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Sub-$100 Optical out soundcard

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just picked up a Yamaha YHT280 home theater system brand new for the amazing prince of $350CAD. This unit was a steal at the regular price of $500CAD so I jumped on it when it went on sale. At the moment I have nothing connected to the receiver except my computer as I use it for all my media. The audio quality of the stereo is amazing due to Yamaha's high quality equipment. This receiver has a digital music enhancer which greatly improves the audio quality of mp3 files. Right now I am running through the onboard sound on my P5K Premium mobo. I know that running onboard sound is not the highest quality route so I am looking to buy a sound card with optical out since optical is (as far as I know) the highest quality digital audio connection. So far the cheapest card I can find with optical out is the Creative Xfi PCI-E. Anyone have first hand experience with this card? Or can anyone recommend a superior card with optical out under $100? Thanks
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post #2 of 11
I have that card and the sound quality is good. It is cheaply made and is lower quality than most other xfi's. I use its optical port wiht my ht-600s.
    
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post #3 of 11
Go with the Creative X-Fi ExtremeGamer; it is superior to the ExtremeAudio in all aspects.

It's $103 CAD at NCIX, but I'm sure you could find someone in the states to get it off Newegg and ship to you (it comes out to about $50USD+s&h).
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post #4 of 11
He needs an optical out so he will also need the digital converter. It is only $20 and its on amazon.
    
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post #5 of 11
yeah, no need to get anything fancy if you jsut want some digital out, the thing though is that with digital out, you will only get 2-channel pcm sound from almost anything not encoded in dolby digital or dts. If I were you I'd look at something which supports dolby digital live which will encode 2-channel sources and sources from games into 5.1 with the effects the sound card is known for, An exampel is the auzentech prelude which includes the x-fi processor, but will then encode the sound in 5.1 dolby so you get eh same effects you would if you had a pc sound system connected directly to the analog outputs of the card. I think the prelude i the only x-fi (which are amazing for gaming) which supports dolby digital live, but it'lls et you back about $180. In your pricerange if you want somethign decent with Dolby digital like i;d say get the Ht Omega striker. It obviously won't eb as good an an x-fi for gaming, but if you are using only the optical output, creative's x-fis won;t be very beneficial to you. the striker is on sale on ncix right now.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...a&promoid=1001
    
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I would like to avoid using any type of converter because to my knowledge this essentially reduces the audio signal to the quality of the lesser connection type, also it is another expense on top of the card. I just found the HT Omega Striker at NCIX.com for $80CAD with optical out. Not sure what the quality of that card is...
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post #7 of 11
Its on sale for $70 on my link, i say go for the striker, fits your needs.
    
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
K i will keep those 2 in mind while i do more research. I also found the Turtle Beach Montego for $65 which features dolby digital live tech. id love to have games and movies delivered in dolby surround. this card seems like a good deal at that price with the better encoding feature.

k nvm striker has digital live too.. didnt read the product description 100%
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post #9 of 11
lol...do what u want I guess.

Turtle beach would not get my money.
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post #10 of 11
What about THIS card?
    
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