What Sound Card should I get

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urihsur_navap
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Joined: 01/23/2012
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Hi,

I am using onboard sound and I want to get a proper sound card. I recently upgraded my speakers to the Logitech Z5500 as well.

I looked at a few cards and these are a few that caught my eye. (with price)

$160 - http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-recon3d-fatal1ty-professional/1-20886.aspx
$109 - http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-titanium-fatal1ty-professional-series/1-17791.aspx
$104 - http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-recon3d-pcie/1-20885.aspx

Even though I play games, my primary need is for music.

Any recommendations?

Thanks,

spawnkiller
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forget the REcon 3d for music, they're design strickly for games... the x-fi titanium was one of the card that are in the top range you could also check asus models...

here's some line-up: http://compreviews.about.com/od/multimedia/tp/SoundCards.htm
in detail: http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/

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98% Of people under 25 surround their minds with rap music, if you're part of the 2% that stayed with rock, put this in your signature, ROCK IS BETTER!

eire1274
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The Recon design actually does quite well for music. However, there is no on-card sound decompression (which really means nothing... on-board also relies on the CPU for decompression).

Nick McDermott - 3dGM Admin

spawnkiller
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had buy one of those and return it within 1 week... At my ears, the "recon 3d fatality pro" wasn't great the high pitch seems to be louder than bass and "Squeal" in the ear (even with the equlizer and all settings that i tried) and this card was replacing a x-fi xtreme PCI (a 30-40$ card and i was disapointed)

i had impression of sound fatigue within 1 hours with headphones and don't have this problem with my old card and my new "Asus Xonar DX" also in high volume with the creative, i was hearing some noise when i was moving my mice like interference in my 5.1 setup and headphone... with the xonar the 5.1 is ok but the headphones still do that, however i later determine that is the front audio port that is causing that cause when i plug my headset in the back, no more interference !!!

Anyway, anyone have different hearing preference so i'd suggest, if you can try it, to try it for a week or two to be sure that card will please you... (my local detailler was really a good guy to exchange me the card like that cause i had order this card as a special order of creative and he also let me try is personal Xonar card to see if i like it more... however i bought maybe 2500-3000$ in a couple of years from him so it could help a little !!)

PS: the X-fi card always had good review so maybe the $109 - http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-titanium-fatal1ty-professional-series/1-17791.aspx
will do really great job

Note: I listen to Rock/Metal in majority so maybe it's really good for hip-hop/Rap style...

(was pleased with a low X-fi card, it was: http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-xtreme-audio/1-15855.aspx I had change to put better headset on it so no more expansions were available on this card...)

Review of The Xonar DX vs a X-fi and a Xonar D2X (Top ASUS model 250-300$ sound card)
http://techreport.com/articles.x/14500/1

marijanovic
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Go for a Asus Xonar DGX or o Xonar DSX. These are like Xonar DG & DS but with PCI-E instead of PCI.

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urihsur_navap
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Joined: 01/23/2012
Posts: 4

Thanks for the comments,

So between the...
$109 - http://au.store.creative.com/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x-fi-titanium-fatal1ty-professional-series/1-17791.aspx
$187 - http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_STX/
$95 - http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_DX/

should I go with the Xonar DX? It is reasonably priced and seems good value. Or is the Essence STX worth the money?

I am mainly listening to Rock/Metal as well.

I can't "try" these cards. These guys won't accept returns unless they are broken.

Thanks,

spawnkiller
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The essence STX lacks GX3.0 for gaming (like EAX in creative cards)(really good for music listening if not the best card out there for that)

Titanium vs DX, on paper you are looking at 109db SNR (X-Fi) to 116db SNR (Xonar), and ASUS's connectors are gold plated while the X-Fi's aren't (Back I/O ports). Note: the DX needs a floppy power connector to power chips and mostly to get a good ground to get rid off interferences... The x-fi have integrated spdif in/out and Xonar is by an adaptor in the mic 3.5mm port. also Distortion @ 1khz on X-FI 0.00400% and on XONAR 0.00056%

can't talk for the X-Fi TITANIUM but the XONAR DX sounds really great and newest drivers add feature and upgrade GX engine to a better positioning and compatibility for oldest games...

ASUS driver offers most options than Creative ones but that wasn't the latest Creative that i had use so maybe they have upgrade alot of things...

PS: don't install the shitty driver coming with the card... they're buggy

marijanovic
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If you go for the Xonar card, do not install the offical drivers - these divers are newer and a lot better:
http://brainbit.wordpress.com/category/uni-xonar/

eire1274
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marijanovic wrote: If you go for the Xonar card, do not install the offical drivers - these divers are newer and a lot better: http://brainbit.wordpress.com/category/uni-xonar/

If I'm right, the latest drivers on the Asus website has those fixes. The last update of this third-party driver is almost two years old. Asus has much more recent drivers.

True, though, NEVER USE THE INCLUDED DISC unless you don't have internet. There is always something newer out there.

Nick McDermott - 3dGM Admin

marijanovic
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Eire1274, you are mistaken, the latest UNi Xonar drivers are from 02.06.2012 (as written on the site) which means they are about 16 days old. Asus drivers are much older.