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  • Sound cards.. What cha got?

    I have been running on on board sound for years :row__639: .. and want to upgrade to true surround sound.. getting a pair of headphones and a sound card..

    So I want to know what you all have?.. You like it?.. Problems?
    And advice on what I should get.. Im cheap so be kind:row__631:

    specs..

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Windsor 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Processor
    ABIT KN9S Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 550 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
    XFX PVT73GUGD3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
    OCZ Gold 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
    LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW .... burner
    FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN

    I am looking at getting a 8600GT GPU soon(Merry Christmas to me), so I may be getting a new PSU also.. depends on power usage of Sound card.. As it is now, with the 8600 I will be looking at a power usage of around 385w, very close :row__681:
    theeANGELofDEATH(Steam/Origin)
    E Pluribus Unum
    Sarcasm is just another free service I offer
    Si vis pacem, para bellum .. Molon Labe


  • #2
    Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

    X-Fi

    If you want the EAX, gotta get the X-Fi. It comes with its problems too. I used to get a lot of loud random static but that seems to have gone away. It didn't happen during gaming but it occurred about 4-5 times a week. That's Creative Labs quality for ya.

    Just get anything over onboard. I find that they sound really tinny and lack any oompf to the sound. You can get surround sound with some onboard chipsets but it's still the same cruddy sound without EAX effects (after EAX2, only Creative chipsets have EAX).

    - It's who you game with.

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    • #3
      Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

      I'm on the HT Omega Claro. No complaints so far.* As soon as they got my money they rolled out an improved version, of course, but if you read the reviews, the non-"Plus" version was already one of the best availiable.

      Mostly though, I'm not throwing money into the beast that is Creative Labs, whith their random static bursts, and craptacular drivers that are both intentionally gimped and like to throw conflicts. Like the 100% gratuitous splash screen app that BSODs under Windows 2000.

      Comparing to an Audigy, the HTO/C doesn't have the special effect thingie that no one uses, or the on-board SoundFont support that no one uses, but it has a number of fun settings for configuring surround and virtual surround, and it's full 192kHz/24-bit compatible. On a technical note, it also uses no electrolytic capacitors. (Electrolytic caps are the blue and black cans with the metal tops you see on circuit boards. They degrade over time.)

      * I may have found a flaw in the recording, where the waveform would drop toward -∞dB for about eight samples at 96kHz. Definately audible on K701 cans, but possibly a problem elsewhere in the system as I haven't done any significant recording on it yet.

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      • #4
        Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

        Oiy, I've been waiting a long time for someone to say something about the Claro. Now I know the Striker Omega is just as good if not a little below Claro's quality.

        I'm still on a Audigy 1 LS (5.1). I also get those static "pops" every so often (about once or twice a month).

        I'd recommend the HT Omega or the Claro if you don't really use the EAX effects or just another of the X-Fi Creative Cards if you do use EAX or don't trust other brands.
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
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        • #5
          Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

          I run the Audigy 2 ZS Gamers edition. Have had it for 3 or 4 years. Never had a problem with it.
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          |TG-1st|Grunt
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          • #6
            Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

            I have an X-Fi Platinum and I'm pretty sure it'll be the last Creative card I'll buy. Sure, it sounds better than onboard sound when its working properly but often times, it crackles, hisses and causes conflicts with my Nforce 4 motherboard. Add that to the fact that Creative's driver support is notoriously terrible (especially for Vista x64) and their customer support isn't much better and you have one guy who isn't especially thrilled with his purchase.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

              Originally posted by Buckets View Post
              I have an X-Fi Platinum and I'm pretty sure it'll be the last Creative card I'll buy. Sure, it sounds better than onboard sound when its working properly but often times, it crackles, hisses and causes conflicts with my Nforce 4 motherboard. Add that to the fact that Creative's driver support is notoriously terrible (especially for Vista x64) and their customer support isn't much better and you have one guy who isn't especially thrilled with his purchase.
              I know how you feel. I had an Nforce 4 mobo for a long time and the snap, crackle and pop from the XFI was probably the most annoying computer related problem I've ever encountered. So if it's feasible, I would suggest upgrading your motherboard. It's been heaven for me since I did that and my sound has been crystal clear since.

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              • #8
                Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                There really isn't an upgrade short of throwing out my RAM and CPU as well and going with a Core2 or an M2. I just don't have the money for it right now. I have a pretty nice system and I'd consider going back to the onboard sound for the time being but it is fried.

                Oh well, I guess it isn't the end of the world.
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                • #9
                  Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                  I too have an X-Fi Platinum. I used to get the snap, popping sound but not anymore. I've moved my PC speakers out of the office to use for something else, but the card works great with my headset. I'll check to see if I'm getting the same annoying sounds since I've been dying to hear CoD4 in surround sound. I'm pretty impressed with the card as I've had it for almost 2 yrs now I believe, but some new pc speakers would be nice. (I've got my old stock Dell desktop speakers)
                  |TG-33rd|Clawhammer
                  [squadl] [sniper][unit]


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                  • #10
                    Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                    I also have the Audigy 2 ZS Gamers edition. It's been going strong for two years without a problem...on an nForce 4 mobo. I'm glad I avoided the X-Fi because of the cost at the time.
                    |TG|Melee
                    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                      If I were to get a sound card now (and wanted to go big) I'd get the AuzenTech X-FI. It's the X-Fi chip but the card (and drivers) are outside of Creative.

                      Right now I have a X-Fi Platinum. No real problems except in Battlefield 2142.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                        I'm quite happy with my Soundblaster audigy. Although, I havn't really got a comparison. :D
                        <<<<Magic!!




                        -F- Concr3te: "Brutus, goddammit, shut up!"

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                          Audigy 2. Works ok in XP, but crappy in Vista. Will not get Creative again because of lousy drivers.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                            Platinum X-Fi.

                            I too have a nForce4 motherboard, but haven't had the issue of the snapping/popping. I think it may have to do with a new revision of the X-Fi or something, not sure. The jump from onboard or a cheapo card to this is amazing, coupled with a good set of headphones, you can hear anything.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sound cards.. What cha got?

                              I have the Xi-Fi Gamer board. Got it for about 70 buck and it certainly has good hardware performance, no crackly sounds and don't have issues with any game I run it on. It has less bells and whistles than the Platinum but it's certainly a solid board.
                              "I've been working since I was sixteen. I fought in two wars. Hell, I've killed people. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it..."
                              -- Red Forman

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