Creative Sound BlasterX G5: 7.1 External Sound Card and Amplifier

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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  2. ryana

    ryana New Member

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    does anyone have any idea if this is powered by the USB port? I'm trying to find one that is NOT powered by the USB. I'm trying to isolate emi from getting to the soundcard.
     
  3. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    there is filter for USB if you need, i was using one when i was using SL1200 on an analogic/numeric table that was connected to my laptop.

    don't forget that in top high quality and multicanal the bandwith of USB port (even 3) is a little bit tinny.
     
  4. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    If you really want good sound quality with minimal interference from your PC, use optical SPDIF and a properly shielded external receiver. The great thing about that is even the crappiest Realtek chipsets are sufficient for that, so you can spend your whole budget on a better receiver instead.
     

  5. goat1

    goat1 Ancient Guru

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    I wonder if they are coming out with new sound cards?
     
  6. applejack

    applejack Master Guru

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    it is only great if you don't plan to game in 'real' surround. SPDIF is bandwidth limited and these "crappiest Realtek chipsets" won't encode DD/DTS on-the-fly.
    I think a better solution would be a Geforce/Radeon outputting uncompressed PCM 5.1 channels over HDMI to a capable receiver.
    although I'd still take a good sound card and output 5.1 analog. its good enough DAC and better control/features on pc side in a small package at decent price compared to most "Dolby TrueHD" 5.1 receivers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  7. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    it depends on the final output device - aka the speakers. If you have low(er) grade hi-fi speakers, some Onkyo AVR for 250$ connected to realtek spdif or optical is more than enough.
    Also, higher end motherboards have realtek codecs that do encode DD or DTS on the fly and 24bit/48000KHz is enough bandwidth for that. Of course, it is going to utilize CPU but we are not using Athlons XP anymore are we? ;)

    PS. Long time ago I ditched SB X-Fi extreme music for basic yamaha rx-v 430 and Yamaha sounded better.
     
  8. ASLayerAODsk

    ASLayerAODsk Master Guru

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    in my opinion, if it doesnt support Dolby Atmos at the VERY LEAST, its not even worth looking at.
     
  9. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    That's why I suggest to splurge your money on a decent receiver. You don't need the realtek chipsets to encode/decode anything. A good receiver will do all the decoding, and Windows itself has an encoder, which in my experience works great (with Realtek).

    I also found that the compression is pretty much unnoticeable. Albeit, I'm not an audiophile, but 5.1 channel SPDIF still sounds better than 5.1 analog from the same speaker system and PC chipset.

    Agreed - HDMI/DP is a better choice, if you have a system where you can hear the difference. Depends on your budget I guess and what happens to be available to you. HDMI is a bit easier to work with and in my experience, is more Linux-friendly (for surround sound).

    That's probably true, but my main gripe is you still need an amplifier. No matter what, if you want a truly good sound experience, you need something external, so in my eyes it just doesn't make sense to spend much on the sound card itself. But that's just me. If you wear headphones, getting a high-quality sound card is definitely the better option.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  10. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    "That's why I suggest to splurge your money on a decent receiver. You don't need the realtek chipsets to encode/decode anything."

    He said "encoding", I think he meant something like DDL for games where 5.1 is getting encoded real-time and packaged into DD or DTS to be sent over spdif to AVR for decoding. Otherwise you have stereo "only".
     

  11. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    And that's why I immediately said after that Windows can do the encoding for you. You don't even need any of the Realtek software to get a complete and functional 5.1 surround setup, you just need the drivers.
     
  12. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    From video games? That's new to me. Last time I checked (3 years ago :p ) if you didn't have a card or realtek codec that supports, say, DDL, you can't select 5.1 in games...
    For movies or any material that has pre-recorded DTS/DD you don't need anything, I am bitstreaming everything, AVR does the rest.

    edit:
    I did find this some time ago but it didn't work: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/t...olby-digital-live-and-dts-interactive.193148/
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  13. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    *sigh* Again, I set it up so Windows does the encoding, not the drivers. It has nothing to do with Realtek - it works independently of the chipset. In fact when I'm in Windows and want to use 5.1 analog, I don't use the Realtek software to configure the channels either, because it sets up the speakers wrong.

