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Author Topic: Need a new sound card (non Creative)  (Read 5521 times)

kartal

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Need a new sound card (non Creative)
« on: March 26, 2010, 12:10:29 PM »
Hi

I have been having massive issues with Creative Audigy under windows7 64. And it is time to move on to another product line. I always thought that Creative hardware is good but their software sucked to death, always, no matter what product line you use. I have used their jukeboxes, soundcards, mp3 players etc. The software or the driver was always an issue. So I am fed up enough about Creative`s software side issues.

I also hate massive driver downloads Creative, same with Logitech. All I need a stupid mouse driver, and these companies force you to install something like 60+mb(setup size) drivers-apps.

So I am looking for a new soundcard that might be in the range of 30-60$. I do not need a highend card, something decent. Naturally I am looking for something that also runs flawless under 64bit Windows7


« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 12:25:26 PM by Josh »

f0dder

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 06:45:15 PM »
Doesn't your motherboard have onboard audio? :)
- carpe noctem

kartal

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 06:49:17 PM »
I do not like the quality on those :)

nite_monkey

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 07:35:33 PM »
I guess I just can't tell the difference then. I used to have a fairly decent creative sound card until it died, but now I am using the onboard audio and it sounds just as good.
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Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 09:13:59 AM »
Ever since the release of Windows Vista & Microsoft boned gamers around the world by removing hardware-accelerated sound the need for a separate, discrete soundcard has been dwindling to near nothing.

If you have a recent motherboard & you haven't listened to on-board audio in a while you may be surprised. Realtek (Blech! I know, right?) actually has competent audio chipsets out there that provide surround sound, Dolby, DTS, and NEO. Realtek's drivers are actually stable, full-featured & they are very aggressive about fixing bugs as they release new driver versions with great frequency....the exact opposite of Creative. I'd only recommend Realtek if you are using one of their 888, 889, or 890 audio chipsets, though.

However, if you are still dead-set on getting a separate soundcard then there aren't too many options in that price range that are not Creative. Auzentech's X-Raider is one I'd seriously research.

Avoid everything made by Turtle Beach at all costs. Turtle Beach's drivers will make you think Creative's drivers were written by the gods & delivered to your PC on the backs of angels.

kartal

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2010, 01:11:05 PM »
Are these onboard cards use the cpu or they generally have their own processors?

f0dder

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2010, 04:06:43 PM »
Are these onboard cards use the cpu or they generally have their own processors?
Dunno about support for 3D audio, since Microsoft axed hardware acceleration of it with Vista - but if you're just doing normal playback, what exactly would the CPU be used for, anyway? Is there more to sound playback than DMA and DAC?
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bleh75

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2010, 05:05:19 PM »
I was kind of bummed when I got my new PC with a Realtek card but I've actually been quite happy.It sounds like a pain but if you get one download the driver from http://majorgeeks.co...php?id=35&sort=4 sort by Date  :Thmbsup: It takes forever to dl from the Realtek site.

Subsailor

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2010, 02:40:39 PM »
X-Fi runs very well on Windows 7 64 bit. I know it's Creative but ... perhaps a more modern Creative architecture like the x-fi could solve your problems. I'm running an X-Fi Elite Pro with Win7/64.    5.1 surround sound with both blu-ray movies and the latest games.
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Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 09:08:12 AM »
Are these onboard cards use the cpu or they generally have their own processors?

They are better than they used to be, but they still use the CPU (no off-loading). However, CPUs are so fast today and having more than one core there's no noticeable burden on the CPU. Things won't be lagging out like back in the good ole days of a few years ago.

Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2010, 09:09:25 AM »
Dunno about support for 3D audio, since Microsoft axed hardware acceleration of it with Vista

There's still 3D audio, but since DirectSound was deemed obsolete by Microsoft everyone has moved to OpenAL to fill the void.

Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2010, 09:11:33 AM »
I was kind of bummed when I got my new PC with a Realtek card but I've actually been quite happy.It sounds like a pain but if you get one download the driver from http://majorgeeks.co...php?id=35&sort=4 sort by Date  :Thmbsup: It takes forever to dl from the Realtek site.

Just to add to this advice, make sure you install the drivers that either came with your motherboard or from the motherboard manufacturer's web site first. Often you get a nicer front-end that exposes more functionality in the Realtek drivers than if you were to just install the drivers alone from the Realtek site.

kartal

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2010, 10:05:43 AM »
Thanks guys,

I actually went ahead with external usb solution for now.

f0dder

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2010, 10:18:21 AM »
Dunno about support for 3D audio, since Microsoft axed hardware acceleration of it with Vista
There's still 3D audio, but since DirectSound was deemed obsolete by Microsoft everyone has moved to OpenAL to fill the void.
Yes, but is OpenAL accelerated? And what exactly, 3D audio aside, would an audio card accelerate (but isn't doing for onboard audio, and thus requiring it to be done in the driver, using CPU cycles)?
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Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2010, 06:54:51 PM »
Yes, but is OpenAL accelerated?

Yes. It is.

Quote
And what exactly, 3D audio aside, would an audio card accelerate (but isn't doing for onboard audio, and thus requiring it to be done in the driver, using CPU cycles)?

Nothing, as far as I know. Hardware-accelerated audio is exclusively used for 3D audio in games. In other words, if you aren't a gamer then the lack of DirectSound & OpenAL are not going to be anything you will be worried about.

Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card( non Creative)
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2010, 10:56:09 AM »
I actually went ahead with external usb solution for now.

Glad you found a solution that worked for you. In case someone else finds this thread looking for an answer to the same question I thought I'd go ahead and post my experience thus far with on-board sound as I have just built myself a new computer. To give you a little background I bought my first IBM-compatible PC in 1992 and a Creative SoundBlaster of some flavor has always been present in every PC I have ever owned. My current Creative soundcard is an an Audigy 2 ZS.

Having actively shunning on-board sound all these years I thought it'd be an interesting experiment with this new PC to leave the Audigy 2 ZS card out and play around with the on-board sound powered by the Realtek ALC889A chipset. The connection from the PC is through analog connectors to a set of Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 Ultra speakers (These speakers are friggin' awesome beyond words, BTW).

Preliminary testing today with some widely varied FLAC music files played through Foobar2000 v1.01 using WASAPI. Thus far I am of the opinion that a Creative soundcard will not be seeing the inside of my new computer at all. Sound with the Realtek chipset is every bit as clear & crisp as the Creative card even when playing acoustically complex tracks.

I'm going to have to see how well the Realtek chipset handles games, but if the performance levels keep up my Creative card will be heading for a box in the closet.


f0dder

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Re: Need a new sound card (non Creative)
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2010, 09:51:48 AM »
I've been running onboard audio for some years now, and the only problem I've noticed has been component noise. It's almost non-existent these days, though... unless I attach a USB-powered harddrive to my front USB ports, then the front headphone jack receives massive noise :)
- carpe noctem

Innuendo

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Re: Need a new sound card (non Creative)
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 09:09:49 AM »
unless I attach a USB-powered harddrive to my front USB ports, then the front headphone jack receives massive noise :)

That sounds like a problem that might be the fault of the case you are using (maybe the connectors aren't grounded very well).

Ampa

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Re: Need a new sound card (non Creative)
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2010, 10:25:03 AM »
To my mind one of the biggest advantages of a "pro" soundcard is actually the breakout box which allows easy connection of mics, line-in, midi, through full size easy to access plugs. That is the reason I continue to use my Audigy - for now at least.