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Integrated vs audigy 2 zs vs xonar DX
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Markgpl
Master Guru
 
Videocard: Sapphire 7950 VaporX
Processor: Core i5 3570
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z77M-D3H
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3 2x4GB-1600
Soundcard: Asus Xonar DX
PSU: CM Silent Pro M 600
Default Integrated vs audigy 2 zs vs xonar DX - 09-16-2013, 17:42 | posts: 649

Well had 10 days of adventure, after buying my last videocard forgot the simple fact that it was 2.5 slots and my old veteran adigy 2 zs got to go.
First i thought, so many years have passed, integrated should be less horrible now. Well, simple and short no. Atrocious is a good parameter.
Told myself maybe its the VIA integrated sound and its horrible analog result.
Turned to videocard integrated realtek via HDMI to screen audio jack out. Was at most 20% better, but that was it.
I live in a difficult country to get anything decent, but got a xonar DX. Its amazing but i found myself completely irritated by the crashy integrated sound all these days, how nice the audigy was in comparison, and now its amazing, clean and wider than ever.

After the short story, there comes the questions:
-I thought that going through hdmi the sound would be way better but it seems that the crackles, distortion and mud are generated since the digital processing of the sound? I would like to understand the sound stages a little better.
-The Xonar has the best output on frontal jack, the manual says its intended for headphones performance, if i connect the frontal panel connectors to the card internal header it will keep using that higher quality output?
   
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mbk1969
Maha Guru
 
Videocard: GeForce 780 GTX
Processor: I7-4930
Mainboard: Asus p9x79
Memory: G Skill RipjawZ, 16GB
Soundcard: Onboard+NuForce Icon HDP
PSU: 1000 W
Default 09-16-2013, 19:14 | posts: 1,452 | Location: Moscow, Russia

You have to specify OS and soft-the-source-of-audio.
As for "crackles, distortion and mud" if you don`t use KS, ASIO or WASAPI, than check in audio playback devices properties which KHz (44, 48, ...) and bits (16, 24) are set. May be re-sampling and/or bit-conversion go wrong...

Edit: You can try to switch audio devices into MSI-mode to avoid IRQ sharing (if any).

Edit 2: You can use LatencyMon to check if any driver in you rig has bad ISR or DPC behaviour.

Last edited by mbk1969; 09-16-2013 at 19:22.
   
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Markgpl
Master Guru
 
Videocard: Sapphire 7950 VaporX
Processor: Core i5 3570
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z77M-D3H
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3 2x4GB-1600
Soundcard: Asus Xonar DX
PSU: CM Silent Pro M 600
Default 09-16-2013, 23:35 | posts: 649

I have 0 issues with the sonar now thanks, what i try to understand, is how integrated sound makes the sound so poor no matter analog or digital output.
   
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stormy
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Videocard: Sapphire R9 270x Dual-X
Processor: FX 8350
Mainboard: Asus M5A97 EVO
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600
Soundcard: Xonar DGX, Logitech X-530
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W
Default 09-17-2013, 01:44 | posts: 2,534 | Location: Toronto, Ontario

Digital is down to whatever you are connected to, as it is doing the conversion using its DAC. Analogue is down to aboard sound having a crappy DAC.
   
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mbk1969
Maha Guru
 
Videocard: GeForce 780 GTX
Processor: I7-4930
Mainboard: Asus p9x79
Memory: G Skill RipjawZ, 16GB
Soundcard: Onboard+NuForce Icon HDP
PSU: 1000 W
Default 09-17-2013, 13:00 | posts: 1,452 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markgpl View Post
I have 0 issues with the sonar now thanks, what i try to understand, is how integrated sound makes the sound so poor no matter analog or digital output.
I have zero issues with Realtek`s onboard connected via optical SPDIF to NuForce Icon HDP.
   
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Markgpl
Master Guru
 
Videocard: Sapphire 7950 VaporX
Processor: Core i5 3570
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z77M-D3H
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3 2x4GB-1600
Soundcard: Asus Xonar DX
PSU: CM Silent Pro M 600
Default 09-18-2013, 03:45 | posts: 649

Thats what im trying to understand, if you connect integrated sound to an external good quality dac via digital cable then the sound hardware on the computer doesnt matter anymore, sound its completely software generated?
   
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mbk1969
Maha Guru
 
Videocard: GeForce 780 GTX
Processor: I7-4930
Mainboard: Asus p9x79
Memory: G Skill RipjawZ, 16GB
Soundcard: Onboard+NuForce Icon HDP
PSU: 1000 W
Default 09-18-2013, 12:25 | posts: 1,452 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markgpl View Post
Thats what im trying to understand, if you connect integrated sound to an external good quality dac via digital cable then the sound hardware on the computer doesnt matter anymore, sound its completely software generated?
But between application and sound card comes windows sound mixer. That`s why I mentioned KS, ASIO and WASAPI - these protocols make sure to exclude all OS components between app and sound card. I use only multimedia players which can utilize them.

Last edited by mbk1969; 09-18-2013 at 12:28.
   
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ROBSCIX
Don Sonic
 
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Videocard: 22" LCD on GTX260 C216
Processor: Intel I7 860
Mainboard: MSI P55 GD80
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3-1600 4X2GB
Soundcard: It Varies...
PSU: Sigma
Default 09-18-2013, 16:10 | posts: 16,173 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markgpl View Post
Thats what im trying to understand, if you connect integrated sound to an external good quality dac via digital cable then the sound hardware on the computer doesnt matter anymore, sound its completely software generated?
Well, if you use onboard digital out to pass the audio to another device, it is essentially working as a transport. The quality of the audio is dependant on the device at the end of the digital cable. There are other factors to consider in the quality of this type of system but at lower price points they are not much of an issue. For sake of conversation, we get into topics such as jitter (discrete timing issues) and the quality of the S/Pdif hardware such as the trasmitters, receivers..etc we can also throw in software base issues such as resampling..etc.

Hope that helps.
   
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Markgpl
Master Guru
 
Videocard: Sapphire 7950 VaporX
Processor: Core i5 3570
Mainboard: Gigabyte Z77M-D3H
Memory: G.SKILL DDR3 2x4GB-1600
Soundcard: Asus Xonar DX
PSU: CM Silent Pro M 600
Default 09-19-2013, 12:34 | posts: 649

Thanks for the info, so the problem was the screen hdmi to analog working almost as bad as the via onboard.

PS: Im having such a joy with the xonar, sound is so rich and clean is relaxing.
   
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