    Every game I have that supports surround sound is properly giving me 5.1 channels through the setup I'm using now. My receiver has this giant bright blue light informing you when DTS/DD is active, and on the screen tells you the channel arrangement. I can try performing an action that I should only hear out of the rear speakers, and I do. And of course, I can do basic speaker tests and everything is mapped properly (including LFE).

    EDIT:
    If you depend solely on the Realtek software, you're going to have a bad time.
     
  14. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    I am not depending on realtek software, but setting 5.1 in windows over spdif/optical is not possible afaik. I am not using analog but digital output. You need DDL or DTSI to do that. And yes, all channels work when I play movies, and yes It's in format that the movie file carries and yes AVR shows it correctly. I told you, I am bit streaming, so my Realtek just sends digital signal to AVR 1:1 and AVR does the rest.

    but that does not work in games, I only get stereo PCM. It's not up to Receiver, games are not pre-recorded, you need something to take sounds (5.1) from the game as they are happening, encode it to DD/DTS and then send it to AVR...
     
  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I don't know what to tell you - it is possible. I don't have the configuration in front of me, but when using SPDIF I get options this this:
    http://www.coolcomputing.com/images/windows-7-dolby-digital-test.jpg
    and this:
    http://sourceforge.net/p/equalizera...d/681e5b41/7efb/attachment/6channelsDolby.jpg
    Notice the window captions say "SPDIF" or "Digital Output"

    When looking at the channel configuration, it shows 6 speakers. Both games and movies will utilize all channels properly.

    My receiver is from the late 90s, so it only supports the first generation of DD and DTS, but it works fine.
     

  16. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    When it comes to movies they are already encoded, Games on the other hand you have to use the DD or DTS encoder which takes 5.1 analog signals and encode them into 5.1 Digital so the receiver will decode it, just becuase windows say it in the control panel and sound comes out of all speakers or the movie is playing, does not mean games will either as they are not pre-encoded.

    Only exception is using HDMI from your receiver which does have PCM 5.1 as a option and will output 5.1 without any encoding in games. Only issues you will run into is games that are using OpenAl but then if your motherboard support X-FI MB3 software suite you can get around that, The software Suite does work with Nvidia cards as I have tried that suite to see if it would.
    So that solve that one problem with openAL games.

    I used a old sony receiver with 5.1 speakers and had to use the DTS/DD Encoders for gaming. Without it the games would output in stereo over optical/Coaxial. Movies and games are two different things, Movies are already encoded from the start which why when you watch a movie it outputs in 5.1 in Digital as the movie studio already done the work as the movie is pre-definded with the sounds. The sound will always come out the same location in the movies.

    Games on the other hand Audio comes in different spots at different times and nothing will be the same, that's why Games are not per-encoded from the start, the encoding that DD and DTS does is on the fly for a reason.Theres no way that you are getting 5.1 in games over optical without using DD/DTS encoding with your receiver unless you have it set up to use DD Logic which isn't true 5.1 any way as it just mirrors the front to the rear speakers.

    When it comes to analog vs Digital it depends on the receiver but even a good receiver will offer better performance when plugged into a sound card thru analog as long it is a good decent sound card.From my experience with wide ranges of different sound cards using both analog and digital, analog always came out on top. That receiver will really good components in it shined even better when plugged thru the sound card in analog. Even a lowly Asus Xonar DS with the LT1213 op-amps I installed make my current receiver shine as well. Yes I have used HDMI on my receiver and analog came out on top. The only reason I would ever use the HDMI is if I doing 5.1 as my Yamaha RX-V367 Receiver only have stereo for analog and not Muiti channel analog inputs like my old one that i traded to my dad for the one he wasn't using.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  17. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    @schmidtbag

    well that explains it, you have relatek alc 889 with licensed DDL so you can choose it from that dropdown. I also have alc 889 but motherboard doesn't come with license so I only have 2 channel options.
    What you have is not a windows option, it's actually Realtek codec option. Almost every realtek codec can do DTS-I and DDL, it just depends on which license is purchased by mobo manufacturer. For mine it's: none :D
    I managed to hack it 10 mins ago using registry tweak and unlocked DLL and I have both DDL and DTS-I now. ;) It's in the link I left earlier, but further ahead, here:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/t...gital-live-and-dts-interactive.193148/page-25

    first post on that page, expand the quote for download link and instructions, quite easy now. First version did not work for me two years ago.

