Want to upgrade from my Hercules Fortissimo III. What card should I buy?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by FakeFx, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    Well, I'm finally going to spend the money to buy a new sound card. My Fortissimo III 7.1 card is decent but it has a TON of issues with DVD audio (it won't play back most channels on my two speakers) so it's time to upgrade.

    The thing is, I don't know anything about sound cards.

    I used to have crappy onboard audio (a C-Media 8738 chip), but then I bought a broken Sound Blaster Live! (broken because neither Creative nor TigerDirect would replace it due to a bad MIDI port), and then I got this sound card. I want something decent but that isn't too expensive - and definitely nothing that does its sound mixing in software.

    Any suggestions? I'm looking at a $40-$60 range. Used stuff from eBay works too. Thank you. :)
     
  2. CTman

    CTman Ancient Guru

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    Good day,

    The audigy 4 se would be a nice choice. Don't confuse it with other audigy se soundcards which do not have hardware mixing/acceleration. The Audigy 4 se is an 'real' 24bit/192hz 7.1 audigy4 non-pro soundcard with good sound quality, a nice snr rating of 113dB, EAX HD support. So it actually doesn't deserve to be called as a 'se' card, because it is an audigy4 card. I would called it an audigy 4 vanilla (without the firewire connector).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster#Sound_Blaster_Audigy_4

    [​IMG]

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102011

    For $49.99 for the oem version. Maybe you can find a retail one for a similar price.

    And for comparison: this is the audigy4 non-pro from the retail package:
    [​IMG]

    If you don't like creative labs (lousy driver support), then there are many other brands out there. If you are an audiophile, there're Auzentech, M-audio etc. They focus more on audio quality and less on gaming. Games will work, but Creative is monopoly on EAX3, 4 and/or EAX HD - surround gaming.

    Maybe other Guru's on guru3d's forum can help you, if you want to know more about soundcards from other brands like Auzentech, M-audio etc.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  3. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    I want to avoid Creative because of my previous problems with them... I saw Audigy SE's at Walmart but I found out they're worse than my onboard audio so I dumped the cards there.

    I'd like to buy an Audigy 4 SE. But the drivers scare me; not to mention, their usual rebranding of chipless cards also drive me away.

    I hope some more people will chip in, I'm really wanting to get a new sound card that'll let me play relatively modern games with decent sound. :)
     
  4. nutyo

    nutyo Ancient Guru

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    I'd say the Audigy 4 SE is the best card for you. I'm not sure but you may want to check out the Auzentech X-Mystique too. It is a little more expensive but many users will tell you that it is a very very good card. Also no 'Creative' drivers. :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006

  5. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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    Just to weigh in here with a small comment. The Audigy 4 SE is nothing like the Audigy SE. As CTman pointed out (with pictures no less) the A4SE is the same card as the A4 non Pro. FWIW that card comes three ways,

    1. Audigy 4 non-Pro which comes with a remote

    2. Audigy 4 OEM which may or may not come with the remote

    3. Audigy 4 SE which does not come with the remote

    The one thing they all have in common is that they are exactly the same card.

    As for the drivers I can't really say anything about having problems with them as I have never had any problems with Creative drivers in all the time I have had a Creative card. That and there have been 4 driver updates/releases in the past year for the Audigy's, and at least to me there has been an improvement in each (at least to me there is a slight noticeable difference).
     
  6. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    Well, it seems that this is a winner then. I'll be ordering this from Newegg along with a new Samsung DVD burner.

    Thank you all. :)
     
  7. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Have you considered speakers? Or are you a headphone guy?
     
  8. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    I'm a speakers guy, but I'm pretty happy with my two speaker setup. I have nothing against 5.1 or 7.1 setups... it's just that noise goes through my house easily and I upset the rest of my family. So I keep things simple. :)
     
  9. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Yeah alot of us are in that boat, I think I will be doing alot more headphone gaming when I get the new card. IT has dolby hedphone which I am dying to check out...SO you play games at low volumes? do you have good headphones? Man, games nee to have a bit of volume in my opinion you cant really enjoy them when they arent mid-loud...if you know what I mean.
     
  10. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    I don't have headphones, I just keep the volume at a regular level. Right now it's winter, so that means I can have the windows open - but that also means that everyone outside can listen to what I I'm hearing or playing!

    My speakers have a headphone jack, but I don't like to use 'em because they drown out all other noise. I'm not used to that. I would like to get a 5.1 or a 7.1 setup for my TV/DVD sets, but for gaming... I don't think they're that important, at least not right now. :)
     

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Let you in on a trick with headphones. If you have a desktop mic connect it up. The unmute the mic in the playback mixer. Then when your using headphones you can hear everything around you but nobody can hear what's going on in the headphones...works great, with a little adjustment.
     
  12. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    That doesn't work for me.

    See, no audio card I've ever used has EVER had a functioning microphone port! For some reason the ports go bad after using them one or two times. So I can't record anything. I'm hoping this Audigy won't share the same fate as my older cards...
     

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