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Asus Xonar DX vs Creative Soundblaster Z
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Kicek
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Default Asus Xonar DX vs Creative Soundblaster Z - 10-16-2013, 22:00 | posts: 7

Hey

After countless battles with my old creative x-fi xtreme gamer I'm finnaly giving up on this card. Every few months there is an issue with it on win7. I've visited plenty of forums and guides, used official and unofficial drivers yet every few months there is a crash. It served me well and I liked its perfomance when it worked but its time to get something new.

I want to get a new sound card mostly for gaming to use either with 5.1 system or a headset (depends wich game I'm playing). I'm not an audiophile but I've tried some onboard sound cards and most sound... well empty for me, just to say sound is important to me.

My budget is 100$ plan is not to go over it... rarely works

My choice for now is Asus Xonar DX vs Creative Soundblaster Z so I would like to hear some pros and cons for someone who used one of them or both.

Best regards
   
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eclap
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Default 10-16-2013, 22:25 | posts: 26,084 | Location: Hampshire UK

haven't had a DX, but had a DG and now have the Z. I'm not sure if dolby headphone is any better on the DX than it was on the DG, but I know that the Z surround is better than DG's.

Imo, Z is a great card, you really can't go wrong, not a single issue whatsoever, unlike my old XtremeMusic I used to run a few years ago.
   
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Bleib
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Default 10-16-2013, 22:56 | posts: 128 | Location: Finland

I had the DX about 6 months after release and the drivers were horrible. Enabling hardware audio crashed tons of applications, even 3dmark03.

I found the sound to be good, but for gaming Creative is a far better choice. I need(ed) good legacy EAX support and Asus does not provide.
   
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Default 10-17-2013, 20:19 | posts: 3,368 | Location: UK

Go with the Xonar DX, you wont be disappointed. If you are using Windows 8.1 then the drivers wont work very well. Not sure why people always complain that the driver support is bad, it's not like they have to release drivers every month, it's just sound.
   
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Kicek
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Default 10-17-2013, 23:02 | posts: 7

I've heard a some opinion that Soundblaster Z is a card dedicated for gaming and Xonar DX is dedicated for music and movies. Is this true? What is real diffrence between them, if there is any? Soundblaster Z is a newer design so didn't they use better technology or sound enchancments?
   
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eclap
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Default 10-17-2013, 23:49 | posts: 26,084 | Location: Hampshire UK

Z sounds great for both.
   
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Ghosty
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Default 10-18-2013, 00:49 | posts: 3,368 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kicek View Post
I've heard a some opinion that Soundblaster Z is a card dedicated for gaming and Xonar DX is dedicated for music and movies. Is this true? What is real diffrence between them, if there is any? Soundblaster Z is a newer design so didn't they use better technology or sound enchancments?
Not really sure what to say. Sound is sound to me. I wouldn't notice if sound was different in a game compared to music or a movie. All games I have played is crystal clear though, even with 5.1.
   
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Kicek
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Default 10-18-2013, 06:42 | posts: 7

I've searched some more about these cards and opinions differ. Seems that there is no real diffrence between those two. I still have some time before I will make a purchase, so I might search some more.
   
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Kicek
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Default 10-18-2013, 21:55 | posts: 7

What about overall sound quality between them? Strange noises in games or problems with bass? Any stability issues with drivers on Win7?
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 10-18-2013, 22:33 | posts: 5,412 | Location: Michigan,usa

Both do uses different methods for virtual headphones, Asus Xonars uses Dolby headphone while creative Z cards uses a different form of it.
   
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Default 10-19-2013, 03:44 | posts: 6 | Location: Chile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kicek View Post
What about overall sound quality between them? Strange noises in games or problems with bass? Any stability issues with drivers on Win7?
Xonar drivers are rarely updated, but they works great with "GX" disabled in DSP Mode.
   
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gridiron whirlw
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Default 10-19-2013, 04:54 | posts: 3,584 | Location: Ohio

Personally, I have never had a driver problem with any Xonar card.

They have worked flawlessly for me .

I have them in two pc's.
   
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flimbo
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Default 10-19-2013, 13:41 | posts: 716 | Location: My chair

No problems for me with several Xonar cards too. The drivers work flawlessly.
   
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Default 10-24-2013, 21:46 | posts: 684

Some may not have problems with drivers but they don't update for years sometimes and this is a old card. Granted Soundblaster does the same yet the Z has had updates where as the DX might not see any for another year.

