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Weekend Open Forum: Are you using a dedicated sound card?

By Matthew ยท 122 replies
Feb 11, 2011
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  1. Using a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional, the drivers are much better on Windows 7 and they seem to have made there drives more stable as of late. Wouldn't go back to onboard sound, just sounds tons better. and those who cant tell the difference, go listen to someone who has one with good speakers or headphones.. then listen to yours you will hear it then.
  2. i see a lot of "good enough" and "sufficient" going on with on board audio.
    I think most cards suck eggs, it's just that in a gaming environment you're nicely distracted. the audio isn't lush or exciting... or even good! it's just enough to tell where the monsters are.
    it's fine for a computer game, but it's not good audio.
  3. Auzentech X-Fi Forte for my personal PC and ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 for the HTPC.
  4. I have used Sound Blaster since the original Sound Blaster came out with the proprietary CD-ROM 1x drive. I have also used the SB 32, SB AWE 64, SB Audigy, SB X-Fi Platinum and currently the SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion. They have always given high quality and met the I/O port requirement that I needed/desired before integrated sound even thought about adding them.
  5. Xonar D2X
    (I can't stand integrated audio, with an exception for SoundStorm on the good old nForce chipset.)
  6. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    I'm finding it fascinating how many guests this topic brought out of the woods. Probably all the 100 people in the world who use dedicated graphics cards have posted here. :)
  7. Once I "downgraded" from a SB!Live 5.1 to the onboard sound card. After few years when my kids become teens and started playing musical instruments I realise that was time to upgrade again because of midi and descent audio inputs. Unfortunelly I was unabled to buy a music specialized sound board but for now I am happy with X-Fi Creative with 2 SPDIF digital connectors (digital in/out). For games only I guess there's no much sense to go for offboard solutions, but when you decide to play on music and movies with real noise a real sound card should be considered.
  8. Asus Xonar DX, cheap but provides way better quality than onboard Realtek HD or Sigmatel/SoundMax. Just superb for its price, highly recommended!!!
  9. After testing the Onboard-Audio of my new AsRock Extreme 4, i stepped back and i am using now my older but still very good Audigy 2 ZS.
    It seems to me that the sound is better.
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,101   +419

    Of course, the topic is sound cards. Perhaps you meant that? :)
  11. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 343   +13

    guest, feb 12, 5:24am sez: "PC soundcards can reach hifi levels but it takes some time and knowledge/experience with electronics to do it. It would be quite wrong to dismiss them."

    I agree. And I agree with the person who said they liked the old on-board amp that some SB models used to have.

    Unless you are really gonna set up a nice deal, the onbaord nowadays is fine.

    another gripe I have is that I got tired of conflicting management of resources - the onboard sound settings would get kicked-in under certain circumstances, and sometimes making changes on the comp would have the comp default to the onboard, and change midi set-up, etc. Plus, if recording line-in or line-out, it is difficult either way to control interference from the rest of the comp - including emi as well as other crackles and buzzes.

    I got tired of the hassle because I have not been doing any serious audio work.

    I am abt to start ripping vinyl from a vinyl collection I have built up - at that point, I will have to figure out what really works.
  12. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 838   +28

    Never been much on an audiophile, so on board sound has always been plenty good for me.
  13. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 376   +50

    I'm running Creative's X-Fi Titanium.
  14. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,279   +105

    For the hard of understanding, here it is with sarcasm off:
    It looks to me like there are more guest posts here is usual for TechSpot discussions, so I imagine the few people who really care about sound cards were drawn to this site (I don't know how) to post about them.
  15. Just built a new computer last week...Didn't even consider a sound card. I have a SB Audigy card, but left it out and opted for the space. Using the onboard solution and actually prefer it over the SB card.
  16. Asus Essence STX just replaced Creative X-Fi Elite Pro. Use Sennheiser HD600's for headphones and soundcard is plugged into amp/pre-amp to tower speakers. Do not think I have had a computer in which I didn't add a sound card.
  17. Turtle Beach Micro II USB audio -> optical out to Roland desktop monitors and a Jamo sub.

    It's only 2.1 but I like it, like it, yes I do..
  18. used to have a asus zonar essence stx but due to driver issues went without audio card @ all
    now im using alesis m1 active 520 usb speakers no conflicts anymore and the sound is amazing
  19. Asus Xonar DX* Windows 7 64' Logitech 2.0 with titanium tweeters. Sound is very mellow and nicely pronounced, it definatly sound like it's rated specs @ 118db sn. If your spending over $1,500 on a build for gaming etc the seprate sound card helps take the load off the cpu as well.

    * Went from on older 2000 creative sound card on windows ME, and 192khz upsampling definatly improves the sound of poorer low resolution audio, Internet radio stations that have 64 kbps audio sounded like AM radio on my older system, they now sound like dolby FM with a smooth boost to the higher freq's. Well worth the upgrade
  20. Nope, I use the optical output from my Realtek HDA on a Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2.
  21. no use for a dedicated sound card if the computer keeps using software acceleration ...(windows vista/7)
  22. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I used to. But then Vista came out and Creative decided they weren't going to allow my SB Live Value to be supported anymore. Probably doesn't make any difference, the SB Live Value's quality can't be much different than modern onboard.
  23. Jurassic4096

    Jurassic4096 Banned Posts: 155

    i went with the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro

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