Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 16 of 17

Thread: When is a Sound Card not a Sound Card?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    When is a Sound Card not a Sound Card?

    OK, I fully admit I'm a novice with multimedia, overclocking and the latest greatest gaming "rigs" and so on, but I work in IT so I have a reasonable idea.

    I recently bought a Dell 8400 (3GHz Intel 630) without onboard sound so I need to buy a card for it. I went a bit mad on the graphics - ATI x850xl platinum so seems logical to get decent sound to go with it, right?

    Also, I have a Boston Accoustics 5.1 Surround (I think! Its got a large Bass box, 2 front and 2 rear surround) speaker system - admittedly 3 years old but produces excellent quality sound to my ears anyway.

    So the question is this...

    Given you can spend anything from £5 to £300+ on a sound card. What should I get and how much difference will it really make? It seems to me the main choices in my budget lets say up to £60 are:

    Sound Blaster 7.1 Digital or equiv
    Audigy 2 Value
    Full Audigy 2.

    Is spending more on graphics really worth it ? Should I be considering dumping the BA kit and upgrading the surround system?

    Any and all advice welcomed!

    Thanks,

    Mark.

  2. #2
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    I'm a Jessie
    Posts
    34,202
    Thanks
    2,595
    Thanked
    2,661 times in 1,674 posts
    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    Well, you shuld never overlook sound....sorry...you shuld never over-listen sound

    Second...keep the card

    Third: Forget Sound Blaster 7.1...its ancient.

    Audigy is better. The newest ones are fine examples.

    I also suggest (quite strongly) Hercules & Gainward cards, and best of all

    M-Audio Revolution 7.1

    But they're rare now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  3. #3
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    /dev/urandom
    Posts
    17,074
    Thanks
    228
    Thanked
    1,027 times in 678 posts
    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    i'm amazed the difference an audigy 2 zs made to my system

  4. #4
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    I'm a Jessie
    Posts
    34,202
    Thanks
    2,595
    Thanked
    2,661 times in 1,674 posts
    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    were you equally amazed by the 4 tons of other software it installed alongside?

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  5. #5
    mutantbass head Lee H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    M28, Manchester
    Posts
    14,204
    Thanks
    337
    Thanked
    671 times in 580 posts
    • Lee H's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI Z370 Carbon Gaming
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7 8700K Unlocked CPU
      • Memory:
      • 16 GB Corsair Vengeance 3200 LPX
      • Storage:
      • 250GB 960 EVO + a few more drives
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 6GB Palit GTX 1060 Dual
      • PSU:
      • Antec Truepower 750W Modular Blue
      • Case:
      • Corsair 600T White Edition
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 PRO
      • Monitor(s):
      • 27" Asus MX279H & 24" Acer 3D GD245HQ + the 3D glasses
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media
    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33
    were you equally amazed by the 4 tons of other software it installed alongside?
    Hexeh is a penguin lover so he probably got some basic drivers & stuff to make it work without installing the bloatware

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Oops, Sorry I meant "Is spending more on SOUND really worth it ? " ;-) Obviously I think graphics are worth it!!

    OK, forget the 7.1.

    What about the Audigy range... Value vs OEM vs Retail?

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    /dev/urandom
    Posts
    17,074
    Thanks
    228
    Thanked
    1,027 times in 678 posts
    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33
    were you equally amazed by the 4 tons of other software it installed alongside?
    i did a drivers-only install in windows, and under linux, all i need is a 130k driver already included in every kernel since... well, a long time ago.

  8. #8
    Real Ultimate Power! Grey M@a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    4,625
    Thanks
    52
    Thanked
    156 times in 139 posts
    • Grey M@a's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • i7 4790K (With H100i cooling)
      • Memory:
      • Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR3 (2 x 8GB)
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD, 1TB Cavier Black WD HD, 4TB Cavier Black WD HD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI R9 390X Gaming Edition 8GB
      • PSU:
      • SuperFlower Leadex GOLD 850W Fully Modular
      • Case:
      • Corsair 650D
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 8.1 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • 24" LG 24GM77-B 144Hz
      • Internet:
      • 100MB Virgin Media Cable
    I can recommend the Hercules cards, I had a Game Theatre XP 5.1 card that came with an extrenal rack for pluging the likes of mics, headphones, I used it to record bass lines then I moved to the creative Audigy 2 series, I was highly dissapointed :/ Hercules have been the better cards for me, but granted the Audigy 2 does have a clearer sound to them just the drivers are letting me down at the moment. Random setting loss, control panels for the audigy locking up no matter what version of the drivers I use.

    Saying this though. I have seen and heard the Audigy 4 series in action and its the best thing I have heard in a while. The audigy 4 is a massive step from the 2 series, a whole better card, might be worth you looking up on the Audigy 4 platinums if you have up to 300 to spend, you have jacks everywhere to plug no end of items into them.

