dedicated audio card really needed?

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by Neshi, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. xor_2

    xor_2 New Member

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    I guess U're right :)

    @Tipstaff
    as far as I know best Realtecs and AD2000b on P5Q Deluxe have very comparable quality and have very poor quality both :uhoh:

    integrated audio is for folks that just want that there is any sound and without clicks and pops and Realtek gives less clicks & pops so it is better. It doesn't however have much better audio quality than any other integrated solution = it sound very poorly (at least on good hardware eg. Technics RP-F30 there is very audible diffrence between eg. ALC889A and Audigy4PRO, like light years diffrence...)
     
  2. anonemus

    anonemus 80 Plus Certified

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    My Gigabyte G31M-S2C has a Realtek AL662 codec that I use for my Creative Inspire 2500 speakers. I'm still running WinXP. Will I notice an improvement in games and MP3 music if I use an Audigy LS card (circa 2004)?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  3. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    Tough call. The Audigy LS (if I remember correctly) is just a PCI rebranding of the SB128.. I think. Honestly, don't quote me on that one. One thing you will notice (at least I think you will) is that the LS has separate bass/treble controls, plus the onboard amp helps when using headphones. To get the same sound from the Realtek chip you'd have to fool around with the equalizer settings.

    A plus for the Audigy LS is that you will notice the lack of EAX support if you use the Realtek chip. If you don't need EAX then I would say either option is ok. Again, though, if you use headphones you will notice that you get better audio (or at least able to tweak the audio more to your liking) from the LS thanks to the bass/treble control, however either option is pretty much the same overall when using speakers (in fact you won't want to touch the bass/treble control too much with the LS as you could overpower the sound coming out of the speakers.. such as having too much bass).
     
  4. anonemus

    anonemus 80 Plus Certified

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    It does seem like a tough call, Tipstaff. About the EAX thing, in some games I can enable EAX 2 using my Realtek; the Audigy LS does come with EAX 3. I did have an Audigy card years ago and there was substantial improvement over my non-HD Audio mobo (I think 945 chipset). But when I got my Gigabyte G31, I sold my Audidy.

    I also noticed when I used Windows Vista and 7 (beta versions), the audio quality from my Realtek audio had a positive improvement. Because I was having problems with Win Vista and Creative driver, I ditched the Audigy.

    Soon I will be moving to Windows 7. I guess I will just stick with my Realtek for now and wait for prices for the Audigy 2 to go down further.
     
  5. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    The latest Realtek drivers provide both a EAX/EAX2 support... EAX HD is for the most party iffy and not supported technically... (although for me it appears to work under windows xp but i haven't really cared)
     
  6. anonemus

    anonemus 80 Plus Certified

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    If its really iffy, Judas (and I tend to agree), I'd better spring for an Audigy 2 when the local prices go down further
     
  7. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    thing is.. the reason it's iffy because it's essentially imo, a dead standard due to the way vista/windows 7 uses audio and is able to in my opinion, better handle sound devices and audio enviroments by unifying a single solution which has proved in my eyes, to really cut down on the audio bs out there and bring up the level of capability and audio quality.

    EAX isn't supported under those OSes without using some patches/fixes provided in some drivers which from my experience, has produced some iffy results even on creatives lineup. Alot of games don't make any use of EAX anymore at all from what i've seen, everything has gone to the openAL standard or various flavours of the games own enviromental effects.
     
  8. anonemus

    anonemus 80 Plus Certified

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    So for Win7, EAX isnt important anymore?

    My sister is currently on vacation in Baltimore visiting my other sister. I'm thinking of asking her to buy me an audio card. Which would you recommend as the best bang-for-buck? My primary use is for gaming and playing MP3 songs.

    Also, which online store?
     
  9. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Personally i'd stay away from sound cards altogether specially if you've already got even an AC'97 realtek or HD Audio Realtek onboard sound.

    An alternative sound card i think i could recommend would be something from auzentech, look at what they may have for audio devices.
     
  10. OmegaRED

    OmegaRED Relapsed Gamer

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    Any motherboard with HD Audio is going to be better than a budget card circa 2004, not having to deal with Creative drivers is also a big plus.
     
  11. pkozerski

    pkozerski Member

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    asus xonar dx is pretty good and not expensive or d2x if You can pay more
     
  12. DarthElvis

    DarthElvis New Member

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    ^this. Surprised ASUS cards are seldom mentioned here. I've had my D2X for a couple weeks now and there is no comparison. It blows away the ADI onboard I got and is definitely superior to my old Audigy 2 (may she rest in peace). I find myself just sitting there noticing things in some very familiar music that I've never noticed before, (Pink Floyd-The Wall 24/96 audiophile release is great for that).

    If you care about quality of sound, then dedicated soundcard is the way to go. If you don't care, for whatever reason, then modern onboard is not absolutely horrible.
     
  13. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    I've the Asus card....

    Anything digitally output between it and the realtek ALC1200 or 889 is amazing.

    Analog, depends on the manufacturer of the board for the outputs.
     

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