I've had the better Xonar and sold them on Ebay. I like the Z better yet no fan of the surround sound.

You should if you can try both. Were talking sounds here like headphones people hear things different. If its about money go with the DX just make sure you can return it if you dont like it.
   
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Kicek
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Default 10-26-2013, 13:03 | posts: 7

I bought sound blaster z. I think its ok so far.
   
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Default 10-26-2013, 18:38 | posts: 290 | Location: Calif.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kicek View Post
I bought sound blaster z. I think its ok so far.
The Z and DX both use the same CS4398 DAC chip
The Xonar DX's front out/headphone jack has an impedance of 100-Ohm
Where as the Z's headphone output impedance is only 22-Ohms and should be able to work well with headphones up to 300-Ohms,
The Z is rated for headphones up to 600-Ohm, but if you buying 600-Ohm headphones, you going to buy something with a better headphone amplifier, then the Z's amp.
So, getting the Z is better then getting the DX.

Did you disable your motherboard's on-board audio? In the BIOS.

Last edited by Tacoboy; 10-28-2013 at 06:27.
   
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Kicek
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Default 10-27-2013, 19:52 | posts: 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoboy View Post

Did you disable your motherboard's on-board audio? In the BIOS.
Ofcourse. Btw I'm using Koss SB40 headset and I'm wondering if getting CAL will be an improvement?
   
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Tacoboy
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Default 10-28-2013, 20:53 | posts: 290 | Location: Calif.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kicek View Post
Ofcourse. Btw I'm using Koss SB40 headset and I'm wondering if getting CAL will be an improvement?
I prefer to use the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) closed headphones, $50-$60.
I found the cups on the CALs to be a little too small, I found the CAL makes the bass fatigue my ears with in 10 minutes.
   
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HonoredShadow
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Question 06-19-2014, 09:04 | posts: 3,530 | Location: UK

How does this:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/creat...51-channel-oem

compare to this:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/creat...optical-in-out

Are they the same?
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 06-19-2014, 10:47 | posts: 5,412 | Location: Michigan,usa

They are the same card shadow.
   
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HonoredShadow
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Default 06-19-2014, 12:18 | posts: 3,530 | Location: UK

Really? So why the price difference? Shiney red paint?

Do you think it would be a step up from what I have now? I only use 2.1 speakers but I would like to get something like 5.1 head phones.
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 06-19-2014, 13:14 | posts: 5,412 | Location: Michigan,usa

The main reason is it oem and doesn't have a EMI shield which why it cheaper. for that price it worth it if you want the features of the Z card which isn't on the xonar card and if you not happy with the DX card or want to upgrade your audio quailty. One major thing the Z has is a good headphone amp, Plus you can plug both speakers and headphones to the rear of the Z card at the same time.

As for Headphones, I suggest you get your self a good pair of stereo headphones and use either Dolby Headphone on your DX card or the SBX surround headphone on the Z card. Which you config both by having windows and games set to 5.1, as well set the Asus control panel to 5.1 input and the output to headphone and then enable Dolby headphone and select mode 1 or 2 which every one you like.

For Z card same thing but after you switch it control panel in speaker side to 5.1, you select headphone slider and enable SBX surround headphone and set it til you find a setting that you like.

I find that dolby headphone works really well depends on the headphones that your using or audio setup chain. As I currently use it with my DGX connected to my Bifrost uber to my LD MK2 2.0 and Beyerdynamic T90.

You can find a good deal on Audio Techinca AD700X on amazon as well DT990 pro-230 which are two good choices, tho the DT990 pro-250 would work better off the Z because the Z headphone amp will be able to handle it, While the AD700x doesn't benefit to being ran thru a amp so the DX would work just fine.

Last edited by GenClaymore; 06-19-2014 at 13:29.
   
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HonoredShadow
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Default 06-19-2014, 23:39 | posts: 3,530 | Location: UK

Thanks for the advice about the card. I'm guessing games will be hardware accelerated?
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 06-20-2014, 00:00 | posts: 5,412 | Location: Michigan,usa

You shouldn't even worry about that, cpus are fast enough today so it wont even effect you. It be something difference if you had a old single core or old dual core cpu then maybe.
   
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HonoredShadow
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Thumbs up 06-20-2014, 07:50 | posts: 3,530 | Location: UK

Gotcha. Ok. Thanks!
   
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