  9. #9
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    I'm a Jessie
    Posts
    34,202
    Thanks
    2,595
    Thanked
    2,661 times in 1,674 posts
    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    Quote Originally Posted by jonelbe
    Oops, Sorry I meant "Is spending more on SOUND really worth it ? " ;-) Obviously I think graphics are worth it!!

    OK, forget the 7.1.

    What about the Audigy range... Value vs OEM vs Retail?

    Thanks for your help.
    Audigy is good...but it comes with SO MUCH SOFTWARE and trying to stop it loading and hogging your PC is a bugger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  10. #10
    Put him in the curry! Rythmic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Twyford, Berks
    Posts
    758
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jonelbe
    OK, forget the 7.1.
    It's a rebadged Audigy 1, so you'd do well too


    Quote Originally Posted by jonelbe
    What about the Audigy range... Value vs OEM vs Retail?
    IIRC only difference is the Value and some OEM variants don't have firewire (and of course, less bundled software).

    I wouldn't get a very pricey card (plat, audigy4 etc) now, wait for autumn.
    Now go away before I taunt you a second time.

  11. #11
    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    /dev/urandom
    Posts
    17,074
    Thanks
    228
    Thanked
    1,027 times in 678 posts
    • directhex's system
      • Motherboard:
      • MSI X99A Gaming 7
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core i7 5280k
      • Memory:
      • 32GiB ADATA DDR4
      • Storage:
      • Corsair Neutron XT 960GB
      • Graphics card(s):
      • MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G Twin Frozr 5
      • PSU:
      • Corsair AX860i
      • Case:
      • NZXT H440
      • Operating System:
      • Ubuntu 17.10, Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2713HM
      • Internet:
      • FIOS
    most modern sb use a very very similar chip - based on the old emu10k on sblive.

    a few use a random company's ca0106 chip (sound blaster ls, sound blaster live 24 bit)

    i'd avoid the above two, any others are fine really.

  12. #12
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    I'm a Jessie
    Posts
    34,202
    Thanks
    2,595
    Thanked
    2,661 times in 1,674 posts
    • Zak33's system
      • Storage:
      • Kingston HyperX SSD, Hitachi 1Tb
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nvidia 1060
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 800w
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Fortress FT01
      • Operating System:
      • Win10
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTC uber speedy
    unless you wat me to come round and sing.
    I will...if you ask nicely

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Cheers all, but what I'm trying to get at is - What difference will it make to me? Am I supposed to be hearing more bass, less hiss/static, greater range? Or is it to do with lesser cards taking away processing power from the CPU, etc? I mean investing in Graphics/CPU/Memory brings very obvious improvements. Sound I'm less convinced.

    Anyone have a view on Speaker systems? Clearly an all singing all dancing sound card is largely irrelevant when plugged into 2 cheap battery powered speakers for example.

  14. #14
    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    19,158
    Thanks
    732
    Thanked
    1,604 times in 1,043 posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey M@a
    I can recommend the Hercules cards, I had a Game Theatre XP 5.1 card that came with an extrenal rack for pluging the likes of mics, headphones, I used it to record bass lines then I moved to the creative Audigy 2 series, I was highly dissapointed :/ Hercules have been the better cards for me, but granted the Audigy 2 does have a clearer sound to them just the drivers are letting me down at the moment. Random setting loss, control panels for the audigy locking up no matter what version of the drivers I use.

    Saying this though. I have seen and heard the Audigy 4 series in action and its the best thing I have heard in a while. The audigy 4 is a massive step from the 2 series, a whole better card, might be worth you looking up on the Audigy 4 platinums if you have up to 300 to spend, you have jacks everywhere to plug no end of items into them.
    Softmodding
    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=40575

    You can have most of the Audigy 4 features on a Audigy 2 card. It really makes a huge difference to the sound.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    127
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    1 time in 1 post
    I like this sound card. Mainly for the Live Dolby Digital


    HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 Gold PCI Dolby Soundcard
    Last edited by zaphod; 22-04-2005 at 01:13 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    888
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    32 times in 29 posts
    I take it you're a gamer with that choice of graphics card in which case you can pretty much narrow it down to sound cards that are known to be good for gaming. The audigy2 zs would be a good choice to maintain those high frame rates in games and do the position sound stuff.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. no sound from mobo :-(
    By mrdata2003 in forum Help! Quick Relief From Tech Headaches
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2005, 11:40 PM
  2. best sound card [money no object]
    By Spud1 in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 19-12-2004, 01:06 PM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 19-12-2004, 02:37 AM
  4. Which budget/semi-budget graphics card to get??
    By fonzerelli_79 in forum Graphics Cards
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-07-2004, 12:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •