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Xonar ST/STX, X-Fi Titanium HD or other?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Evening all,

I'm poised ready to replace my trusty old Audigy 4 with something new and shiny but I'm struggling what to choose.

I originally had my heart set on a Auzentech Forte, but after a shortage of stock which has lasted for months and reading all kinds of horrible things about their RMA procedures, I'm seriously considering something else.

The Xonar ST/STXs have an excellent reputation, on board headphone amplifier, and in the case of the ST, ability to attach the H6 daughterboard. I'm a little put off by their driver suite, reportedly flaky DS3D GX and me (probably very wrongly) associating C-media audio processors with crappy onboard sound.

Creative have just released their X-Fi Titanium HD which has also peaked my interest, if only for the fact it's packing the X-Fi processor which is widely regarded as being excellent. Although it carries a good name, it does seem to fall short due to lack of headphone amplifier and coaxial SPDIF out, both of which I'd ideally like.

I've drawn up a list of pros and cons that I can see for each card.

STX:
+ PCI-e
+ Widely regarded as being excellent
+ Headphone amplifier
- Potentially flakey DS3D GX
- Limited to phono and SPDIF output

ST:
* Pretty much the same as the STX
+ Can attach the H6 daughterboard for 7.1 analogue out
- PCI (lack of future-proofing)

X-Fi Titanium HD:
+ PCI-e
+ X-Fi processor
+ EAX through Alchemy
- Limited to phono and optical output
- More expensive than the Xonar
- No headphone amplifier
- No co-axial SPDIF

I'm primarily going to be driving my Z5500s using coaxial SPDIF, and I'm going to be driving an as of yet unknown set of cans through the headphone out of the card. Main uses will be for gaming, listening to music and watching the occassional film.

I guess the question is, if you were me, would you plumb for the:

* STX - foregoing the ability to drive 5.1 speakers using analogue connections
* ST - facing the prospect of a $220 card which can't be used because future motherboards may not support PCI
* X-Fi Titanium HD - and, well, pay a premium for a name and lack features that I will probably need.

Are there any other cards that I should consider?

Cheers,

/Jim
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post #2 of 23
I would go for the Xonar Stx. The stx (not sure about the st) is more geared toward music listening. You also might want to look at the Xonar D2X, which is more toward gaming. Good luck .
    
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post #3 of 23
If you really must use those speakers (won't sell them), then go for the D2X because you can't use a stereo card. If you use the optical out port on the ST, STX, or Titanium HD, you are bypassing the sound card's DAC therefore bypassing any quality improvement.
The ST's 7.1 adapter is for different types of speakers, not the ones you have.

The D2X seems to be a great card that can do all you need.
post #4 of 23
Or if you have the cash i would get this sounds card. And you get a life time warranty and some decent headphones also.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132018

I have the asus xonar d2x and this will be my next card.
post #5 of 23
The xonars have a special set of drivers said to be much better than what asus has to offer here

http://danielkawakami.blogspot.com/2...1_archive.html

notice the date?
Asus is the way to go dude.
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adversity View Post
If you really must use those speakers (won't sell them), then go for the D2X because you can't use a stereo card. If you use the optical out port on the ST, STX, or Titanium HD, you are bypassing the sound card's DAC therefore bypassing any quality improvement.
To be honest, I barely use my Z5500s. They're a throwback to when I lived life as a single man in my own apartment...

My current "man-cave" resides in the attic (which doesn't have a door on it) in the house I share with my girlfriend. Sound travels down through the whole house, and being the caring chap I am, I don't wish to inflict it on my long suffering other half.

It's one of the reasons that I'm looking to buy a decent soundcard - so that I can drive some good cans from it. It'll help keep the girlfriend happy, me in her good books and mean that I can experience decent sound whilst she sleeps it the bedroom below me!

Quote:
The ST's 7.1 adapter is for different types of speakers, not the ones you have.

The D2X seems to be a great card that can do all you need.
I'm a little confused abou the "different types of speakers" comment, I figured that a couple of phono to 3.5mm mini jack cables would allow me to run analogue 5.1 to my Z5500s.

I've contemplated the D2X, but dislike the hideous light show that can't be turned off!
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KILLER_K View Post
Or if you have the cash i would get this sounds card. And you get a life time warranty and some decent headphones also.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132018

I have the asus xonar d2x and this will be my next card.
Cheers for the heads-up. I've had a look over the Xense, it's similar in many ways to the STX/ST. I quite like the 7.1 analogue breakout on it, but I don't really want to pay for the PC350s and it's not available without them.

It's only around $30 more expensive than the STX, so it may be worth some consideration. I may even be able to recoup some money by selling the PC350s on
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post #8 of 23
I'm in the same situation as the OP, but I'm trying to decide between the X-Fi Titanium HD, eClaro, or Xonar Xense. The reason is that my mobo has only PCIe slots and I'm going to drive them through my Promedia Ultimate 5.1 speakers. The Xense is almost perfect for me, but the price tag is too expensive (both sound card and headset). I'm going to do mostly gaming and sometimes watching Blu-ray shows.
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post #9 of 23
post #10 of 23
I really have liked my Titanium HD. The card works very with its optical output. Its analog output with a 2.1 speaker setup is excellent.

I dislike ASUS' software interface. It is absolute *****.

Although Creative had driver problems in the past, I have not had a single issue in two and half months with the card. Not one single issue......

Those that had issues, and reported those in the Creative Labs' web forum, tried to do an upgrade from old software, etc.

Great card, rock solid. If you play legacy games, Creative's Alchemy is excellent. It restores EAX to FEAR, Thief 1, 2, and 3, the Hitman series, etc.

The ASUS card is awful with legacy games.
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