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Thread: Dedicated Sound Cards

  1. #1
    Registered User Jaxx's Avatar
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    Dedicated Sound Cards

    Now I'm sure there's a few people in the same boat as me !
    Built a PC ... cut back on the peripherals and pushed the GC and MOBO/Mem/CPU as much as possible in the build.

    Downside, no doubt, is the stupid onboard sound card. Now I know they have come leaps and bounds in the decades, however,
    I am starting to upgrade my PC ... and so as not to have such a big hit when I finally have to think about Haswell / PCI Express 3.0 and all that drool, slurp stuff I can't afford yet ... I am upgrading what I call transferable Crap !

    I've purchase a nice PSU and GC ... Headphones are next on the list .. SSD will be soonafter (just waiting on the prices to drop a bit as the technology gains speed)

    So............ here's my question !

    I read that buying a dedicated SoundCard can actually increase framerates in games. Simply because it shifts the number crunching of sound from the CPU to a dedicated processor.

    TRUE or FALSE ?

    or has anyone had such an experience ?

    I fail to see if this is a FPS winner, how not buying one, can't be a good idea in the upgrade scheme of things

    :-)

  2. #2
    Sic vis pacem para bellum Essen's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxx View Post
    Now I'm sure there's a few people in the same boat as me !
    Built a PC ... cut back on the peripherals and pushed the GC and MOBO/Mem/CPU as much as possible in the build.

    Downside, no doubt, is the stupid onboard sound card. Now I know they have come leaps and bounds in the decades, however,
    I am starting to upgrade my PC ... and so as not to have such a big hit when I finally have to think about Haswell / PCI Express 3.0 and all that drool, slurp stuff I can't afford yet ... I am upgrading what I call transferable Crap !

    I've purchase a nice PSU and GC ... Headphones are next on the list .. SSD will be soonafter (just waiting on the prices to drop a bit as the technology gains speed)

    So............ here's my question !

    I read that buying a dedicated SoundCard can actually increase framerates in games. Simply because it shifts the number crunching of sound from the CPU to a dedicated processor.

    TRUE or FALSE ?

    or has anyone had such an experience ?

    I fail to see if this is a FPS winner, how not buying one, can't be a good idea in the upgrade scheme of things

    :-)

    I have a pretty high end sound card (but I highly value audio quality). I've only ever rolled with on board sound on my laptop and I hated every second of that (in regards to the audio). It was passable, but definitely lacked the features/sound clarity/etc. of a higher end card.

    Speaking to FPS gains, that is probably highly dependent on which on board audio you're using. I have a Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 mobo and the on board audio is supposed to be pretty damn good. Most people could definitely go with that and never notice a difference.

    I think it's a big mistake to buy one simply to get 5 extra FPS in your games. Especially considering you put most of your money into the components that will most affect that already. I'd worry about the SSD next as the hard drive is one of the biggest limiting factors after the core parts in performance. It will improve your entire computing experience. Lastly, figure out what you can budget, and more importantly, what you're really going to need/use the dedicated sound card for.

    Get a great pair of headphones too. You don't want a fancy sound card with shit speakers or headphones.

  3. #3
    aka Boji-Chan Bojingles's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    I don't know if everyone has had this experience, but the creative stuff is garbage. I've had too many problems with their hardware to buy from them again. I heard the Asus Xonars are awesome from Dopefish but other than that I am ignorant on quality sound hardware.
    Edited by Teck:
    did you really just ask if Bo has his cwp?

    he shot his name into the application form from 1000 yards... while on a Segway... One handed with his USP in .45ACP... While doing pushups AND eating his sandwich...

  4. #4
    Sic vis pacem para bellum Essen's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Bojingles View Post
    I don't know if everyone has had this experience, but the creative stuff is garbage. I've had too many problems with their hardware to buy from them again. I heard the Asus Xonars are awesome from Dopefish but other than that I am ignorant on quality sound hardware.
    I've never heard issues about their hardware honestly. If anything, it's been the drivers. I've used high end stuff them before and personally never had issues, but I don't doubt others have. I haven't had experience with the Asus lineup, but when I was doing research about newer cards I would see the same complaints about drivers, etc. Not sure how much of that stems from inept consumers though. Dopefish is a very highly technical individual so if he couldn't get something to work for him, then I'd truly be concerned.

    tl;dr - Creative stuff gets a lot of flak, but it's still pretty decent stuff. Asus' offerings are more than likely just as good if not better. You'd be hard pressed to go wrong with either selection.
    FuzzyLogik likes this.

  5. #5
    Jack pwns my FACE FuzzyLogik's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    I haven't had a dedicated audio card since my Opti 180 build (Still have it, card still works) - I really haven't seen much difference in the quality of sound or slowness because of using onboard stuff. I'd say try the build without it first, and if it's lacking, get the card. If you find yourself not needing it... you're that much closer to a good SSD (which i don't even have yet :P). Now if you're using completely different connections (1/4 inch rather than the mini) to your sound setup...that would be different.
    "Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun."

  6. #6
    Jack pwns my FACE FuzzyLogik's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Essen View Post
    I've never heard issues about their hardware honestly. If anything, it's been the drivers. I've used high end stuff them before and personally never had issues, but I don't doubt others have. I haven't had experience with the Asus lineup, but when I was doing research about newer cards I would see the same complaints about drivers, etc. Not sure how much of that stems from inept consumers though. Dopefish is a very highly technical individual so if he couldn't get something to work for him, then I'd truly be concerned.

    tl;dr - Creative stuff gets a lot of flak, but it's still pretty decent stuff. Asus' offerings are more than likely just as good if not better. You'd be hard pressed to go wrong with either selection.
    I still have an OLD 7.1 surround system-in-a-box from Creative ($100 back in... 2002? 2003?) that still works. Never replaced it as I haven't been able to find a comparable system for that cost...and it still works
    "Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun."

  7. #7
    WHERE IS GOD DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Creative used to be awesome... then Vista came out and they totally lost their collective shit. My old Audigy 6.1 card on my XP system was great.
    0118 999 881 999 119 7253

  8. #8
    MisterX
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Their hardware has always been good, but the software and drivers are shocking.

    You are totally right , when vista came out they screwed it up completely.

  9. #9
    Registered User Jaxx's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by MisterX View Post
    Their hardware has always been good, but the software and drivers are shocking.

    You are totally right , when vista came out they screwed it up completely.

    VISTA ! Nuff Said !
    System Specs
    Intel i7 870 2.93Ghz - Asus P7P55D-E LX Mobo - 8GB DDR1600
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  10. #10
    WHERE IS GOD DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Dedicated Sound Cards

    Vista wasn't the issue... Creative's inability to code new drivers was.
    0118 999 881 999 119 7253

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