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devnulllore

Step up from on board audio.

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hmm, you know all the stuff I've read from some of my most reliable sources and friends lead me to believe I should stay with my on board audio. I have a buddy who has the exact same setup as me but he lives in NJ. He is coming up in a few weeks and is going to go over some of the settings etc.. and insists it's the way I have the manger setup. He also schooled me on the pros and cons of a sound card vs. on board sound. I also watch this guy a lot and this is a good video on the subject: 

 

 

I will update you later.

 

Thanks,

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hmm, you know all the stuff I've read from some of my most reliable sources and friends lead me to believe I should stay with my on board audio. I have a buddy who has the exact same setup as me but he lives in NJ. He is coming up in a few weeks and is going to go over some of the settings etc.. and insists it's the way I have the manger setup. He also schooled me on the pros and cons of a sound card vs. on board sound. I also watch this guy a lot and this is a good video on the subject:

I will update you later.

Thanks,

While I agree you don't need to spend a lot on audio interfaces to get a decent sound out at home, playing games, one thing I noticed is they keep mentioning testing your audio signal through headphones...

That's a good chance as to why you won't notice any difference.

Spend money on a ?1000 pair of monitors and a proper audio interface (something at a logic standard) and you will notice a difference.

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The only option where a separate audio device is preferable today is in a pure music high end stereo. Most purists would dream of connecting a PC to one of these or even have one of those noise generators in the same room. Bt if they where to connect a PC to one, it would through a external USB DAC, or optical since it would only be in stereo anyway.

 

I use a Topping TP30 and it sounds quite nice as long as it's been fed with a decent quality input to start with, If you're listening to low bitrate MP3's.etc it doesn't matter what you play it on it's still going to sound crap.

 

Bought it to replace my component amp as I was running out of space + it meant I was no longer using a cheap external soundcard (the jacks on the laptop are loose, so the 3.5mm plugs tend to fall out) doesn't have anywhere near as much power as the previous amp but still plenty enough for the room the computer is in.

Driving a pair of Q acrostics 1010's off it and of course it's only stereo but It's still a nice bit of kit.

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Optical can't do the best audio formats and analog is... Well analog, and there you introduce all the internal PC electronic noise issues again.

 

What 'best formats' can optical not do?

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DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA at least. 

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Most PC chipsets I've come across can't even pass 5.1 audio over optical without compressing it on that note.  I'm told it's not a limitation of optical cables...

 

5.1 headset on my ALC1150 and receiver on my HDMI here.

 

Onboard audio CAN be horrible if the motherboard doesn't shield well or the environment has plenty of signal noise.  But for most people it's actually pretty decent now.

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I have the Sabertooth Z77 motherboard too, a Marantz amp and a pair of Q-Acoustic speakers is how I deal with it. Sounds beautiful.

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Hi,

 

I may have asked this or a similar question before but I could not see any such post by me. I have been wondering this for months and decided to ask you about it.

 

I have the Asus Sabertooth Z77 MD and it has a Realtek ALC892 sound processor on it. Well quite frankly it's horrible. I have a great set of Logitech analog 5.1 surround speakers and on my last 2 builds, one had a Creative card and the other just a generic Siig I think, they sounded great and the control panels had many great features. With this Realtek it just the opposite. I am looking for a step up to a PCIE sound card and was just wondering if anyone has used another brand and what you think of it to help me in my search.

 

Thanks,

Using world-class headphones, a $2 Realtek integrated audio codec could not be reliably distinguished from the $2000 Benchmark DAC2 HGC in a four-device round-up. Again, all four devices sounded great.

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-19.html

 

It is not the sound processor. Check your setup.

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Using world-class headphones, a $2 Realtek integrated audio codec could not be reliably distinguished from the $2000 Benchmark DAC2 HGC in a four-device round-up. Again, all four devices sounded great.

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-19.html

 

It is not the sound processor. Check your setup.

 

Could be the quality of the amps or noise picked up after D/A conversion by poorly shielded components.

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Could be the quality of the amps or noise picked up after D/A conversion by poorly shielded components.

Whatever it is, I highly doubt it is the motherboard. Sabertooth Z77 is one of ASUS's premium brand motherboard and it is really good. I use a similar class (Z77 V Delux) and it is good.

