XFi vs onboard w/ Win7
Got an X-Fi Xtreme-Music and I've had it since when they came out. They were all the rage when XP was around and now I'm starting to wonder if there is a point to have hardware sound if games are getting so much better through software. What does B3D think? Keep the X-Fi around and continue using Alchemy, or put it in my XP play thing machine and just use onboard in Windows 7 since there is no point?
Games I'm currently playing and wondering about are more modern.
And later Skyrim.
I know back in the day they were great to offload sound processing from the CPU, but now wondering if it matter anymore with such beefy CPU's.
Anybody else ditch their dedicated sound?
Forgot to mention, I'm currently using 3 different devices for sound.
Razer Orca for quiet gaming straight to sound card
Logitech 11 dollar cheapo speakers for background noise when in kitchen
EQ'd PA speakers for anything else.
This is a very old thread.
Old topic. But good its brought up. I own a Z77 deluxe board by ASus. Currently don't remember the model. But I was wondering if it will be an upgrade if I would install a pci sound card.
Yeah, might be old, but I actually find it interesting. I am running a ASUS Xonar Xense card right now, which is not supported on Windows 8, but there are people out there that modified the drivers to add support to Windows 8. Since ASUS discontinued the card, they don't have Windows 8 support for it. Sucks, but what can you do. :/
Either way, I feel a difference in music when playing it through the Xonar instead of just the Realtek onboard audio. Could be because I'm using high-end headphones that need more power to get good quality and high-volume music out of them. This is where i find audio cards helpful. Otherwise unless you have good speakers you won't see the difference in quality.
If you're on a budget, by all means stay with the onboard audio. It's not bad, and I use it on many systems that don't have a dedicated audio card, but for my ultimate entertainment and gaming system I still use a dedicated audio card. Few advantages is that you start hearing sounds that were previously unheard due to the limitations of the number of sounds the audio card can play at the same time, and the noise-to-audio dbA. Sometimes the crisper content can get lost due to a lower noise-to-audio ratio.
I'd like to hear other's opinions on this. I might upgrade to an even better audio card for my future builds, that have native Windows 8 support, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon.
The only reason to get a sound card these days is due to higher quality DACs and amps. If you don't actually have cans or speakers capable of the quality difference then no reason to drop a hundred on a sound card. The only problem with onboard is if you have a ground buzz for any reason. Other than that the quality difference wont be heard. Most good gaming headphones these days come with an external amp which modifies quality anyways, so having a sound card wont make a difference there either.
the reply got my laughing :dielaffin::dielaffin::dielaffin:
anyway since this was revived, might as well give my thoughts. yes motherboard today would have built-in 5.1 or 7.1 audio but audio cards will still give a crisp and clearer sound. The difference is quite noticeable I believe. Im using an ASUS ThunderFX external audio card now using audio devices I listed on my signature. I like the improvement on bass.
Depending on what your onboard DAC is I doubt seriously there is any difference on those 2, no offense. The specs on both aren't good enough to tell a real difference. Any kind of treble or bass differences are different internal EQs which can be changed by you.
The headset has its own amp which changes the sound quality coming out of your sound card, and the Creative 2.1 has worse specs than my JBL 2.1.
Seriously, the difference is only noticed on audio equipment that has good specs like studio cans or studio bookshelf speakers which have SNR and frequency response that you wont find on something that only costs a few bills.
I do notice some differences in the songs I listen :)
Originally Posted by PP Mguire
To some songs I would hear some things in the background I never heard before. Sorry for the cheap audio stuff but it's the only thing I can afford :\
Bought the roccat kave 5.1 from a rich guy that bought it but never used it (it was unopened LOL) just because he shifted his PC theme from blue to red LOL (*sigh* rich guys...) he sold it to me for US$50 based on my conversion. Well that sounded like a good deal so I went for it.
I wasn't trying to offend you, I currently only have a Turtlebeach X12 headset for BF3 gaming and my JBL 2.1 setup that I got about 7 years or so ago. I can't afford what I want either, so wasn't meant to offend. Just saying, there would be no difference in actual quality. As for hearing things in the background.....um what?
Also, what audio format do you use?
There was one song.. (hmmm i might be discriminating myself here but ohh well just for an example)..
I download songs from youtube using a youtube downloader/converter..
it was the "To Be With You" by Mr.Big. I heard laughing in the background before they counted and started singing LOL. Never heard the laughing before. Generally I just find the songs clearer now :)
I wasn't offended :) I think the story of how I got the kave is funny. I mean it was with him for 6 months... didn't even bother opening and testing it.
Anyway, popular brands of multimedia speakers available in my country include Creative, Edifier, Logitech, and Altec Lansing. The higher-end of logitech stuff are haaaaaaaaard to find. so with JBL and Bose.. Being near to China. Cheap chinese audio stuff are literally flooding the market. Typical households here would have those with speakers as large are CRT monitors LOL. The above-mentioned brands just cant compete with these cheap Chinese speakers.... Even though they sound awful like a broken snare drum... having the loudest speakers in the neighborhood is the common trend here LOL.
Youtube audio is going to be MP3. You wont hear a difference in quality using MP3 as even the crappiest of crap can play 320k and sound decent.
Originally Posted by najiro
Just so you know, I was an audio engineer working live and studio sound with my dad for 8 years. I'm kind of an audiophile and tested my theories on sound cards vs onboard on several different professional setups. I'm telling you for real, there is no difference on your current audio speakers. The only time I could clearly hear a difference is when I was using class A amps with studio bookshelf speakers going through a small Yamaha mixer.
I see.. hmmm i dunno i can really sense some difference X__X
I like music, i listen to music all the time while working. not really strict about quality :)
ANyway since you got me curious, what formats are the best in quality for music? what's the difference between 16bit and 24bit of "sound quality"?? I can see 2 options of "2 channel, 16 bit, 192000 Hz studio quality" and another one on 24 bit.. but ultimately it will depend on the format of audio played right?
Kinda hard to explain really. Think of video. 16 vs 32bit. You get more colors right? 16 vs 24bit in sound like like a larger chunk of sound or depth. Maybe somebody can elaborate further. There is just more, or larger pipe if you will.
The Hz level is sample rate, how many times the audio is measured per second.
An MP3 has a maximum of 320K/s which is 320bit rate. 24bit 96KHz is 4.39Mb/s or roughly 33MB per song whereas the MP3 will be much smaller. If you think of it like graphics textures, the larger carries higher resolution meaning better visual quality. In sound, it is the same way. If you can actually hear the difference is subjective to how good your ear is and how good your speakers are.
As for your first and second sentence, they pretty much contradict each other. If you weren't strict with quality then you don't need a sound card. If you listen to MP3s, sound card isn't really being used. Which leads me to answer your other question. As far as I know currently FLAC (lossless audio) is the best format you can have. This mixed with GOOD speakers or cans will show the major differences between onboard and a sound card. On that, you saying you heard something you missed depends entirely on your recording itself. Changing formats or sound card wont place missing audio into a file.
PP, I listen to a bunch of FLAC file type music files. Best quality you can get, as far as I can tell.