    now I have the bottom 2 options, didn't have them before:
    [​IMG]

    @GenClaymore:

    3xx series yamaha is the lowest end series. Asus Xonar's cost on top of RX-V367's cost would yield you a 5 series, or even used 8 series and then it's a different story.
    Series 3 has a bit loose base and grainy highs (to an untrained ear highs are not an issue), my old series 5 (V550) has a tight base, much better DAC, sounds is clear and tight, tho a bit on the brighter note than what you get from Xonar. Then again, that is a matter of preference. Xonar will give better sound on expensive speakers but I payed 120e for a used RX-V550 3 years ago, it lacks hdmi (I don't need it) and it lacked a remote but hey :p

    PS. Unrelated to you guys, it's worth mentioning that all receivers have built in headphone amplifiers, most of them have (all newer ones (2000 and up)) have virtual surround mode(s) and imho are better sounding than anything I heard from creative labs, but I prefer my headphones stereo, so the only issue is space. If you don't have room for AVR then oh well. Pay 150$ to creative or, idk 60$ to Asus.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  18. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The Yamaha V363 to me was a good receiver for the price and it offered all I wanted for the price I paid which was 150 dollars used and I had it for 6 years along side the Sony SS-B1000 speakers, I traded it to my dad for his V367 that he had, the V363 still works, I just wanted the HDMI and 3D support as I planned to switch to HDMI for 5.1 as it less cables in the way.
    when ever I get the rest of my speakers. I roll op-amps on the DS to get the sound the way I wanted it and the results you had with your V36x series I don't have do to the op-amps I currently using with the DS. My ears are trained i not tone deaf, I just my experience differed then yours with the gear I am using.

    When I used Optical I didn't like the way it sound but to be fair I am used to the sound signature of op-amps and I prefer to swap them to get the sound the way I want. I'd use HDMi but the fact that I have to fool around my GPU so it spreads the screen across to a monitor that doesn't exist or that my intel Display audio on the motherboard does the same thing is why I don't. I wont go full out HDMI from GPU receiver do to having a 120/144hz monitor

    I currently use the LT1213 op-amp on the Asus Xonar DS that I got dirt cheap and it does a pretty good job with the V367, I won't use optical as I don't like the way it sound with the receiver in comparison to the DS. The DS is only a temp solution any way as well a backup. I normally had the receiver plugged into a Bifrost uber but the RCA splitters was in the way and annoying so I pop the DS in for the receiver.

    The realtek DD encoder work around that you mention I forgot all about,But I did mention the X-FI MB3 software suite that has a work around that will make it work on alot of motherboards, that I have used my self on my motherboard, not for optical usage of course but feature usage. I don't use it now as its a pain using What U hear to send the functions over to a external dac.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  19. gx-x

    gx-x Maha Guru

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    yea, 6 years ago that was a decent option. V550 was around 250$/eur used WITH remote (damn thing costs 40$ if you order original replacement, tho it is a good remote). some 10 years ago I think I payed ~300$ for a then new rx-v430. I could get me top 8x series used now for maybe even less. Don't need tho, for PC this is more than enough. My other setup for music is stereo and uses...well, entirely different system :) Cannot be compared.

    As for DDL and DTS-I, well, as I see it, it's useless to me except for gaming in 5.1 or higher. I lived without it until few hours ago, and idk if I will even leave it enabled, plain stereo sounds more accurate, will have to test it a bit more. I don't even have back speakers here anymore so...
     
  20. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Yea remotes of any thing is costly, it might been cheaper getting a universial remote.One time I had to buy a replacement HDTV remote and it cost like 35+ 12 shipping dollars.

    Yea back then having DDL and DTS-I was important to me when I had that very old Sony Receiver prior to the yamaha, But now a days I can do without it mainly because of my receiver HDMI supported audio.So I can just do HDMI PCM 5.1 when I actually finnish my 5.1 setup that i put off for 6 years.
     

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