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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 145

post #2161 of 3761

Sell that Alienware laptop and you're good to go.  ;)

post #2162 of 3761
Man... the ability to play *cough*atwork*cough* is worth all this, lol.
post #2163 of 3761
Are there any strong opinions here on the eclaro soundcard?
post #2164 of 3761

Just smuggle a console in your pants to and from work.  If you happen to already be well endowed, none will be the wiser.

post #2165 of 3761
I'd smuggle my full desktop rig. Hahaha.

And I did bring the ps4 to work one day...

ph34r.gif
post #2166 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

PCI vs PCI-x
Newer is good, but not really any better or worse for sound cards. I think actually Nameless would know this best, but I think I once read that PCI had less jitter?

 

It does not (at least not due to the interface itself, rather than implementation details on specific cards), and only very bad hardware has audible jitter anyway. The belief that PCI has inherently lower jitter is probably based on the fact that the Xonar Essence ST has a clocking circuit that is missing on its PCIe counterpart; however, this difference is unrelated to the use of a PCI vs. PCIe interface. So, it is best to decide based on the availability of compatible slots on the motherboard. It could also be an advantage if the card does not have to be installed very close to the GPU, which runs hot, and may be a source of interference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

FiiO D03k DAC
I haven't heard this DAC, but is it really better than the other DACs you have, or even something like a SoundBlaster Z or DGX and their DACs?

 

I am not sure how much difference is there between the D3 and D03k, but at least the D3 (which I know uses a relatively low end DAC chip, and measured more similarly to good onboard audio than a decent sound card) is not normally an upgrade even from a cheap sound card. Although I do not have the SBZ, from its specs it seems it has a DAC that is likely better than the FiiO. I would only use D03k (with optical input) if the sound card has interference problems.

post #2167 of 3761
The D03K works just fine, and I could barely tell a hint of a diff between it, the ODAC, my E17, and my Audio-GD NFB-5 or Compass 2's sabre ES9018. The differences are there, and they're too minute. $30 for an optical dac is well worth it. Not many dacs with an optical input in the price range.

Most of it is hype and expectation bias. The D03k works very well.

In any case, he wants something to carry the Dolby Headphone/other virtual surround signal through the optical signal to his audiophile amp. The D03k is one of the only ones to do it for cheap.

For non-virtual surround applications, he'll be using his legit dac.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/9/13 at 3:39am
post #2168 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

In any case, he wants something to carry the Dolby Headphone/other virtual surround signal through the optical signal to his audiophile amp. The D03k is one of the only ones to do it for cheap.

For non-virtual surround applications, he'll be using his legit dac.

 

Correct.

 

My ODAC is still my "audiophile" DAC for everything stereo, and the D03K is just too add an optical DAC to my setup to have the option to accept digital signals from soundcard DSPs.

 

Worst (best?) case scenario is that the soundcard just sounds better, but we'll see.  I wouldn't be surprised if they sound almost indistinguishable though.


Edited by chicolom - 12/9/13 at 3:50am
post #2169 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Interesting.  I don't actually run them blue like that though, it was just for show for the pic.  99% of the time I leave it on white.  Most of the time though they're off and I use my alternate bias light which is a GE reveal 21" bulb behind the TV.  It's more of a soft warm color.  I mainly only use the LED lights when gaming or watching a show. 

 

I predict I'll have the NZXT Hue case light set to white and most likely turned down to the lowest brightness setting, so it will give a more subtle illumination inside the case.

 

Ah, okay, you'll be fine then if you're only occasionally exposed to it.  Philips makes a sleep therapy device (that uses... blue LEDs) that my friend bought from Costco, he uses it to recover from bad jet lag and it works.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

PCI vs PCI-x
Just to nitpick a bit, it's PCIe or PCI-E or PCI express.  PCI-X is an old 64-bit PCI standard slot that was used almost exclusively in servers (typically used for SCSI controllers).  I work with servers on a daily basis so I've used them before.

