Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Supernoob2286, Jun 11, 2013.
Which is better? Both will be going to headphones.
Onboard. depends on what headphones though.
If you got good audiphile headphones that require an amp I would suggest a good soundcard
don't think that's the case, he would know more about not using onboard if he had good phones, I hope so anyway.
Using your monitor as a pass through is a really convoluted way to connect your headphones. Just use the onboard.
I was looking throught the nvidia control panel and saw an option for "nvidia high definition audio"
I only plugged into the monitor when using sound from gtx 670 over hdmi, other than that it's been plugged into onboard, really can't tell a difference. ($20 headphones)
So i guess i'm gonna get my first soundcard. What do you guys recommend, I know nothing about soundcards or what makes a good one. Basically 24bit? Thats about it. What chips are the best? Digital or analogue?
I don't really want to spend a whole lot maybe $75-$100 or is that useless, and should i spend more. $300 seems like a lot, especially when i don't feel like i will notice a HUGE difference.
EDIT: Also would installing one kill the x8/x8 lane allocation?
For best sound quality, get the best analogue soundcard or a good external DAC.
There are some specialist soundcards for good quality, but for the same money you can get a better external DAC.
External DACs arent a small topic, its best to read up a TON on them.
Advice in a computer forum will get some good recommendations, but there are so many external DACs and new ones coming out, you need to read up.
If you want the best gaming card that has very good sound quality, get the Creative ZXR.
It has better analogue circuits than the Z or ZX.
If you have a PCIE-e x1 slot, the ZXR will fit in it and not affect your other PCI-e speeds.
ps digital out on a soundcard wastes the soundcards sound quality.
pps its rare you will upgrade a soundcard so it is a very good long term investment.
I recommend saving up for the best you can.
ppps once you get a decent soundard, try some better headphones, then you will get it to really shine.
Your $20 headphones arent going to liberate the best experience.
Thanks, can you link a decent soundcard and headphones from newegg?
I can spend about $150 on the card and about $50 on the headphones give or take a little bit.
Spend as much as you can on one thing, upgrade the other later.
Unless of course you can get what you want anyway
Here ya go, the ZXR for $200.
Seriously, get that, get the earphones later.
This will give you a high class analogue 5.1 surround output as well if you decide to do surround gaming or movies later.
I would go the other way. Get a SB Z and use the rest to get some $150 headphones. Overall it'll sound much better than a SB ZxR with $50 headphones. I can recommend some great buys for under $150 if you're interested, I'm sure so will others.
OP, make sure you eventually have enough for headphones if you end up going for the ZxR now. I wouldn't pair entry-level headphones with a ZxR. More like HD598 / DT880 Pro / HD650 with that card.
@Mufflore, I believe there are external stereo DACs (+Amp) @$200 that are better than many, if not all internal soundcards in terms of sound quality and headphone amp power?
Yeah there probably are, I covered that earlier, but he said from Newegg.
I'm not going to battle with him, I said my piece
Oh yeah, of course then. He might prefer the availability of features such as virtual surround and such.
Internal soundcards do the job...
OP, another suggestion is to consider the Sound Blaster Z if you have a stricter budget, as you'll need to pair it with some good headphones (more like $100+). If you like what you're hearing, you can upgrade later. Or you can get everything from the start, depends on what you want.
I'm inclined to agree with the above. If it's the OP's first forray into decent audio I'd set my sights a little lower. Something along the lines of an OEM Z and some Creative Aurvana Live (Denon D1001) would be a solid combination and come in well under budget. The Z will power 250Ohm headphones if he decides to upgrade in the future. Jumping straight into the deep end with a $200 sound card will only result in disappointment, considering he'd be stuck using 20 dollar headphones for a period of time.
It's always "Relational Algebra".........
Look for the "input" hardware" and the "output" hardware....>>>>><<<<!!!
I can see that whatever card he gets, he will stick with for a long time.
He can have his cake and eat it if he gets the best soundcard he can afford now.
They dont cost a huge amount anyway and he has enough for the best PC gaming soundcard that has very good sound quality.
Granted his current headphones wont match the performance, but thats only for a short time.
He can upgrade them later when he has saved up again.
Then he will have a great setup for a little short term inconvenience.
I agree to an extent, I suppose it depends on the OP's requirements. If he intends to go multi-channel out then absolutely, I very much agree. If he intends to stick with headphones then things become a little more sticky. If he has the patience and intent to get better headphones in a few month and doesn't limit his budget quite so much he very well would be better off. I'd want to spend at least $150 or so on headphones for a card like that personally, I'd feel it was going to waste otherwise. That said, if I was sticking with headphones in his position my ultimate goal would be using a sound card for its features (dolby surround etc) and moving on to a decent external DAC/AMP (which is more or less what I've recently done). That being the case, a cheaper sound card is the better option. It depends on where the OP decides to settle and what he feels comfortable with I suppose.
I'm a big fan of external DACs, mine uses the Sabre 9018 reference DAC chip and is £1100, effing awesome sound!
I then bought the equivalent 7.1 DAC, the Oppo 105 which uses the same DAC chip, its around the same price. Not quite as detailed, but still amazing.
Once the op sees what he can get from internal PC soundcards, he can decide whether he wants more of that and can progress onto external DACs.
I agree that he should spend a high amount on headphones.
I'd go further even lol, spend as much as you can possibly save up, and get good advice on what to buy.
In the perfect world, definitely. lol I think the problem is, for many it's a big of a leap of faith. They don't know how much difference there can be, so they're wary of making a genuine investment.
Yeah - I've grown to love external products. My little Aune T1 (Burr Brown PCM1793 I believe) isn't quite as grand as that Sabre 9018, but playing with tubes has been a lot of fun. An aspect you simply cannot get with soundcards. Marked improvement from the Essence ST I had mind you, so it should do me for awhile. I'm currently putting money away for a major headphone purchase, and I'm considering upgrading my DAC while I'm at it (might be forced too actually). Time will tell I suppose.
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