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Choosing a Sound Card

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I've been reading over these forums for a while and I've been looking at getting a proper soundcard. I'm currently just running my 2.1 setup through my onboard card and I want something more.

I mainly play games, but I listen to a lot of music too. I'm just wondering about what I should be looking at. I've never bought any soundcards before so I thought I'd see if you guys could recommend anything.

I'm using X-530's atm, so they are 5.1, but my only problem is I have nowhere to put my surround speakers.

I don't really want to spend more than $120 AUD.
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post #2 of 23
Well I can say a couple things:

1.) Screw Creative as a company...I've been sickened by what they've done lately

2.) I have an X-FI XtremeGamer which I love to death and have not had any issues with (Except for Battlefield 2142 where there was a driver conflict problem that gave me a BSOD)

Now when it comes to the Asus/Razer cards I can't say...some say the creative cards are better given they're true EAX but thats just up to personal opinion.
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post #3 of 23
The x-fi products are good as is the asus zonar(xonar?)
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post #4 of 23
Current integrated sound is pretty darn good for 2.1 and I wouldn't really recommend anything more unless you are doing studio level work. In that case get one of those good old X-Fi cards.
    
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post #5 of 23
The Asus Xonar DX might be within your budget. I don't know of any good Australian stores though.
post #6 of 23
you don't have to buy creative's x-fi.... there's auzentech's X-Fi.
sounds far better than creative's
and still better than xonar (yes t4ct1c47, Prelude still prevail)
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hmm so maybe even stick with my onboard? I do use my surround sound headphones a lot though so I'm guessing it will give better quality sound, right? Plus it won't use my resources as much.
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaXenBAmf808 View Post
Current integrated sound is pretty darn good for 2.1 and I wouldn't really recommend anything more unless you are doing studio level work. In that case get one of those good old X-Fi cards.
It's not just the improved sound quality or the slight performance increase, but the decoding itself. Onboard solutions are not capable of decoding EAX 5.0, so you can literally be missing sounds altogether. Here's some of what an X-Fi is capable of.....

"The latest version of EAX supports up to 128 simultaneous voices (sounds) giving developers a lot of space for detailed sound effects. Theoretically you are now able to hear an impressive amount of 128 bullets hitting a wall at the exact same moment which is quiet a lot.

One of the new features in EAX5.0 is EAX Voice. When using a microphone in a game your voice will be applied to your player model and it's position. All environmental effects apply and your friends will hear you like you would be inside the game.

Another feature is EAX PurePath. Previous generations of EAX already had support for multi-speaker setups. Depending on the position of a sound in the game it would be played by a certain speaker or speakers. But, before EAX5.0 a developer was not able to tell the sound card to play a sound in an exact speaker. This is very useful when it comes to bass in a game. Now a developer can feed your subwoofer with the sounds it is supposed to play rather than all low frequency sounds in a scene. This technique is being used in movies that use Dolby Digital or DTS for years now.

Another feature in EAX5.0 is Environment FlexiFX. It gives game developers the possibility to use all 4 fully flexible hardware effect slots. This means soon we will hear a bigger varieity of effects in games simultaneously.

With EAX MacroFX sounds that are close to you can be very accurately recreated. Someone whispering to your ear, a bullet flying a couple inch by your head, etc. A game developer has the possibility to make all those sounds far more realistic than ever before.

Environment Occlusion as the name suggests adds environmental effects to sounds which are located behind a solid object. In previous generations when someone was shooting behind a window you would hear the sound like it's behind glass but it would sound the same if the shooter was in a great hall or in open space. Now, you will be able to distinguish in what space the shooter stands."
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post #9 of 23
sound cards aren't cheap! http://itestate.com.au/category.asp?ctgcod=C10004100601

Get the asus or the Auzen.... don't go creative...

edit: http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?...oducts_id=6861

might be worth it!
Edited by DaCrusader - 7/2/08 at 4:00am
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post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks sccr that explains a lot!
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