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Sound Card: Yea or Nay? If so, which one?

Post Date: 2012-08-09

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BoursinBurger View Drop Down
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  Quote BoursinBurger Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Sound Card: Yea or Nay? If so, which one?
    Posted: 09 Aug 2012 at 4:34pm
I love my music as much as I love my games. I currently have a 5.1 speaker setup with a SoundBlaster X-Fi under the hood. Thinking about getting a DS desktop in the future.

My question is this: What makes each of the sound cards DS offers better than onboard audio, and are they worth the expense?
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  Quote shot Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Aug 2012 at 5:34pm
I did an enormous amount of review reading.  ALL the sound cards listed on the DS site are good cards.
My last PC had a x-fi soundbalster 5.1 card and I enjoyed my music and games.
On board audio on the nicer MoBo's is fairly good quality but for me I really wanted to get everything out of the games that was possible (up to 7.1) and really hear my music.
My final decision was the Auzen Forte 7.1 and I am very happy with it.  I also purchased a quality set of Sennheiser head phones which makes a huge difference.
Now my games have great surround sound and the music sounds fantastic.
I'm happy with my choice.
 
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  Quote jseidel Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Aug 2012 at 7:14pm
I didn't get it with my system from DS but I recently added this card: SoundBlaster Recon 3D PCIe
I had the onboard Realtek audio and it is very good. I was impressed with the improvement in onboard audio since my first system several years ago. But I decided to add the Creative card when they discounted it to $80 a while back.
To my ear the Recon 3D card adds depth and detail to music that I did not hear before. To my ear, it was worth it.
You might prefer the Champion model if you want to part with the additional bucks:
Recon 3D Champion
The chip is the same but the card is inside a protector shield, it lights for effect, and the front drive bay provides front head phone and speaker access which is a big plus if you have a large, heavy case that makes it difficult to access rear ports.
This is a new card that works with Windows 7 only, although a few reviewers have tried it with Windows 8 and it works with the new OS also.
When I bought my system last December mostly DS has Asus sound cards to offer and although I'm sure they are excellent, at $150 and up they put me over my budget.
J.

Edited by jseidel - 11 Aug 2012 at 7:18pm
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  Quote xii Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 2:29am
I dont have an external sound card if you will.  I use onboard with these Astro A40 headset.  Man - amazing sound.

Who needs a soundcard?
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  Quote Asangard Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 3:33am
In my most recent DS build I added (from Newegg) the SoundBlaster Recon 3D Champion.  I had been using on board audio with my previous 2 computers and WOW what a difference this card made.  Sounds were much crisper and cleaner and I could actually tell where things were based on sound alone.
 
I did a lot of research before I purchased this card.  Some cards such as the Recon 3D are better for gaming while others are better for music.  You will need to take this into consideration when purchasing a sound card.
 
Generally speaking you will find better prices for accessories at places like Newegg or Amazon.
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  Quote shot Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 5:26pm
Originally posted by xii

I dont have an external sound card if you will.  I use onboard with these Astro A40 headset.  Man - amazing sound.

Who needs a soundcard?
 
ALL that computer and no sound card????
 
C'mon!
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 6:20pm
I haven't used a sound card since they became integrated into the mobo. Of course I'm not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination. 
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  Quote SpicierMire Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 7:05pm
I'd recommend this as a viable option to anyone not willing to sacrifice a PCIe slot for a sound card. Solid stuff, AND takes digital coaxial input. All I need for my recording sessions ;)
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  Quote xii Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Aug 2012 at 10:17pm
Originally posted by shot

Originally posted by xii

I dont have an external sound card if you will.  I use onboard with these Astro A40 headset.  Man - amazing sound.

Who needs a soundcard?
 
ALL that computer and no sound card????
 
C'mon!


I remix a lot of music and spend a lot of time in the headset.  These astro A40s come with a mix amp - set at 7.1 surround.  Onboard sound on the Rampage is 7.1 - can't top that.  No sound card needed.
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  Quote Err0xx Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 9:36pm
Soundblaster is often recommended because it's a widely used brand, but it's nowhere near the best. I'm a hardcore Audiophile and can hands down recommend the HT | OMEGA CLARO II 7.1. That is by far, the best sound card maker on the planet; i've tested about 30 different cards.

Their site has many different ones for different audio needs (digital out, coaxial, etc).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271007

Thats the newegg link to the card I own. HIGHLY recommend it. The output options are heavily configurable and it uses brand new 2012 circuitry - by far one of the most advanced systems on the market and it looks so CLEAN inside of a computer case. Don't take my word for it, read the pristine reviews there.

The card has so many different sound options, those geared for gaming, and those geared for music listening. These aren't equalizer settings, they actually use different parts of the circuitry to favor the type of media you're playing. It's like many sound cards in one.

Edit: Ooops, didn't read that you wanted info on the ones DS offers, no idea if this one is offered. Still worth checking out though.

Edited by Err0xx - 16 Aug 2012 at 9:41pm
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