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View Full Version : Is a sound card useful in vista/7?


XDanger
02-18-10, 03:27 PM
Is it just for connectivity? Didn't Microsoft break hardware sound with Vista?

Dr.Nick
02-18-10, 07:21 PM
I always thought my on-board sound was good enough until I popped a nice sound card in there. The difference is quite obvious with everything from games, to music, to movies. Hardware acceleration is only one aspect of it imho. Unless you're running an optical connection to an external DAC a dedicated sound card will almost always improve sound fidelity

mullet
02-19-10, 10:24 AM
I always thought my on-board sound was good enough until I popped a nice sound card in there. The difference is quite obvious with everything from games, to music, to movies. Hardware acceleration is only one aspect of it imho. Unless you're running an optical connection to an external DAC a dedicated sound card will almost always improve sound fidelity

+1

frenchy2k1
02-19-10, 02:01 PM
it always depends on connectivity.
If you plan on using HDMI or SPDIF, a sound card adds nothing compared to on-board.
If you plan to use an analog connection, quality can improve.

ATOJAR
02-19-10, 02:31 PM
Well i must say that i definitely noticed a difference in sound quality when i swapped from on-board to my SB, I remember playing games and hearing things that where not there before.

You also get alot more options to fine tune the sound just the way you like it.

muelo1000
02-21-10, 12:12 PM
I always thought my on-board sound was good enough until I popped a nice sound card in there. The difference is quite obvious with everything from games, to music, to movies. Hardware acceleration is only one aspect of it imho. Unless you're running an optical connection to an external DAC a dedicated sound card will almost always improve sound fidelity

+1
Agree I myself popped in a Extreme gamer and MAN what a difference and I am not talking about game only, I mean for Game you could hear so many tiny details.....but movies and music WOW had to re-watch and re listen to all my media.

Revs
02-21-10, 12:17 PM
I noticed an improvement with the Xonar over my old mobo's onboard sound (ADI 1988B). Much more detailed and crisp sounding. But only if you've got half decent speakers.

Aphot
02-21-10, 02:03 PM
Just ordered the Asus Xonar STX last week, should be here soon.

Ordered some HD555s as well.

soundcard > onboard sound

XDanger
02-21-10, 04:42 PM
So can someone explain to me what is doing the workload of the sound in vista/7 ?

Is it the chip on the sound-card or the cpu and software??

I don't quite understand (obviously)


I'm considering a budget friendly Xonar DS.. Is the DX much better or the same card but PCI-e instead of PCI?

onmikesline
02-21-10, 09:03 PM
x-fi was a big hit when it came out, you sure can find them cheap now, great cards

Aphot
02-21-10, 09:53 PM
X-Fi was good 5 years ago but the new Asus sounds cards are supposed to be absolutely amazing, the high ends ones anyways.

The Xonar STX comes with a built in headphone amp as well.

jeffmd
02-22-10, 12:23 AM
If all you need is sound..the built in sound is fine. if all you have is a pair of desktop speakers and 2.0 sound then internal sound is peachy for the most part (old and really 3rd world motherboards may have elected to use a really crappy chip).

The asus sound cards look to be a nice alternative to X-Fi based sound cards, which is nice considering for years now there hasn't been any. Both the X-Fi and Asus cards provide fantastic sound quality, the point in which they diverge is between game and movie usage.

Creative pretty much defined 3d audio in games with EAX, and while they have older versions of EAX available to license (I think EAX 3 is what they allow now), you will only find the latest and greatest on the x-fi cards. I have read reviews that the asus card has some issues with it's eax support, although for the MOST part your games will sound fine and accurate.

On the other hand, Asus has tried to boost its card with better DAC converters and more Dolby/Sony (multichannel options) support, ensuring that your blue ray movies sound the best on your multi-thousand dollar speaker system (you do have one, right? ;) )

So neither one excels in all fields, but if you pick one you will still cover all your bases.

Oh, I would also like to add, if you actually game alot, you SHOULD have a 5.1 sound system (it's not limited to the wealthy any more, a descent one can be had for under a hundred and they arn't big). With that said, one of the 2 cards above is a must. Integrated solutions will not play 3d sound in games properly. Both my santa cruiz and my Nforce2 soundstorm rated intigrated chipset offered great sound and support for 5.1 multichannel speakers, but neither one of them would work correctly when game sound was set to 5.1.