Overclocking
Overclocking is overclocking. I think a lot of computer guys will disagree with me, but consider the option of NOT overclocking. How many frames do you gain from the added $$ in motherboard, CPU, cooling system, PSU, and power bill? Oh, don't forget the special monitors you need to buy to get higher than a 60hz refresh rate... usually they are a trade-off in ultimate color reproduction you would want for photography. Add all that up... how close would that be to a new MoBo and CPU down the Line once CPUs get even more power efficient and quick anyway? It's kinda like buying a top of the line graphics card for $500 when next year's $200 graphics card will be as good, while all you're really doing is chasing theoretical FPS. I opinion that mid-range is where computer sweet-spot is at, if you consider the pace of computer advancement. I run high or max settings on my Sandy i3 CPU with GTX660 GPU in most games I play today, like BF3, StarCraft 2 HotS, Tomb Raider. I mean to upgrade to an i5 CPU, but mostly just for SC2 when there are a lot of units on the screen. Aperture and Photoshop are basically real-time... I admit I don't do much video though. Overclocking does give you a bit more ooomf as your system gets dated, but it also shortens the life of the CPU, and it doesn't beat hardware improvements.
I don't know about you but I don't overclock the CPU for additional FPS in games, I overclock for faster performance in everything else, whether it's compressing stuff, encoding/transcoding videos and audio, batch applying photoshop filters, running multiple VMs, etc.  Faster performance in all those other tasks is the reason I overclock the CPU (not to be confused with overclocking the GPU/video card).  
Don't confuse the choice of monitor with CPU or even GPU overclocking, completely different topic.  
As for additional cost, yes it costs more than a budget non-OC setup, but not like it's 50% more total cost of the non-OCed speed equivalent.  If he went with the non-OC version of the i5-4670 and a cheaper $100 motherboard, the $50 saved would not buy him a new mid-range Intel CPU with motherboard, not even 3 years later.  The other benefit of picking OC friendly components is that they are almost always of better quality components and construction in order to deal with the stress of OCing.  And guess what, almost all the best bang-for-buck OC components are usually in the mid-range price bracket, never at the top end.  The whole point to OCing is to get near-top end performance for mid-range price.  If you're buying top end components for OCing, you're missing the whole point or have too much money to burn.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
Really the only time I plan on overclocking is when I'm playing a modern/demanding game and want the extra CPU overhead for some extra FPS.  Like you said, I don't need anything above 60fps, as HDMI only supports 60hz anyways.  So anything above that would be overkill so overclocking wouldn't be necessary.
Not sure if you're aware, but you can OC with Power Saving still enabled.  e.g. when the game demands it, run all 4 CPUs at 4.0GHz, and when you're idling on the desktop surfing, it will drop down to 1.6GHz... automatically.  When you OC, you are not stuck at 4.0GHz on all 4 cores all the time.  This used to be true back in the single core CPU days, but not anymore.

I don't think having the option to overclock  really adds that much to the cost though.  You pay just a little more for an unlocked chip (~$10-20 more).  Any decent lower tiered motherboard can overclock, so I'm not paying any extra for a special motherboard.  My power supply was bought for $40, which is perfectly reasonable.  The only extra piece of hardware I'm paying for (apart from the unlocked chip mentioned above) is the better CPU cooler, which it wouldn't hurt to have anyways as the stock coolers are supposedly lousy.  I also get to reuse the cooler over again if/when I upgrade to a newer CPU (and have to deal with another crummy bundled cooler anyways). 
You actually made some very good component choices for a first time OC build, not to mention scoring some really good deals on some of those parts like the PSU and case, .  The Hyper-212 Evo for instance is the best sub-$50 bang for buck heatsink.  While a Noctua NH-D14 may cool better by another 2-4*C, it's also over 2x the cost of the 212.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post
 

It could also be an advantage if the card does not have to be installed very close to the GPU, which runs hot, and may be a source of interference.

+1  Try to put the soundcard as far away from the video card as possible to prevent possible heat and RF interference issues.


Edited by AvroArrow - 12/9/13 at 11:41am
post #2170 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

Not sure if you're aware, but you can OC with Power Saving still enabled.  e.g. when the game demands it, run all 4 CPUs at 4.0GHz, and when you're idling on the desktop surfing, it will drop down to 1.6GHz... automatically.  When you OC, you are not stuck at 4.0GHz on all 4 cores all the time.  This used to be true back in the single core CPU days, but not anymore

Interesting.  I didn't know that. 

I'll have to look into it.

 

 


 

You actually made some very good component choices for a first time OC build, not to mention scoring some really good deals on some of those parts like the PSU and case. 
 

Thanks! 

 

I put some research into it, and I think it turned out pretty well.  :regular_smile :

 

 

 

+1  Try to put the soundcard as far away from the video card as possible to prevent possible heat and RF interference issues.

OK.  I'll do that. 

