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 Post subject: A midlevel audio card mainly for gaming
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
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Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Hi!

Again in audio business. I am looking reasonable priced Audio card for my game rig. Reasonable I mean 120 / 100€ mark.

I've been looking:
Asus Xonar XD PCI-E and Club 3D Theatron Agrippa 7.1
Club 3D is rebranded Auzentech X-plosion 7.1 PCI.

and perhas budget card:
Sound blaster Audigy SE 7.1

I kinda like PCI versions as I can use them in bottom of my case and have more space. Asus Xona XD seems to be very good card but needs PCI-E 1x place ( which I have one free above VGA card ) but also requires a floppy connector for extra power.

Both (Club 3D / Auzentech and Asus) cards are around 70-90€ mark in Finland. I've also looked budget version of Sounblaster Audigy SE 7.1 which is nearly half of the price either card.

I just want better audio than onboard audio card is, with clear soud. I don't have many speakers, simple 2.1 Logitech Z3's. Sometimes on board audio really screw ups like in Oblivion sound gets distorted and effects get really out of balance. For exapmle when I kicked dagger on paved road in a cavern, it sounded first like a church bell would have ranged by my ears, next was like tiny bell in 2 meters and then a gain church bell when that dagger moved.

I just don't want to buy garbage but I also don't want to buy overpriced overfeatured card and spend a lot more if I can get all I need cheaper.

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Last edited by thejamppa on Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:33 am 
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Location: Croatia
The only way your current audio problems can happen is if you've somehow told the game to use 3D audio or the card to somehow emulate it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:46 am 
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Matija wrote:
The only way your current audio problems can happen is if you've somehow told the game to use 3D audio or the card to somehow emulate it.


I need to check that but overall the Integrated Audio's are not that good for gaming.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
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Location: UK
Any of the cards you mention would be an improvement over on-board sound. I have only ever fitted Creative Soundblasters, and even the budget models have sounded fine.

I have had both PCI and PCI-Express sound cards, and I don't think it makes any difference what fitting they come in.

If you pay more you will get features like optical-out which may or may not be of any use. So just buy the cheapest card which has the features you need.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:39 am 
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lodestar wrote:
Any of the cards you mention would be an improvement over on-board sound. I have only ever fitted Creative Soundblasters, and even the budget models have sounded fine.

I have had both PCI and PCI-Express sound cards, and I don't think it makes any difference what fitting they come in.

If you pay more you will get features like optical-out which may or may not be of any use. So just buy the cheapest card which has the features you need.


Thanks. I'll probably go for Sound Blaster Audigy SE bulk as its 25,90€'s and has EAX 3.0 support, while Agrippa is 71€'s and has EAX 2.0 Support and Xonar has some EAX technology and so forth but I am not sure up to what they support it.

All so called gamers card's that has EAX 5.0 are well over 100€ marks are currently unavailable. So I think I might aswell spend 25,90€ in el-cheapo Audigy SE and later upgrade to Xonar series card if I need to. And I really do not need Optical or S/PDIF's etc.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:07 am 
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You don't need EAX, you have a simple stereo setup.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am 
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Matija wrote:
You don't need EAX, you have a simple stereo setup.


Indeed, for now. but when I buy a sound card now, at least I can make sure that it has some upgradability incase I get 5.1. system later on.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:29 pm 
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+1 for Matija's first post. Mess with your settings first and see if it meets your needs. Or try diff/newer drivers. I haven't had any issues with mobo based sound for games.

Just think it's overkill to go with a separate audio card unless you are aiming for a high quality music solution. But games? meh.

I was very happy to run away from soundblaster drivers given all the heartache they caused in (now retired and recycled) systems. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:09 am 
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Getting a creative card is a good way to enter driver/compatability hell, and the sound quality isnt that much better than onboard these days, most probably not even noticeable when used on a normal pc speaker setup, like you have.

From how you describe the problems, I'd say you need new drivers and disabling hardware 3D sound. As for performance, you wont notice the difference with onboard vs. dedicated soundcard, those days are long gone.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 9:46 am
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Location: British Columbia
Look for a Soundblaster XtremeMusic


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