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Hey guys, what's up?

I got a little tired of my onboard Soundmax sound card and wanted to look for a new one.

Oddly enough I've found a few of which I can't really say anything because I don't have the smallest idea about audio quality or how to judge a sound card for its features.

My motherboard has the following layout:



I've found I can pick between a Xonar DX [165$] or a Sound Blaster X-fi Titanium [150$] (or Xtreme [80$] or the titanium fatality version [190$], although the three of them look very much the same).

I can't say what I'm looking for, but I'm not into mixing or audio editing nor anything. I can't justify either wasting more than 100$ on a sound card, really, if the difference isn't that big.

My headphones are a Gamecom 377. Any other suggestions would be great.

Thanks.
 

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I avent used the Xonar myself but I have the X-Fi Titanium (Fatal1ty edition). AFAIK the difference between the Titanium and Fatal1ty is just the shroud... so safe your money!! The X-Fi I have is brilliant and I would recommend it. Perhaps someone with experience of both might be able to help better though!
 

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With those headphones I'd say anything cheap, unless you were planning on upgrading to Audiophile grade headphones+ Seperate Mic, then I'd say you money would be completely wasted on a sound card.
 

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All the X-Fi's models should sound the same, except for the Xtreme Audio. Xtreme Audio uses lower quality components compared with the other X-Fi's.

I currently have the Xonar DX and used to have an X-Fi XtremeMusic. The DX sounds slightly better than the X-Fi using analog outputs imho. If you still play older games with EAX, the X-Fi is better for that than the DX. However, newer games use OpenAL instead of EAX so the DX will be fine.

Driver support: both Asus and Creative are mediocre.

Now for these discrete cards compared to onboard sound: The ADI Soundmax 2000B on your P5Q3 is the same one on my Asus P6TD Deluxe. The sound quality of the ADI 2000B is actually pretty good. The one thing I noticed however was there was slightly more static and noise on the Soundmax compared to the discrete cards. Also, the analog outputs on my Soundmax were much lower in volume compared to the discrete sound cards. The bass is also slightly better on the discrete cards.

The speakers/headphones I used were M-Audio AV-40, BeyerDynamic DT880 Pro, and UE Triple.Fi 10.

I would probably upgrade your speakers or headphones before getting a new sound card imho. I have never tried your headphones before so I am not sure you would notice a big difference between sound cards.
 

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Here's a comparison for you: run Crysis on a GTX 480 with an i7 980x but all u have is 512mb of ddr600 ram, you'll get a severe bottleneck and your system won't run the way you see a GTX 480 running in benchmarks. Getting a soundcard is a good idea (even if you just want to get usb, if they're just for your headphones), just try and make sure you think of it as a full sound experience meaning you have to get decent enough headphones that will actually USE the high fidelity soundcard.

But if you do want a nice headphone setup I'd recommend you get these: JVC HA-RX900+Xonar D1 Soundcard it'll be $163 bucks (including shipping) plus taxes but at least you'll have not only a great soundcard, but great headphones that benefit from it.

For a speaker setup in the same price range get: The Same Xonar D1 Soundcard
and get this THX Certified Logitech Z-2300 2.1 Speaker System. That setup will run you about $210 altogether (not bad considering speakers tend to be more expensive)
 

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The problem with lower quality Headphones, even RX700/900's is that they aren't very transparent. Good headphones like Sony MDR 7506 will expose every flaw in your source so you need a nicer soundcard if your going to be using transparent even Cynical headphones.

For the most part unless you plan on making this a big deal then don't spend to much money on a sound car, get one that will take the sound processing off your cpu and be happy cause you probably wont hear any difference.

Now if your just looking for a simple solution for about $100 then look into Nuforce uDAC. It will have the same sound quality as most of these sound cards and it will be easier to work with.
 
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