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Building new gaming computer, question on sound

By exero ยท 9 replies
Jan 9, 2006
  1. Hey, I am going to purchase a new gaming pc and i have a couple questions. So far i have:

    ASUS A8N-SLI Socket 939 Nvidia nForce4 motherboard

    AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor

    eVGA Geforce 7800GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

    Corsair XMS 1GB (2x512mb) 184-Pin DDR 400 SDRAM

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 250GB ATA150 HDD

    ENERMAX Whisper II ATX12V 535W PSU

    Im going to use my current case (thermaltake XaserIII), dvd burner, and possibly my SB Live! 5.1 PCI sound card, but i was wondering if the ASUS mobo's onboard sound ( Realtek ALC850 ) is better than my soundblaster?

    Also i know this is out of place in this section of the forums, but ive done research on all these parts, and I was wondering if you would give me your input on if you think this is a good setup or not.. And if they both are really really bad, is there a decent upgrade for under 50 bucks? Im not very knowledgeable on soundcards..

    The total came out to $971.97 on newegg.. Thank you!
  2. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 470

    That's a real nice rig there. The sound card may be better, but not much.

    A DFI mobo will outperform the Asus a little if you know how to set it up. The Asus is much more easy to use.
  3. InstrumentalMan

    InstrumentalMan TS Rookie


    Nice setup
    looks like your building my pc, all except for the ram (im a kingston man)
    and the case.
    but as far as the sound goes, if your building that mainly for gaming, then i would highly suggest upgrading your card. i would suggest creatives new x-fi series of cards. they are the absolute top of the line in sound, out of the profesional spectrum that is. and you can get the base model card, the x-fi xtrememusic for $116 at newegg. an awesome deal.
    as far as the rest of your pc goes so far so good. I have used Asus boards in all my pc's, and i have never ever had one ounce of trouble from anything asus, no matter how hard i push it. my "old" asus p4c800-e deluxe board has never ever crashed, and ive been running my p4 3.0 (northwood) at 3.6 for almost a year now and have no problems. and thats with air cooling.

    Good luck
  4. exero

    exero TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    thank you very much guys, ill have to upgrade the sound then :D. Im also not too sure on which mobo to get, i was looking at the Abit, Asus, DFI and Gigabyte mobo's, i just chose teh asus one for now because my last 3 boards were also ASUS. Im going to research for the next week or so.

    Nice to know its going to be a good setup!

  5. seanp789

    seanp789 TS Enthusiast Posts: 110

    Good luck[/QUOTE]

    SB live and onboard sound are both ****e. You did not mention what speakers your will be pairing your soundcard with.

    Super Lowend = onboard/SBlive

    Midrange = Audigy 2 (these are pretty cheap now. oem less than $50)

    the ZS version is not much cheaper than the X-Fi

    Highend = Anything with the X-Fi chip, great sound but if u have ****e speakers it may not be worth it.

    if u are dead set on sticking to what u have i would probably take the Live! over the onboard although they are both in the same class.
  6. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 470

    You may want to look at Asus A8R-MVP, the reviews are very good. Just no SLi, but crossfire.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131584 - sold out.

    Also the reviews of Jetways GT4-SLi-G are very good, (colorfull too)

    Here you get it free with a evga 7800gt, (the evga is a rebadged Jetway.) I'm thinking of getting this for my old Winchester 3200+.
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,382

    I am running the same CPU(3700) and motherboard (but I have the deluxe version) as you, and I use the onboard sound.

    It is fine for my needs. I have Creative I-Trigue 3600 speakers and for gaming it does a decent job. It all depends on what your preferences are, and whether or not you have the speakers that will make use of a high end sound card.

    Another thing to consider is that a sound card will free up your system resources a little. Then again, you system is fast enough that there is plenty to spare. I love my setup. Rips through any game I toss at it.

    Long story short, I went with onboard sound and don't regret it. If you have a good set of speakers you want to make use of, get a good sound card. If you are a FPS freak and want to squeeze as much as possible out of your system, get a sound card to free up your system resources. Good luck!
  8. exero

    exero TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    ah speakers, of course!, im using Creative 2.1 Inspire T3000


    For now im not going to invest in high quality sound, such as 5.1 with a really nice sound card, and the SB Live has worked fine for me so far. The Audigy 2 Value sounds like a good idea.

    And although i do like high performace in my games, im not worried about onboard sound taking up too many resources.

    Thanks for all your input!
  9. JohnK93

    JohnK93 TS Rookie Posts: 44

    Looks good

    That computer looks good...I just finished building almost the exact computer, with the exception of the hard drive (I have a WD 80G) and the PSU (I have an Antec 550 TP-II). It's my first build, but so far it's running great (after an RMA of the video card). The only game I have is Half Life 2, and I'm blown away by it! The video card handles it on the highest settings with barely a hiccup every once in a while. I think you'll be happy with it.

    I'm as concerned with sound as others might be so I'm using the onboard sound card to my receiver to some smaller speakers. It's fine for me, but I'm sure there are better cards out there.

    Good luck!
  10. exero

    exero TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    thanks everyone

    After doing some research, i also decided to go for the Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 PSU, its nice to know other people have this build and can say good things about it! Ive had random computer troubles in the past, and I hope this goes very smooth. I appreciate your feedback. I cant wait :D
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