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Pc Gaming sound card - please recommend...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Long time lurker to overclock, just recently registered.

Anyhow, I'll get straight to it. I'm putting together a gaming PC specifically for gaming, and right now I have my eyes set on Starcraft 2, as I used to play sc1 yearsssssss ago.

Anyways! I may get integrated sound, but honestly I haven't used a dedicated sound card in years and am out of the loop in regards to onboard quality vs aftermarket for non-professional applications like gaming.

I'm not looking to spend a ton of money on this, but I also dont like to skimp on quality. If price is reasonable, I'll always get the better product.

Anyhow, I know Sc2 uses 5.1. Please give me your recommendations!
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Cooler Master HAF 922 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K Asus P67 Pro MSI 460GTX 8g Patriot Viper Xtreme Div2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Crucial 128 C300 SSD Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2311H SeaSonic x850 
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Cooler Master HAF 922 
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post #2 of 21
Onboard audio is still inferior to good sound cards, but how much can you spend?
It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
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It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
Onboard audio is still inferior to good sound cards, but how much can you spend?
Nothing is set in stone. I won't be using it professionally, just for games really. The cheaper the better, but I suppose I'd want "midrange". I'm basically trying to have something ready to buy in case the motherboard I get ends up having sh*** onboard audio.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K Asus P67 Pro MSI 460GTX 8g Patriot Viper Xtreme Div2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Crucial 128 C300 SSD Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2311H SeaSonic x850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 922 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K Asus P67 Pro MSI 460GTX 8g Patriot Viper Xtreme Div2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Crucial 128 C300 SSD Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2311H SeaSonic x850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 922 
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post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aranock21 View Post
Nothing is set in stone. I won't be using it professionally, just for games really. The cheaper the better, but I suppose I'd want "midrange". I'm basically trying to have something ready to buy in case the motherboard I get ends up having sh*** onboard audio.
Can you afford to spend $100?
It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
  hide details  
Reply
It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 21
If you're looking for quality then you should make a stop-by at Creative.
They make some of the best audio cards. Depending on your budget, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium might be a very wise choice, check it out.
post #6 of 21
It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
  hide details  
Reply
It's a computer!
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K @ 4.5GHz (1.368-1.384V fixed voltage) ASUS P8P67 EVO B3 (UEFI ver. 1850) GTX 780 ASUS DirectCU II (1228 / 6300, 1.180V) G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1866MHz, CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SH-S203N 20X DVD Burner Thermaltake Frio Win 7 Home Premium x64 SP1 Retail AOC G2460PG (24" 1920 x 1080 144Hz G-SYNC) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Filco Majestouch 104-key Cherry MX Blues w/NKRO Corsair HX650 (Bronze, ordered on 12-12-2009) CM 690 Intellimouse Optical (1.1A) 1000Hz polling rate 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Basic, but premium round X-Fi Titanium HD Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (with 16 AWG Monster Cable... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 21
Actually, the X-Fi series is years old. ASUS makes some really good sound cards in their Xonar line, and the lowest-end DG starts at $30, with some truly amazing sounding cards up into the 200 range. Some have dedicated headphone amps as well as emulated EAX and 5.1 hookups (obviously) I used an X-Fi Fatal1ty for years and recently switched to the Xense, and it's AWESOME with headphones. In the $90 range you have the DX and D1 (I'm pretty sure the only difference is PCI vs. PCI-E)
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i7 950 Gigabyte G1 Assassin EVGA GeForce GTX 465 --> 470 MSI GeForce 470 Twin Frozr II 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Patriot Sector 7 OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS Western Digital Velociraptor Western Digital Caviar Black 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Black LG Blu-Ray Combo EVGA Superclock Noctua NF-S12B 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Noctua P14-FLX Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Dell Ultrasharp U2410 Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX750 Cooler Master HAF X Nvidia Edition Logitech G9X Puretrak Talent 
AudioAudioOther
ASUS Xonar Xense Logitech Z-5500 Samsung Writemaster DVD-RW 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Core i7 950 Gigabyte G1 Assassin EVGA GeForce GTX 465 --> 470 MSI GeForce 470 Twin Frozr II 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Patriot Sector 7 OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS Western Digital Velociraptor Western Digital Caviar Black 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Black LG Blu-Ray Combo EVGA Superclock Noctua NF-S12B 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Noctua P14-FLX Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Dell Ultrasharp U2410 Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX750 Cooler Master HAF X Nvidia Edition Logitech G9X Puretrak Talent 
AudioAudioOther
ASUS Xonar Xense Logitech Z-5500 Samsung Writemaster DVD-RW 
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post #8 of 21
For gaming get a Auzentech X-Fi Forte the best there is, if you are on a budget the best quality/price card is the Asus Xonar D1/DX but they are more for music and movies then gaming nevertheless a lot better then Onboard audio.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceej View Post
Actually, the X-Fi series is years old. ASUS makes some really good sound cards in their Xonar line, and the lowest-end DG starts at $30, with some truly amazing sounding cards up into the 200 range. Some have dedicated headphone amps as well as emulated EAX and 5.1 hookups (obviously) I used an X-Fi Fatal1ty for years and recently switched to the Xense, and it's AWESOME with headphones. In the $90 range you have the DX and D1 (I'm pretty sure the only difference is PCI vs. PCI-E)
+1
The Xonar DX is a great card. I would recommend it or the Claro Omega. Sound quality wise both are supposed to be very good for the price, but they also have many specific 'gaming' functions.
Edited by Xazen - 3/14/11 at 12:41pm
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i7-4770K Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H EVGA GTX 780 16GB DDR3 
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i7-4770K Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H EVGA GTX 780 16GB DDR3 
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Phantom 630 
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post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceej View Post
Actually, the X-Fi series is years old. ASUS makes some really good sound cards in their Xonar line, and the lowest-end DG starts at $30, with some truly amazing sounding cards up into the 200 range. Some have dedicated headphone amps as well as emulated EAX and 5.1 hookups (obviously) I used an X-Fi Fatal1ty for years and recently switched to the Xense, and it's AWESOME with headphones. In the $90 range you have the DX and D1 (I'm pretty sure the only difference is PCI vs. PCI-E)
Lots of choices. Didn't know Asus had a name in audio cards, glad to hear it. I'm still not sure what to get though. The Xense looks awesome, but headphones bother my big ears, so I'll be getting speakers as well. Xonar D1/DX look promising.

2 Follow up questions if you would, good sirs:

1.) Any recommended speakers?
2.) What should I look for specifically in an Audio Card? (for this gaming specifically) 5.1 channels, 192khz?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K Asus P67 Pro MSI 460GTX 8g Patriot Viper Xtreme Div2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Crucial 128 C300 SSD Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2311H SeaSonic x850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 922 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I5 2500K Asus P67 Pro MSI 460GTX 8g Patriot Viper Xtreme Div2 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Crucial 128 C300 SSD Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell U2311H SeaSonic x850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 922 
  hide details  
Reply
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