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Audio noob researching purchases

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I decided to buy myself a new toy (roughly $150-$200 budget) and I've narrowed it down to a few different options. I want to either upgrade my audio setup with headphones and sound card (card only if necessary), OR buy a new video card.

Currently, I'm using onboard audio from my Asus M4A79XTD Evo with a 2.1 setup of crummy Insignia speakers. After reading through much of this: http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...-headsets.html I am inclined to get a set of ATH-AD700's and a sound card but only if the headphones will still sound crappy with my onboard audio. I am pretty set on the AD700's (unless anything better/cheaper has come out since) so for the audio side of things I am mostly looking for sound card suggestions under $50. I will largely be gaming (fps mostly + everything else) and also listening to music (dubstep/metal).

Now, that is one route I am thinking of going. My other thought is toward a new video card. I am an ATI die-hard, nothing you can say will push me toward Nvidia unless they suddenly cut their prices in half. Currently I'm using an MSI Hawk 5770 which is good for now but I saw the HD 6000 line is looking pretty reasonable in pricing and I'm thinking ahead to what I may need to make Skyrim look nice. If I go the video card route I'll probably spend $150-$200 on a 6850 or 6870.

So, put yourself in my shoes, what would you go for?

Thanks in advance for the help, you guys have some great forums here.
Meh
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHZ M4A79XTD Evo MSI Hawk 5770 G.skill 4gb 
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Meh
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHZ M4A79XTD Evo MSI Hawk 5770 G.skill 4gb 
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post #2 of 4
which is more important for you to have? if you aren't looking to spend more then $50 for a sound card, i'd say you are better off using on-board and getting the AD700's, although what i would do in this situation is this: buy another 5770 for crossfire setup and buy ad700's. though this might go over the budget by a small amount.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply

I can't be sure which is more important as I have never experienced quality audio and the way some people talk about it, I'm probably missing a lot.

crossfire 5770's may not be out of reach as my gf is running an xfx 5770 in her machine. If I throw 50 bucks or so her way I could probably convince her to upgrade so I can grab her card for crossfire. I've never run crossfire but I did borrow her card once out of curiosity and ran a 3dmark benchmark but the gains seemed minimal. Will running crossfire do things in game that won't show in 3dmark?
Meh
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHZ M4A79XTD Evo MSI Hawk 5770 G.skill 4gb 
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Meh
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II X4 965 3.4 GHZ M4A79XTD Evo MSI Hawk 5770 G.skill 4gb 
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post #4 of 4
not much into doing benchmarks so you might want to ask someone else on that end but from my own experiences with my 5770 cf setup I've seen some noticeable FPS increase in games like Crysis and BC2, so from my view point its worth going crossfire but how well will this run Skyrim really no idea.
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