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Sounds Cards Comparo (or The search for Aural Pleasure)

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by smiddi, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Alba

    Alba Member

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    Very well done review.

    RE: STX cons

    I was just playing around with mine. Coax plugged into Z5500's and headphones in. With the settings as in the pic I get sound through both. If you set the SPDIF to Dolby Digital Live then you lose sound to the headphones.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  2. Criminal_Colt

    Criminal_Colt Member

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    I was going to get the STX but this review raised some serious concerns. Why spend $200+ on a card that will bring frame rate issues into games?

    Could someone expand on this? What causes it, and why on earth is this deemed acceptable?

    It seems there is no choice but to go with the Forte.
     
  3. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    I can't say I've noticed any unusual stutter in any of the games I play.
    This includes Valve games, Empire Total War, Arma 2, Crysis, HAWX etc.

    Only problem I've encountered was Trine refusing to load, but I haven't tried it since updating drivers.

    Not sure where I read but I think it was HardOCP or xbitlabs that tested each card and all cards actually showed an improvement in FPS by a couple of frames (unnoticable, but there).
     
  4. Criminal_Colt

    Criminal_Colt Member

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    Ok so it's probably more a one off driver issue?
     
  5. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    Let me put it this way; this card could ship with double the amount of issues and I'd still refuse to get rid of it for anything else :D
     
  6. Will S

    Will S Member

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    btw: how are the drivers for Win7

    maybe down the track I may go for this :)
     
  7. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    To be honest I've only installed the Win 7 drivers today and no problems so far.

    The previous drivers had an odd glitch where my media players (both Winamp and Foobar) would pause for a few seconds when I first started playing a song after logging into windows but that hasn't happened in the past 5 hours yet. Also, the problems with the audio control panel volume knob and smart volume features not working are fixed.

    It's great to see Asus showing this kind of support, even for an un-released OS.

    Empire: Total War and Arma 2 sound absolutely stunning! :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  8. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Only annoyance with me is you have to supply a power cable. Is this true of all pci-e sound cards ?
     
  9. DARREN

    DARREN Member

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    Only the good ones :D

     
  10. Criminal_Colt

    Criminal_Colt Member

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    Just got my STX delivered at work...it's sitting here on my desk and I can't fking wait to get back and boot it up.

    Sexy times! :thumbup:

    Oh gawd that was painful. Installed it and suddenly I can't run a single damn 32bit program. I thought it was a MS conspiracy at first as all the MS programs were 64bit. Took me a lot of browsing (using IE - yuk!) to figure it out.

    QUOTED HERE FOR REFERENCE:


    Having had my little bitch and moan though, the sound IS fucking brilliant. :)

    Oh and to fix the problem a better way download the Command and Conq. VISTA patch (Asus website) and apply it under Win7 64bit. This solved the issue for me and others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  11. k00k

    k00k Member

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    Just wondering, what is the best all round solution, if there is one? I watch a lot of movies from my PC through a Yamaha RX-V3900 into Krix Neuphonix/Epicentrix speakers. I also listen to music from the PC, occasionally, though most music I listen to from a CD player through a dedicated 2 channel stereo amp. Is something like the Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 or HDAV1.3 Deluxe great for both movies and music? Just really want to get the best possible sound for both.
     
  12. Beaistheman

    Beaistheman Member

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    are you going to use a digital out to the amp? or analogue? That will be ultimately the deciding factor. Wont be any difference if u use the digital out form the mobo or a dedicated sound card unless u have the need for DD live or DTS connect etc encoding.
     
  13. k00k

    k00k Member

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    Sorry, you'll have to pretend I'm an idiot. Okay, I am an idiot :) I just want to run it straight to the 3900 AVR. I guess the main use is for movies, so want DD 5.1 or ProLogicII for that. But, when I play MP3's from the PC, I want it to come out as 2 channel stereo. I guess I can just change that on the AVR? I really only need Dolby Digital 5.1, ProLogicII, and 2 channel stereo for music.
     
  14. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    Great work I have to say.

    However, a lot of us do both Gaming and Music with an equal preference for all.

    Any chance you could give a combined rating (too late now for me as I have just bought a Xonar DX, was totally unaware of any flaws, until now).
     
  15. telefragd

    telefragd Member

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    "Dolby Digital Live" and "DTS Connect" doesn't really apply if you're not playing PC games through your surround system.

    The simplest solution is just to use optical output from your PC to your 3900. The DACs for the higher-end Yamaha receivers are excellent :)

    You'll just need to make sure passthrough for DD/DTS 5.1 audio is enabled. Stereo sources should remain in stereo (PCM) by default.

    If you're venturing into Blu-ray territory with the PC hooked up, then you would want to consider the HDAV 1.3 cards or the Auzentech equivalent so you can bitstream DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD to your receiver for decoding.

    I prefer standalone players myself though. There's so much fiddling around you have to do with getting lossless audio to play without being downsampled and the cost involved (BD drive $120, proper sound card $300, BD software $100) but that's another topic in itself.
     
  16. k00k

    k00k Member

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    Thanks for all the info, much appreciated. I wont be doing Blu-Ray from the PC, at the moment I'm using a PS3 for that, but am going to look at a standalone player. Eventually...

    Soooo, 64 million dollar question, which card should I get? Or, dont I even need one, and can just use the onboard sound solution on the mobo via the optical out? Which is what I currently use.
     
  17. k00k

    k00k Member

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    I am such an idiot... Went into the PC soundcard settings, changed it to six channel, went onto the Yammy 3900 AVR, changed it to two channel stereo, bingo, now my MP3's are output as 2 channel stereo through bypass to the Cambridge Audio 740A amp. I think I am getting somewhere. And to be quite honest, it actually doesn't sound too bad, not too sure if I even need a new soundcard... :lol:

    Went and bought some new B&W CM5's for the dining/kitchen area the other day, now to get those running in tandem. Want the Yammy running the CM5's and the Cambridge running the Krix. The Cambridge keeps getting overloaded running all 4 speakers. Never ending fun... :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  18. GreasyBear

    GreasyBear Member

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    Anyone had experience with Onkyo sound cards?

    I'm looking for a nice 2 channel one.

    Suggestions?
     
  19. thaFunkster

    thaFunkster New Member

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    I have to say, if you are just passing through the digital signal, then wont onboard sound suffice, just pass it through to the reciever and let it do all the work? If you are not actually using the soundcard to alter the sound in any way, then you are better off not spending your money. Am I correct?
     
  20. jalyst

    jalyst Member

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    ST is due in retail in about 4-weeks...
    I've been trying to get them to place an order for the Xonar H6's too!

    ***update***
    Distributor's clarified... Order for H6 wil be placed in one week...
    This doesn't mean we'll definitely get the H6, it depends on whether Asus has enough stock & whether they decide to allocate any of it!
    But if all goes well the H6 should leave approx. 10-days later than the ST.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009

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