Realtek HD Audio - Wow.

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Little Man, Jan 9, 2010.

Tags:
  1. Little Man

    Little Man Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,601
    Location:
    3147
    Hi all, im actually very alarmed by what im hearing and need ocau's audiophile guidance.

    My Audio Setup is AD700's and Xonar Essence STX.
    I've lent the STX to a friend and im using onboard for the first time in a million years.
    I just re-installed my computer with vista, loaded up the latest Realtek HD Audio drivers and installed foobar2000 and played from John Mayer Flacs and ...

    It sounds exactly the same.

    I don't understand what's happening, Realtek has somehow because extremely good or my STX wasnt ever performing. I was extremely happy with the music and gaming performance of my STX + AD700 but listening to AD700 + onboard...its exactly the same:eek:
    Now, im not an audio expert and am not 100% what to be listening out for but listening with an open mind and open and non-biased ears, they sound the same, maybe slightly different.

    What's going on?:confused:
     
  2. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,845
    Location:
    At a desk
    On-board tech isn't that bad at all these days. I think the only limitation you may come across is that off-board solutions tend to have more channels to play on simultaneously, eg: 64 channels vs 32 channels or similar.
     
  3. Agg

    Agg Lord of the Pings

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2001
    Messages:
    30,982
    Location:
    A Reported Post Near You
    Yup, I've been using onboard sound for years now, I think the last sound card I bought was an "SB Live!" :) Works fine for my cloth ears.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Little Man

    Little Man Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,601
    Location:
    3147
    But whats all this jabber "OMG it's amazing" going around then?
    I'm yet to try games (installing now) but surely, the STX which is so highly regarded would at least be distinguishable from onboard?!
    I was thinking of switch from STX to Forte but was worried about sacrificing music, and if onboard is this good, then forte must be the same as stx :eek:
    This is outrageous, i want my money back!
     
  5. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    7,845
    Location:
    At a desk
    Welcome to the world of convincing marketing. Last sound card I ever bought was also an SB Live! card. I've used onboard ever since too, although on-board really did finally come into its own with HD audio chipsets finally replacing the aging AC97 sets...

    One would presume that you would have evaluated on-board solutions before parting with your cash for an off-board solution in the first place rather than rely purely on marketing hype?
     
  6. Dux

    Dux Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Messages:
    246
    I dunno. Since I upgraded to a Creative X-Fi Titanium Pro from on-board, I'm hearing a lot more depth.

    Echoes, being able to place sounds easier, that sort of thing.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Little Man

    Little Man Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,601
    Location:
    3147
    But that's the thing, it wasn't company advertising or paid-reviews that sold me it was reviews by our own like smiddi and even friends of mind and various other unbiased users of this very forum. It cant be that everyone is under some marketing illusion can it?
    Yes i did, but i admit i was only using crappy $15 gaming headphones which is probably why i thought on board was so bad.

    Oh well, looks like i'll be selling the card unless i can find a solution to why im not being wow'd.
     
  8. mtma

    mtma Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,706
    But.. But...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Comma

    Comma Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,683
    Location:
    Perth
    (Signal is only as strong as the weakest component in the chain)

    ...

    ...

    (In this case the John Mayer Recording)
     
  10. Jedi Jezz

    Jedi Jezz Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    938
    Location:
    Canberra
    The main that has kept me using add on cards is the hum, hiss and static I hear with the onboard solutions. This includes my newest mainboard which is P45 based.

    Some people probably can't hear it or it just doesn't bother them. Each to their own.
     
  11. SupremeMoFo

    SupremeMoFo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Messages:
    5,012
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I get the same as Jedi, it's mainly about removing the incessant hiss which is why I had an Asus Xonar U1 for my old laptop and an Auzentech X-Studio for my PC now.
     
