VOGONS


First post, by eL_PuSHeR

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I am finally fed up with my AC'97 (ALC650) failing a lot on games.
Tested both nVIDIA and Realtek drivers. No difference.

What I need is...

- Card must be PCI.
- Must be low-budget (I don't want to invest too much on my current setup).
- Must be good enough to be worth replacing for the ALC650
- I don't need any fancy features. I just use 2 speakers and headphones.
- Must be compatible with my nFORCE2 chipset.

I have been looking a bit and there are PCI cards as low as 29€ (I have even seen some of them at 6€). I want something in the middle-range but not too expensive. Up to 50-60€ would be okay.

Thanks in advance.

Intel i7 5960X
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Reply 2 of 14, by eL_PuSHeR

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I take it is Creative, isn't it?

I have these two to choose from. I guess Adigy4 is better than Audigy SE judging from prices.

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Intel i7 5960X
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8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte)

Reply 3 of 14, by HunterZ

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Stay away from Creative! Help end their innovation-stifling corporate tyranny over the sound card market! Check out this thread: Sound Blaster X-Fi Series

Also, I'm currently using an on-board ALC655 on an nForce2 board without problems. I just recently switched from nVidia to Realtek drivers because nVidia's haven't been updated in ages, but both work fine for most games.

Reply 5 of 14, by doomer

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I wouldn't say "stay away from Creative". I've had nothing but good experience with Creative. Maybe you should hear how accurately a creative card positions sound in stereo, 5.1 and so on. And you should also hear EAX 3.0, 4.0 and above. And the X-Fi is said to do (and does) wonders with providing 5.1 sound in headphones (but you'll need decent headphones). The quality is also great, with absolutely no noise, and great compatibility. All in all, I would never say stay away from Creative but everyone is free to choose for themselves. Built-in sound can never be an option for a person who enjoys hearing something in addition to just looking at the screen. 😉

Reply 6 of 14, by avatar_58

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I don't see much reason to avoid Creative if you play games mostly. For me in new games I *need* a Creative card to get the best results with EAX4HD and not loose my framerate. Besides I'm not going to save the world by denying them one sale so it doesn't bother me. 😦

I personally have the Audigy 2 ZS and its always worked great.

Reply 7 of 14, by HunterZ

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I really think that EAX - and Creative cards in general - is overrated. Most people who badmouth on-board sound haven't tried the chipsets from nVidia/Realtek/C-Media that have been developed in the past year or two, which are now equal in capabilities to Creative's offerings in all areas but EAX 3.0/4.0.

Also, 3D positional audio in games (even in EAX mode) is handled by DirectSound3D. EAX is a proprietary Creative extension to DS3D that pretty much just adds fancy reverb processing. Most games don't bother taking advantage of EAX-specific features these days, as an increasing number of users are sticking with onboard sound with fully-capable DirectSound3D implementations.

You're of course free to make your own decisions... I frst experienced Creative cards around 15 years ago (Sound Blaster Pro) and was blown away. I bought an SB 2.0, SB 16 MCD, SB PCI 128, and SB Live!. However, since entering into the PCI sound card market, they've changed and I now have these reasons for disliking them: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=165010&cid=13779654
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Labs#Criticism

Now that second-generation DDL/first-generation DTS Connect cards (which Creative doesn't offer BTW) are hitting the market ( http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/index.php?op … =1&limitstart=2 ), I'm considering buying one because my speakers are capable of decoding both Dolby AC3 and DTS 5.1 digital streams.

The only good thing I've seen Creative involved in recently is OpenAL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openal). Unfortunately they probably took it over so that they could steer Windows developers away from it and towards EAX instead.

Reply 8 of 14, by avatar_58

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Have you played FEAR and Doom 3 with EAX4HD? Do you have surround speakers? Personally to me my soundcard sounds excellent coming from my Logitech Z-5300 set 😀

My personal opinion is that developers need to start spending more time on the audio side of games. The sound effects in recent shooters are very tinny and bad. The ambient sounds are great, as well as the sense of surround....however once you fire the machine gun in Doom 3 its all down the toilet. 😒

The interesting quote said by a Human Head rep on 3DR was that they spend less time on sound due to the low purchase numbers of sound cards and speakers. So.....do with that what you will. 😉

Reply 9 of 14, by DosFreak

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WTF.

