean the Z-5300e or the Z-5500? Either way, if you're gaming, the X-Fi Xtremegamer is a great value (And yes you will notice a difference with those speakers). If you mostly listen to music and watch movies, then get something like the Sondigo Inferno or Bluegears b-Inspirer.
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post #3 of 22
I've never used a sound card myself, but I believe that if you're gonna go for 5.1 surround (I want those same speakers, BTW!), then a sound card will definitely make it sound better.
    
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
i meant the z-5500

i listen to alot of music, more than gaming

i was lookin at the X-Fi Platinum, i c that u have one, how is it
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhahahaha View Post
I've never used a sound card myself, but I believe that if you're gonna go for 5.1 surround (I want those same speakers, BTW!), then a sound card will definitely make it sound better.
how much of a difference are we talking about here, if its just a little bit, then i dont think itd be worth the extra $75-100, i dont know, has anyone had any experiences switching to a sound card on a 5.1, and noticing the difference in sound quality
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by blade007 View Post
how much of a difference are we talking about here, if its just a little bit, then i dont think itd be worth the extra $75-100, i dont know, has anyone had any experiences switching to a sound card on a 5.1, and noticing the difference in sound quality
I can hear a difference with 2 speakers It's not just the sound quality that will improve, but you'll actually be able to hear more sounds. The X-Fi will not only be able to decode sounds that your onboard audio has to simply ignore, but it can also produce more sounds simultaneously than possible with onboard. You'll hear things in games that were simply passed over before. If you can afford it, get a sound card.
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post #7 of 22
it's heaven and earth bro... heaven and earth!

and ofcoz, with the soundcard processing all the sound, your cpu will not be stressed over onboard audio processing.
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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
hmm, thanks for the inputs guys, im very close to buying one now, which model would u recommend?
post #9 of 22
The sound quality is a huge difference. Even with my stock X-Fi, it is very noticeable on Z-5300's.

For music, it just comes out clearer, and it's hard to describe... but it's better.

For gaming... well, gaming is really the X-Fi's strong point. They are arguably the best gaming sound cards. The positioning is near perfect and most games are specifically written and optimized for Creative cards.

As far as the X-Fi Platinum goes... You probably don't need it. I would get the XtremeMusic or XtremeGamer instead (All X-Fi's will have the exact sound quality stock except for the Elite and the XtremeAudio. The Elite is better and the Xtremeaudio is worse). XtremeMusic is the exact same card but without the front panel. The XtremeGamer is the exact same card but made with slightly cheaper components, doesn't support the breakout box, and is low profile. Unless you need the front panel for something, I wouldn't waste the money on it - I only use it for the MIDI interface.

So to simplify this whole thing... get the XtremeMusic or the XtremeGamer.
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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by blade007 View Post
hmm, thanks for the inputs guys, im very close to buying one now, which model would u recommend?
If you're a decent solderer, buy an ExtremeMusic on Ebay and mod it.
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...will-void.html

Edit: Don't forget that the ExtremeGamer doesn't have the digital input/output jack.
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