Integrated vs audigy 2 zs vs xonar DX

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Markgpl, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Markgpl

    Markgpl Master Guru

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    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?
     
  2. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    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: Sep 16, 2013
  3. Markgpl

    Markgpl Master Guru

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    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.
     
  4. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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    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.
     

  5. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    I have zero issues with Realtek`s onboard connected via optical SPDIF to NuForce Icon HDP.
     
  6. Markgpl

    Markgpl Master Guru

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    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?
     
  7. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    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: Sep 18, 2013
  8. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    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.
     
  9. Markgpl

    Markgpl Master Guru

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    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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