Most people don't buy sound cards and speakers. They come with their frickin' PC's for cryin' out loud. It's like, not designing PC games for keyboard/mouse but keyboard/mouse sales are lousy. The keyboard/mouse come with the PC!

The reason I still stick with Creative:

1. Offload sound processing from my processor.
I hate the trend of offloading processing power from devices and putting it on the processor because the processor "can handle it". Bullshit.

2. Audio interference. True. The PCI sound card is still close to the PC but the integrated sound card is even closer and most likely cheaply designed. At least with the Creative card I can be a little bit more sure of not picking up an sound artifacts.

3. Linux support. I've had alot of trouble with integrated sound cards and Linux. I'll stick to my Audigy 2 which works great under Linux.

4. I really don't give a shit about EAX. As HunterZ noted above. D3D can do the same if people bothered to support it.

5. I can remove my audigy 2 from my current PC and put it in my new one. I can't do that with integrated audio....

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Reply 10 of 14, by avatar_58

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Hey don't hit me! 😅 I'm simply using his paraphrased words. I find it rediculous because how come they spend so much time on graphics? The games force us to get better cards, so why don't they give us reasons to buy better soundcards? Apparently the message they are getting is that we could care less about sound, and IMO they are fools. Then again this is the same reason they stopped making many adventure games......by listening to their wallets and numbers instead of the customers.

Reply 11 of 14, by eL_PuSHeR

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I have gotten myself a regular SB Audigy SE for 29€ which suits my needs well. So far, so good. It sounds 200% louder and without pops nor static.

Now, I am going to test some games which gave me compatibility problems with ALC650.

Intel i7 5960X
Gigabye GA-X99-Gaming 5
8 GB DDR4 (2100)
8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte)

Reply 12 of 14, by DosFreak

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Heh. While visiting my parent's for Christmas I decided to fix their ol' K63-400 for good.

Previously I hade stuck a Geforce FX 5200 and a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 in there. Unfortunately the Geforce FX wasn't very compatible with the VIA motherboard (it didn't seem to be a PSU issue although the PSU was pretty crappy). Looking at the games my brother played (not very many) I decided the Geforce FX was overkill especially since he never used it's features, so I went back to the integrated ATI Rage.
The computer NEVER blue screens now.

I then stuck a Highpoint SATA card in there for the hard drive. He likes to play MP3's alot while playing simple games and surfing the internet and unfortunately the computer could never handle it. heh. Even copying files off a USB1 HD to the hard drive would bring sound playback to a halt. After installing the SATA card multitasking was increased by ALOT and there were no sound quality issues at all. Sweeeettt.

I also stuck a USB2 card in there which is a million times better than the crappy VIA integrated USB1 card.

Finally I took out the Audigy 2. I would ALWAYS get popping sounds with the Audigy 2 with this motherboard no matter what utilities/latency/drivers/OS I used.....also the crappy speakers weren't powered and the Audigy 2 for some reason couldn't output enough power to the speakers as compared to the onboard sound card. Reverting back to the onboard sound there were no longer any popping sounds and his sound was 200% louder as well.

All that to get decent sound quality on a K63-400....and I didn't even change the sound card! 😀

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Reply 13 of 14, by eL_PuSHeR

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For me, the Audigy has fixed the compatibility I had with some games. I am not saying that all AC'97 codecs are bad, it's just a matter of luck and picky hardware configurations.

Intel i7 5960X
Gigabye GA-X99-Gaming 5
8 GB DDR4 (2100)
8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte)

Reply 14 of 14, by keropi

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creative cards from live! and upwards are awesome...
there is no rival for them, cmedia, realtec and the rest just produce codecs for cheap onboard audio solutions... and if they appear on a pci card, you can be sure it's the same as onboard sound... they use pcu power for sound, and that sux big time...

Right now I have a 5.1 SB-Live! but I am gonna test a SixPack 5.1+ which uses the crystal 4630 dsp... I am 99% sure this is a hardware solution, and not a codec based one...