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I'm glad I stick with stereo for all my music/computer output. :P

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While I agree you don't need to spend a lot on audio interfaces to get a decent sound out at home, playing games, one thing I noticed is they keep mentioning testing your audio signal through headphones...

That's a good chance as to why you won't notice any difference.

Spend money on a ?1000 pair of monitors and a proper audio interface (something at a logic standard) and you will notice a difference.

Yes I saw this video AND a friend and I did some testing. He works at a local mom and pop PC shop and they had a bunch of different, both low end and high end, open sound cards to test.

 

To make a long story short it was not till I got WAY up in price, like the Asus ROG Xonar Phoebus card that I heard any kind of difference. I also tried out some additional audio software, primarily a software preamp and wide area EQ and was able to get my PC sounding great. I should also point out that this topic was a bit unfair to you as I never mentioned that my PC is on a corner desk so I'm stuck facing a "V" in the wall. My fronts are right on each side of my monitor with the center on top. My rears are actually on my desk but as far to the left and right as I can go. I plan to change my setup around so my rears can actually be behind me etc.. The I can use the speakers the way they were made for.

 

So I am going to run like this for now and worry about a card later if I even feel the need for one.

 

Thanks for all the help!!

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^^ Getting a 5.1 setup right and the hassle involved is what led me to get a nice 2.1 setup instead 

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Windows 7 and later are software dsp only. XP is still used for gamers and audiophiles for this reason

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The entire Audigy family was a mess (2001 to around 2013). Just horrible, unsupported, buggy, etc. drivers. A lot of people lost a lot of trust in them despite them being great cards.

 

 

Well, I hope you are right. I still have my Audigy cad and man it still sounds awesome. I tried on board since people always said there is no difference nowadays and wow, they were completely wrong.

Not the entire Audigy family - the Audigy SE was; however, THAT was basically a re-branded X-Fi XtremeAudio (software DSP strikes again).  The rest of the Audigy line with the first hardware DSP (specifically, the E-MU 10K1 or 10K2; yes, the SAME E-MU 10K1 and 10K2 used in professional audio-processing studio gear) worked darn well until changes were made in the audio stack by Microsoft (in Vista, specifically) that made support for hardware DSPs mostly pointless for anything that used DirectSound, and had the nasty side-effect of wrecking EAX in games - Microsoft's change, but Creative got blamed.

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Windows 7 and later are software dsp only. XP is still used for gamers and audiophiles for this reason

That change was introduced with Vista - not 7; in fact, Creative got whacked rather hard over that change, even though Creative (and specifically EAX in games) was the biggest victim.

However, you can still use EAX outside of games, and with all of Creative's audio solutions since the original Audigy - look for a setting called EAX Environmental Presets; it will be in Entertainment mode in your Creative software TaskTray icon.

It's still supported today - in Windows 8.1.

 

Gamers missed EAX - however, game DEVELOPERS (especially in terms of the audio side of games) did not; even Creative itself threw in the towel and threw backing behind OpenAL - an OS-neutral framework for audio processing; among the stakeholders are Microsoft, the Open Software Foundation, Epic Games, Red Hat International and (amusingly) Apple.  Audiophiles are even more change-averse than gamers - or anyone else, in or out of IT.

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If you want to really invest in something worthwhile, get a 2nd hand 5.1+ HDMI A/V Receiver (Sony/Yamaha/Onkyo etc) & compatible speakers. I output everything to my Yamaha from my laptop via HDMI and it is glorious.

 

I used to have a Xonar D2 connected to an old Pioneer HiFi via analogue RCA cables. The sound was terrible unless I EQ-ed the hell out of it in the Xonar control panel.

 

Now I have digital audio out of the ALC892 to a Yamaha receiver and out to a pair of Tannoy M1s. The sound is like night and day compared to my old setup and with no EQ needed.

 

I use it for music, movies and games.

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Windows 7 and later are software dsp only. XP is still used for gamers and audiophiles for this reason

If I'm not mistaken, Windows 8 reintroduced hardware acceleration for supported cards.

