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mejobloggs
07-07-2006, 02:25 PM
I am looking for a sound card for music and games. Games are more important though ;)

I have been trying to research, and have only come up with zillions of negative comments about Creative sound cards.

I want a fairly cheap one, as long as it is better than onboard sound (+ I am having a wee bit of trouble with my onboard sound).

Can anyone suggest a decent, but not too costly sound card? Perhaps a non-creative one?

I have heard that there are non-creative cards that are cheaper and better, but havn't yet come accross any.

I can't remember what my speakers are, but they were about $100 Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers.

Shortcircuit
07-07-2006, 02:48 PM
I've got a Creative soundblaster live 7.1 s/card, think it was about $100-150. Works well, but comes with a lot of slightly pointless software add-ons.

pctek
07-07-2006, 03:01 PM
Nothing wrong with Creative. In fact the Xi-Fi series is rather nice and has some good reviews.
However:

http://www.gpforums.co.nz/thread/326877/?

and

http://www.gpforums.co.nz/thread/326177/?

Trev
07-07-2006, 04:12 PM
I agree with pctek. I have had 2 Creative Sound cards since 1998 a Sound Blaster Live which is still going well in another computer and a Soundblaster Audigy2 ZS which I run now. Creative Sound cards are the best around.

Trevor :)

mejobloggs
07-07-2006, 04:47 PM
I have read heaps of negatives on the Xi-Fi. Apparantly a number of people dropped back to the Audigy2 ZS

Audigy2 ZS is cheaper, so I might go for that. Still a bit expensive for me though :(

Metla
07-07-2006, 04:50 PM
Soundblaster Live 5.1 is probally all you need, for 99.9 percent of people the speakers limit the audio quality, this cant be overcome by expensive audio cards.

mejobloggs
09-07-2006, 02:26 AM
Cool, thanks for that. Soundblaster Live 5.1 better than onboard sound?

mejobloggs
09-07-2006, 02:37 AM
Oooh, and these Soundblaster Live 5.1 cards are pretty cheap too. Especially on trademe :)

I assume it doesn't matter if I get the 5.1 or 7.1 version? Since I am only using 2.1 speakers, I won't get any extra benefits. (Some places the 7.1 is cheaper than the 5.1)

Also, can I hook up my front ports to the soundcard? Not quite sure how to do that, but I guess I will find out once I get the soundcard.

sunway
09-07-2006, 02:47 AM
I am in china.I knew a cheap sound card. It is Sound Blaster Audigy LS.It was about $70.I think it made to yours satisfaction.
http://product.pcpop.com/000008265/Index.html :nerd:

The_End_Of_Reality
09-07-2006, 09:14 AM
I assume it doesn't matter if I get the 5.1 or 7.1 version? Since I am only using 2.1 speakers, I won't get any extra benefits. (Some places the 7.1 is cheaper than the 5.1) Nope, just means it has the abaility to run a 7.1 speaker setup rather than a 5.1 setup, my MOBO is capable of 7.1 but I only have a 5.1 setup, there is a setting in Windows to allow you to choose your speaker setup (5.1, 7.1 etc) and makes absolutely no difference.

In short, got for the 7.1 if it is cheaper :)

straitjacket
09-07-2006, 01:00 PM
Oooh, and these Soundblaster Live 5.1 cards are pretty cheap too. Especially on trademe :)

I assume it doesn't matter if I get the 5.1 or 7.1 version? Since I am only using 2.1 speakers, I won't get any extra benefits. (Some places the 7.1 is cheaper than the 5.1)

Also, can I hook up my front ports to the soundcard? Not quite sure how to do that, but I guess I will find out once I get the soundcard.

I looked into hooking up the fronts to my audigy 2 zs (it was a retail box) but the only place it could have connected to was a tiny wee white plug....which when I googled it seemed to be a proprietry connection for one of the big manufacturers like dell or something....the consensus was that you had to have the breakout box that comes with the platinum series to get front audio...which I found a little annoying for a $200 card, although that was a yr ago so they could have changed - creative now do sell the breakout box seperatly but I'm damned if I can find it for sale in NZ

mejobloggs
09-07-2006, 02:46 PM
Atm I have my front ports hooked up to the motherboard. I assume the front audio ports will no longer work when I stick a soundcard in, and turn off onboard sound?

Shortcircuit
09-07-2006, 03:04 PM
I've just had a look through my m/b and creative sound card manuals.