  12. Apokalipse

    Apokalipse Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,168
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Most onboard sound cards these days can produce a natural sound with a good frequency response (as in, not really producing an imbalance in how loud certain frequencies are)
    But a good sound card like the Essence STX will sound cleaner
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  13. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,096
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Off board sound is naturally of a higher quality; even if you have the best DSP in the world it's damn hard to isolate it from the noise of the motherboard if you're using an on-board solution.
     
  14. Raptor_Eye

    Raptor_Eye Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,309
    Location:
    Bathurst NSW
    some people are just more "sensitive" i guess, personally my old Audigy 2 ZS sounded a shit load better then the HD Audio that comes integrated on my p35 board, and the X-Fi prelude i upgraded to sounded even better again.
     
  15. WishBone17

    WishBone17 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    Dundas (Sydney)
    Rubbish, John Mayer is a musical genius, have you seen this man live.? Amazing.

    As per onboard, like most of you guys, my last soundcard was an SBLive, onboard works great for me, i am however using an elcheapo Logitech setup.
     
  16. Crash Dummy

    Crash Dummy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,732
    Location:
    Newcastle, NSW
    Until I read this thread I was using a USB dongle for my main audio to my stereo receiver. I've just plugged back into the onboard sound on my GA-P35-DS4 and sounds alright to me. I might change over to my HT receiver and take advantage the DTS live shit or whatever this chipset does.

    On to gaming sound for a moment. Although I used a SB Live forever I still believe they are a pile of crap. I had another sound card at one point that a high quality bit of gear but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Shows how much of a impact it must have had on me because I sold it. Every sound card I've tried has been underwhelming to me since owning a Diamond Monster Sound MX300. To those that are to new to the scene the MX300 was a non reference Aureal Vortex 2 powered card. I have no idea what is out there these days that can produces those results but it seems to me from my prospective that the gaming soundcard market is a big can of worms of mismatching standards. But i'm happy to be proven wrong. It seems to complicated for me to care anymore but I'd love good 3D posistional sound in games again. The best experiences I remember were using my Vortex 2 card in half life with 4 speakers and being blown away by the amazing posistional sound. Then when I used headphones still being able to specificly say. Enenmy is behind me on left roughly 45 degrees. Turn and bam there he is. That was an amazing experience and I really miss the immersion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  17. yorky

    yorky Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,743
    Location:
    Perth
    What about CPU usage?

    I know for a fact that a lot of the USB type sound cards chew through CPU cycles (fine for music, devastating for games frame rates). My laptop's X-Fi USB just playing MP3's can use 10%+ CPU...

    Now onboard solutions, I can gather that they also steal CPU usage but usually not a lot? Does a dedicated PCI/PCI-Express card have its own processor? In my PC I have an Audigy4 PCI but haven't compared to the onboard as I already had the Audigy when I got this board...
     
  18. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    18,414
    Location:
    ADL/SA The Monopoly State
    what is your audio source/ if its say something like a 320kbps mp3 of course youre not going to notice.

    i can hear the difference between realtek onboard and my DX with much crappier HD515's when listening to flac rips.
     
  19. Comma

    Comma Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,683
    Location:
    Perth
    I watched this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZYF4fnAs3c

    He's alright, nothing -special- to me. He's no Eric Johnson. But I was joking about it, hence the brackets. I respect other peoples personal preference for music and wouldn't ever say in a serious tone that a real musician sucks.

    On topic so I don't seem like a tard. I don't see my Firewire/USB Devices sucking too much CPU power (Audio Interfaces - Presonus Firebox and Audiobox).

    Also refraining from a "I can tell the difference between FLAC/VBR/320 MP3" argument...
     
  20. Foos

    Foos Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2001
    Messages:
    2,052
    Location:
    Melbourne
    onboard for everything with speakers etc (5.1)

    when i seriously want to wear headphones - I use a Xonar U1 external USB, which has inbulit headphone amplication.

    There is a VERY large difference with headphones that are unamplified vs amplified.

    good $40 purchase.
     

Share This Page