While on this topic, I may need to swap out my sound card soon or just stick with onboard audio. My current card is the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude. Thought I'd get better driver support by going with a third party using Creative DSPs, but NOPE NOPE and NOPE. They haven't bothered releasing Windows 8 compatible drivers - the Windows 7 drivers will work if you force compatibility mode though. However every now and then there will be an ungodly loud blast of static followed by 20 seconds of silence as the card resets itself. It's been happening since Windows 7 and even after RMA'ing this card, the issue still isn't gone.

I would finish this post by warning folks to not get an Auzentech card. But I don't really need to since it appears they've gone out of business.

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I haven't read all the posts, but I want to say that - the item that you're listening to may be the problem.

MP3 sound horrible.  A good system will just amplify the flat sound.  Many people will think they need an addon card, then throw it on some crap $100 speakers and think "this sounds nice"

I am not talking about audiophiles, they are their own breed.  But if you're listening to a good recording, maybe something in FLAC, and it doesnt sound good, then you might need better speakers...

I have ruined my ears from shooting large caliber guns w/o ear protection, so I dont bother anymore, but when I did - I had the Klipsh 5.1 Ultra on an X-Fi and thought it was pretty nice when listening to music in a lossless codec. - Just my 2 cents

I realize "nice" is relative.

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Stopped there.

Creative has a nasty habit of dropping driver support for products that have at 1 or 2 years in them. Do not get them, I learned the hard way.

Ive heard a lot about Asus' Xonar line. Might wanna take a look.

 

My 2003 Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum Ex running in Windows 8 begs to differ.

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My 2003 Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum Ex running in Windows 8 begs to differ.

He said "has a habit of" not "does it all the time verbatim."  Seriously, c'mon

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Not the entire Audigy family - the Audigy SE was; however, THAT was basically a re-branded X-Fi XtremeAudio (software DSP strikes again).  The rest of the Audigy line with the first hardware DSP (specifically, the E-MU 10K1 or 10K2; yes, the SAME E-MU 10K1 and 10K2 used in professional audio-processing studio gear) worked darn well until changes were made in the audio stack by Microsoft (in Vista, specifically) that made support for hardware DSPs mostly pointless for anything that used DirectSound, and had the nasty side-effect of wrecking EAX in games - Microsoft's change, but Creative got blamed.

Most if not all of the Audigy line was horrible. And Creative had months to prepare for the change. Instead they stuck out their middle finger to their costumers and delivered what they delivered.

 

 

My 2003 Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum Ex running in Windows 8 begs to differ.

Yeah, it runs but with not only generic Microsoft drivers but nothing from Creative at all.

As a matter of fact, Im not sure if you even use the generic Microsoft drivers; Maybe you are using the hacked up drivers that have been floating around. I cant speak on that because I have never had Windows 8.1 with my Audigy 2 ZS.

I really hope HawkMan is right when he said they have cleaned up their act. Lets hope Creative can once again set a standard in audio for consumer products

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I haven't read all the posts, but I want to say that - the item that you're listening to may be the problem.

MP3 sound horrible.  A good system will just amplify the flat sound.  Many people will think they need an addon card, then throw it on some crap $100 speakers and think "this sounds nice"

I am not talking about audiophiles, they are their own breed.  But if you're listening to a good recording, maybe something in FLAC, and it doesnt sound good, then you might need better speakers...

I have ruined my ears from shooting large caliber guns w/o ear protection, so I dont bother anymore, but when I did - I had the Klipsh 5.1 Ultra on an X-Fi and thought it was pretty nice when listening to music in a lossless codec. - Just my 2 cents

I realize "nice" is relative.

Hi,
 
Well I've tried CD's, DVD's, Blu-Ray's even some FLAC encoded songs from full digital tape (probably the best source). I just found that with the right mix and software to get the best out of this Realtek Processor I could not find any difference until I reached the Asus Xonar ROG Phoebus  http://tinyurl.com/pnuoxbb
 
And even with that I had to re-install the drivers a second time because there was a conflict with the install and my keyboard control panel running at the same time. Not Asus's fault but a pain in the ass no less. So for now I am going to stick with the on-board. I am not a total audiophile and many of you will undoubtedly cringe at that but I do still like my music crisp clean and games to sound realistic. so far I've been able to do this with the right instruction on the software I have. If, of course, anyone can suggest a card similar to the Asus one at around $100 please let me know.
 
Cheers,

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