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Thread: Soundcard Help!!!!

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    Soundcard Help!!!!

    Hi

    I have a p6td motherboard,and the onboard sound is well...crap...at best...

    I want a new soundcard, however most cards require PCI-E slot and the only PCI-E slot available on this board is blocked by the northbridge heatsink/fan

    And the standard PCI slots are blocked by a monstorous 5870

    I would like to know if i can use one of the free PCI-E 2.0 slots to fit a PCI-E soundcard?


    (the mobo has 3 PCI-E 2.0 slots in total in either 16/16/1 or 16/8/8 mode if that also makes a difference?)

    Also If this is possible.... which soundcard would you recommend?, i'm willing to spend upto £100 for a card primarily for gaming and listening to music through z-5500 speakers...a front panel connector would also be nice as i have an antec 902 case which supports it, (at the moment the front panel audio static is horrific)



    Thanks for reading!

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    If your using the Z-5500's what do you want a soundcard for, they're connected digitally to the board ! and yes, you can use a soundcard in the 'graphics card' slots.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    hi

    yeah atm im using optical connection

    but i cant get 5.1 in games and the front panel has really bad static

    would i still have these issues if i got a separate sound card?


    the integrated coundcard i have atm is the soundmax 2000B

    i read somewhere you can get dolby digital live to allow 5.1 over optical? but i cant seem to find anywhere that says this chip supports it??

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sn00b View Post
    hi

    yeah atm im using optical connection

    but i cant get 5.1 in games and the front panel has really bad static

    would i still have these issues if i got a separate sound card?


    the integrated coundcard i have atm is the soundmax 2000B

    i read somewhere you can get dolby digital live to allow 5.1 over optical? but i cant seem to find anywhere that says this chip supports it??
    Apparently the cards that do support DD Live will give you 5.1 through your Z-5500's ! There is a thread on here somewhere asking the same question as you basically, you could try creating a thread in Scan's sub-forum and no doubt they'll be able to link you to a product that supports DD Live.

    I don't think it would solve your front panel issue though as the front panel header connects directly to the motherboard AFAIK.
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    Cheers turbanator

    Im thinking of buying the Auzentech Forte but its a whopping £115 from scan

    anyone had any experience with this card?

    build wise its supposed to be better than any of the creative x-fi's and still better for gaming than any of the asus sound cards

    and its pci-e x1 so it should fit in any of my two remaining pci-E 2.0 slots?

    please correct me if im wrong on any of the above

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    A PCI-E 1x card will work fine in any PCI-E slot....from 1x to 16x...no problems.

    But from looking at the p6td board layout, it looks like you could still use the 4x slot nearest the cooler. My board has an extremely similar layout and I have a soundcard in that slot fine....the card clears the heatsink fine.
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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    For a digital connection, you don't need an expensive soundcard. You're mostly paying for analogue component quality - which it doesn't look like you need.

    From cheapest to most expensive I would recommend one of the following:
    Xonar DX
    Creative X-Fi Titanium (none of your f4t41ty or whatever just the base model)

    Both have Dolby Digital Live. The Xonar is arguably better if using headphones, the X-Fi offeres marginally better gaming compatibility.

    For digital connection to Z5500s there is no point in spending more. A Forte will give you no better sound quality (although the headphone amp on a Forte is handy if you plan to use expensive headphones)

    If you can free up a PCI slot I can recommend cheaper cards. If you're using XP rather than Vista or 7 I can recommend much cheaper PCI cards.

    To summarise your requirements you need a soundcard with:
    - Dobly Digital Live or DTS Conect (for 5.1 over optical)
    - Something to account for the changes to DirectSound3D between XP and Vista / 7 - Creative (Alchemy) and Asus (DS3D-GX) provide the best solutions for this. Without a solution many older games will only run in stereo.
    Last edited by Uriel; 16-02-2010 at 11:09 AM.

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    Thanks all for your responses

    Uriel - Thats pretty much what i want, just a soundcard which is better than my onboard because its ****e, i read that high quality analogue card is better than digital for sound quality which is the only reason why i picked such an expensive card, only really care about music and games

    will prolly go for x-fi titanium then, anyone know of any issues running it on windows 7 64 bit?

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    I run this setup and it works great, no problems at all. Just use the latest drivers off the creative website.

    Quote Originally Posted by sn00b View Post
    will prolly go for x-fi titanium then, anyone know of any issues running it on windows 7 64 bit?

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    installed the new card and it works great thanks all for your help!


    just as a random question

    which is better 6 ch direct through analogue, DDL via optical or DTS Connect via Optical, not sure I understand the diff between the last two

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    DTS is viewed as a better/ higher quality format than DD. I'd pick any of the digital outputs over analogue though!
    Kalniel: "Nice review Tarinder - would it be possible to get a picture of the case when the components are installed (with the side off obviously)?"
    CAT-THE-FIFTH: "The Antec 300 is a case which has an understated and clean appearance which many people like. Not everyone is into e-peen looking computers which look like a cross between the imagination of a hyperactive 10 year old and a Frog."
    TKPeters: "Off to AVForum better Deal - £20+Vat for Free Shipping @ Scan"
    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    Basically whether analogue or digital is better depends on your reciever. With analogue cable connection your soundcard DACs do the work. With digital connection your receiver's DACs do the work.

    If you have any kind of receiver / amp designed for PC or a cheaper home cinema set analogue connection will be better. If you've spend a few hundred or more on your receiver / amp it will probably have higher quality DACs than your soundcard so digital connection will be better.

    If you're not sure give the same content a listen over DD, DTS and analogue and pick whichever you think sounds best.

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    Re: Soundcard Help!!!!

    There is also the issue of sound quality if you have the right equipment....

    With 6 ch direct, you can output in 24bit 192khz uncompressed, whereas the coax and spdif digital connections can only have enough bandwidth to transmit multichannel sound in 16bit 48khz compressed.

    If you don't want to use the analogue route, then I would try both DDL and DTS:C and see which you prefer, I find DDL to give the best results out of the two.....but the 6 ch direct (with the right amp) will be the best, especially if you plan to play BluRays on the system.
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