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Is a discontinued Dynex sound card better than just the onboard audio?

By ArrrKelly
Dec 24, 2007
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  1. Hey folks,

    In trying to solve my mic issues, I've decided to make the jump from my ASUS P5B's onboard audio (7.1 Soundmax HD) to a 3rd party sound card. Money's tight, and I've heard from enough people that even a cheaper card will still be an improvement in terms of performance (less strain on my CPU during games, etc), and a reduction in sound interference on the microphone (my biggest problem right now).

    I went to Bestbuy. The bottom of their sound card barrel was a Dynex 5.1, then a Dynex 7.1, both under $50, and my next option was a $100 Creative card. I went for the better of the two Dynex cards.

    Came home and began the process of installing it (I've done a fair bit of surgery on my PC by myself, but I'm still not that knowledgable), and discovered that the manual was telling me to connect some cables to the card, which I haven't had to do with past sound cards I've owned in older computers. I don't care about any front ports like headphone or mic, but are any of the other connections essential? Things like S/PDIF and something called "game port" (I don't even know what that is or where I'd find it on my mobo)?

    If I need to connect the DVD drive I have a problem, because the bundle of wires that goes from the power source to the DVD and then out from there doesn't reach the soundcard (mainly because I have to install it upside down because of which side my mobo attaches to my case on).

    In trying to research this card, I've discovered that it's discontinued! I'm a bit annoyed with Bestbuy for selling a discontinued card and not saying anything about that. So I have the drivers that come with it, but there don't appear to be any updates available. The Dynex site doesn't offer any drivers for it at all.

    So aside from my general need for info and guidance. this is my main issue: If price is a concern, should I just install this Dynex card and use the drivers that it came with and I should be okay (keeping in mind that I run new and cutting edge games), or will I encounter major problems because of a cheap card and out-of-date drivers that can't be updated?

    My secondary question is the one about whether or not any of the connections the manual mentions are essential, or if the card will work just from being seated in the PCI slot.

    Thanks. Happy holidays.
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    I have never heard of that card but I can tell you that spdif is a digital audio out that you wont need unless you have an amplifier that has spdif in on it and that the game port is very old technology and you wont need that either unless you have an old game-pad that you want to use.

    If the problem with your on-board sound is just that the mic alone wont work then uninstall the audio driver in device manager and re-install it. I had the exact same problem 3 days ago with my on-board sound on my asus mobo and what I just suggested fixed it.
  3. ArrrKelly

    ArrrKelly TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'll give that a try, but the problem with the mic is that all it picks up is machine interference. I hear humming and faint squealing (like a fax machine) when the mic is unmuted. When I try to record with it, that's all that gets picked up (no voice whatsoever).

    Thanks for the advice as far as not having to connect any additional wires to the soundcard.

    This is the card, by the way:

    http://www.dynexproducts.com/p-189-dynex-71-channel-pci-sound-card.aspx
  4. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    My mic just point blank refused to work before re-installation. But give it a try anyway.

    If you have no luck, do you know how to prepare your pc for the new card software, driver, and bios settings wise? If not, let me know and i will do what i can to help.

    (That always gets me, i clicked spellchecker and it seemed to do nothing, did it again and it said no mistakes were identified.) :)
  5. ArrrKelly

    ArrrKelly TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think I'm okay (I'm actually out of town for the next few days -- Christmas, etc). I've uninstalled the old drivers, unplugged stuff, and opened the case up. I've been very careful about discharging static and not touching any of the components on the new card. My plan is to seat the new card, close it up, fire up the machine, go into the BIOS to disable the onboard sound (although I admit that this is the part that I know nothing about), and install the drivers for the new card from the CD.

    I'm starting to have second thoughts about this discontinued Dynex card, though. Even though I shouldn't spend the money, I might take it back to Bestbuy and trade in on a hundred dollar Sound Blaster X-Fi. I hate the idea of no driver updates and no manufacturer support
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