XDanger
02-22-10, 06:38 AM
Asus sounds cards are supposed to be absolutely amazing, the high ends ones anyways

http://www.elitebastards.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=729&Itemid=27&limitstart=6
This review says the low end ones are also good.

But can I make my own shielding???

Some of my c64's use foil backed card..Will that do?
________________________
I need to decide between XLR and TRS for my speakers,
Is the only difference XLR wont short like TRS?

LabShark
02-22-10, 09:45 AM
I have found a sound card to be superior to onboard sound....especially in games.

Aphot
02-23-10, 05:01 PM
But can I make my own shielding???

Some of my c64's use foil backed card..Will that do?

Im not a electronics expert, but im sure if you decided to create your own sheilding it may help depending on how keen your ears are. I would be worried about shorting out the sound card with a homemade job.

XDanger
02-27-10, 06:49 PM
Im not a electronics expert, but im sure if you decided to create your own sheilding it may help depending on how keen your ears are. I would be worried about shorting out the sound card with a homemade job.

The foil is only on one side of the card.

My ears are pretty shabby but my speakers pick up everything crystal clear

said53
02-27-10, 07:05 PM
http://techreport.com/articles.x/13874 to any one who wants to buy a good sound card for windows 7 and please guys dont go with CREATIVE THEY are ASSHOLES!!!

LydianKnight
02-27-10, 11:20 PM
I have found a sound card to be superior to onboard sound....especially in games.

No matter what scenario you analyze, a discrete sound card will ALWAYS beat any integrated audio solution, integrated chips tends to defer some processing tasks to the CPU (usually), whereas a discrete sound card doesn't need anything as it has everything it needs to do the same ammount of processing.

to any one who wants to buy a good sound card for windows 7 and please guys dont go with CREATIVE THEY are ASSHOLES!!!

Indeed, those guys are quite close-minded, fearing to lose something they never owned in real practice, BUT X-Fi cards are very good, and I don't know why people critizice them so hard, come on... the latest WDM driver works really good and I didn't even need to kill the Creative Helper which some people adviced me to do (I did just to test, but nothing happened).

The real problem with Creative cards is if they released the EAX extension set so all sound card makers could compete with it, developers could have a reason to continue supporting them, it's just their business model is f'ckingly stupid...

Other than that, every game with support for EAX 4.0+ sounds really good, like Doom 3 and some others

said53
02-28-10, 12:57 AM
No matter what scenario you analyze, a discrete sound card will ALWAYS beat any integrated audio solution, integrated chips tends to defer some processing tasks to the CPU (usually), whereas a discrete sound card doesn't need anything as it has everything it needs to do the same ammount of processing.



Indeed, those guys are quite close-minded, fearing to lose something they never owned in real practice, BUT X-Fi cards are very good, and I don't know why people critizice them so hard, come on... the latest WDM driver works really good and I didn't even need to kill the Creative Helper which some people adviced me to do (I did just to test, but nothing happened).

The real problem with Creative cards is if they released the EAX extension set so all sound card makers could compete with it, developers could have a reason to continue supporting them, it's just their business model is f'ckingly stupid...

Other than that, every game with support for EAX 4.0+ sounds really good, like Doom 3 and some others

Exactly that's why i went with Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 its X-Fi chip but whit GOOD SUPPORT!!!!!!! AND STABLE DRIVERS!!!!

LydianKnight
02-28-10, 02:01 AM
But that's why I told you about the WDM driver... I just used the one that Windows Upgrade told me, it's even newer than the one you can officially download from Creative's website, and so far... not a single problem with it :P

said53
02-28-10, 02:34 AM
Lydian I was using Audigy 2zs in windows7 64bit alot of ****ing problems man alot !!!!

jeffmd
02-28-10, 02:40 AM
Exactly that's why i went with Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 its X-Fi chip but whit GOOD SUPPORT!!!!!!! AND STABLE DRIVERS!!!!

Kind of like what we get with the other x-fi cards? vista 64 here... TONS of games...no audio issues.