No mention from either of them regarding front ports. There is an 'extra' (I think 7 pin) socket on the end of my sound card... shown in all the pics on the manual, but doesn't say what it does!

My guess is it won't work, but you might get 'stereo' sound if you're lucky.

PS I hooked my m/board up to the front ports when I had onboard sound, but function went west when I put the creative card in.... never bothered to check it out :thumbs:

Agent_24
09-07-2006, 03:47 PM
For gaming, a hardware accelerated soundcard will help performance, as the onboard sound is usually only software (which uses CPU cycles to run everything, and creates lag)

JackStraw
10-07-2006, 02:27 PM
As for the breakout box why not make your own, pretty simple for the likes of an F1 reader :badpc: , just plug it into the back ports and your away.

straitjacket
11-07-2006, 08:34 AM
As for the breakout box why not make your own, pretty simple for the likes of an F1 reader :badpc: , just plug it into the back ports and your away.

lol. Done that once before on my old 939 3000+ but I felt it was a bit of a crime to do that to my x2 3800.....and more to the point I didnt want to go drilling holes in my thermaltake case....my pocket still hurts like hell from buying that!

mejobloggs
11-07-2006, 09:10 AM
As for the breakout box why not make your own, pretty simple for the likes of an F1 reader :badpc: , just plug it into the back ports and your away.What is a breakout box?

If you are talking about the bit with the front audio ports in, I already have that, and its working atm. I am just wondering how to connect it to my soundcard, because it seems to connect straight to the motherboard atm.

I have a thermaltake tsunami case, and that has its own 'front panel' thing with usb, firewire and sound plugs.

pctek
11-07-2006, 09:31 AM
I have a thermaltake tsunami case, and that has its own 'front panel' thing with usb, firewire and sound plugs.
Tsunamis don't have front audio. They have top audio.

mejobloggs
11-07-2006, 09:59 AM
Same thing though. Everything is the same, except it is moved a bit.

cjongreen
11-07-2006, 09:16 PM
I notice the person mentions they want a card for gaming rather than anything else.I have over time studied a lot of gaming forums and I'm afraid to say I wouldnt even consider any of the cards mentioned here for gaming..To many glitches with various games.Any cheap sound card will do the job..Older Yamahas or C-Media type ones are fine..Would have been more helpful if you actually mentioned what games you want to play for a more detailed answer.

Metla
11-07-2006, 09:18 PM
bollocks.

cjongreen
11-07-2006, 09:20 PM
Really...What games you play brightspark.

Metla
11-07-2006, 09:21 PM
Makes no difference, Just accept the fact that your advice is crap and move on, there is no discussion to be wasted on the issue.

cjongreen
11-07-2006, 09:24 PM
You my friend are an ignorant buffoon,I play a lot of games so personally I think my opinion stands for something.Plainly you play sweetfa.You can help him out when he comes back looking for drivers to solve this and that issue.Bye Bye.

Metla
11-07-2006, 09:51 PM
Bye. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Trev
11-07-2006, 11:31 PM
I play alot of games too with my Audigy2 ZS card and have never had a problem. Also play DVDs, CDs, MP3s with never a problem.

Trevor :)

Agent_24
12-07-2006, 12:02 AM
It is proven that software based chips such as that made by C-Media can cause noticeable performance drops in games (which was the main purpose originally asked about)

some interesting information can be found at: http://www.twitchguru.com/2003/04/05/sound_can_be_hazardous_for_games/index.html


It's no great surprise that the sound cards do very well. They are optimized for sound processing and substantially relieve the CPU of this heavy task to let it go about its more important business. The nForce APU does brilliantly in all three games and therefore deserves a special mention.

The Realtek ALC650 and C-MEDIA CMI8738 onboard chips, on the other hand, have trouble keeping pace. This is mainly due to the fact that they operate with soft audio. This implies that the audio driver keeps addressing the CPU, causing it to waste precious time in sound management. The effects are noticeably explicit - there is a performance drop of 14 to 15% in all three games. We confirmed this with another kind of game, Rally Sport Challenge, where changing to a sound card drastically improved its performance.

mejobloggs
12-07-2006, 12:05 AM
Uh... The whole games thing... Thats just what I mainly use this pc for.

I am having troubles with my sound, and I don't know if that is because of onboard sound or what. I get noticeably loud static coming out my speakers, and sometimes my sound doesn't work (probably faulty plug or something maybe?).

But meh, I feel like getting something that is better than onboard sound anyway.