 

Unless I want a warmer sound, in which case I'll move the soundcard as close to the GPU as possible.  Can you overclock your soundcard? :tongue_smile:


Edited by chicolom - 12/9/13 at 12:25pm
post #2171 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Just smuggle a console in your pants to and from work.  If you happen to already be well endowed, none will be the wiser.
Ah hahahahhaha


Er...

Anyway, more awake now (ought to be, in the middle of my work day). And I don't know exactly what I was on about overclocking... Weird things happen at 4am? Anyway it's usually a small gain for a little more money and power usage, but if you want to do it then it's not drastically different in cost.

The SBX feels a bit more positionally accurate than THX TSP, and I really like it. There's more detail about it on the "Sound Blaster serié Z" thread and plenty of folks who've spent more time with it than me, but with all the other samples I've collected I feel like I ought to figure out how to make one for SBX (and THX). I'm just typically lazy after work biggrin.gif

My SB Z would only fit in the top slot above my video card, but I'm not experiencing any interference. I also am using a Gigabyte motherboard, turns out I absolutely love the powered USB ports that work even when the computer is off.
post #2172 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Anyway, more awake now (ought to be, in the middle of my work day). And I don't know exactly what I was on about overclocking... Weird things happen at 4am? Anyway it's usually a small gain for a little more money and power usage, but if you want to do it then it's not drastically different in cost.

My SB Z would only fit in the top slot above my video card, but I'm not experiencing any interference. I also am using a Gigabyte motherboard, turns out I absolutely love the powered USB ports that work even when the computer is off.

 

No worries, and I have to admit I'm a bit touchy when it comes to computers and OCing.  Ever since I started building my own computers back in the 90s, I have never bought a CPU & motherboard combo that wasn't overclockable to get the absolute maximum bang for buck.  My very first build was a Celeron 366 OCed to 550MHz with an Alpha heatsink, which cost maybe 50-60% of what a real Pentium III-550 would have cost for nearly the same performance.

 

Not sure which Gigabyte board you have but have you tried your PCIe 1x SBZ in a 16x or 8x slot further down the motherboard?  A PCIe 1x card will work fine in a 16x slot, but not the other way around unless you feel like cutting up the slots in your motherboard.

post #2173 of 3761
Yeah, I used to have my entire build memorized, it's listed on PCPartsPicker somewhere. I needed the least expensive hackintosh-compatible build in the time of Sandy Bridge with discrete graphics (and I sprang for an i3), spent a month researching and learning. I'm not a seasoned pro tho, I just know what I learned along the way and what worked for me.

Edit: it's a Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3, with an Intel Core i3 1205 CPU (With stock cooler BUT ceramic Arctic Silver thermal paste), 60 GB SSD boot drive, terabyte Seagate HDD, 8GB Kingston HyperBlu 1600 RAM (4gbx2), Asus DirectCU II OC GeForce GTX660 GPU, Soundblaster Z, ThermalTake Dokker case, Rosewill 650W "Bronze Certified" PSU, extra 170mm silent top-exhaust fan, Win8 and OS X Mavericks, a Logitech G400 mouse and Wacom Capture tablet, Microsoft Arc wireless keyboard, and... a red, white, and blue lighting scheme.

I know the PCIe slot should work, but for some reason the back plate was just barely not fitting between the case and MoBo edge. I fiddled with it for a while, but after a while I just tried the other slot. It fit perfect, so I just was like "Well... I guess it was meant to be." Actually made cable management slightly easier on the outside of the case.
Edited by Evshrug - 12/9/13 at 4:47pm
post #2174 of 3761

Over a decade ago I owned an Aureal 8830 chipset (TB Santa Cruz). I've been out of the sound card market for a long time and I would like to purchase something that is at least as fancy as what A3D was putting out back then. I'm looking for some guidance on what I should purchase.

 

Is there a card where we can have it all?

 Excellent 3d audio (spatial distance, occlusions, reflections)

 Hardware offload (?)

 Adequate shielding/no noise

 Thoughtful component selection

 Good build quality

 Functional, WHQL certified drivers

 

My guess is not. But maybe you can point me in the right direction?

 

My computer:

Headphones: Sennheiser HD380pro (56ohm)

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX.

Motherboard Sound: Realtek 887, not licensed for Dolby Headphone.

OS: Windows 8.1

 

In this thread, a recommendation made for the shortest path to simply having DH would be to buy an Asus Xonar DGX. This seems reasonable, however I am concerned about whether or not the DGX would also include fancy things like occlusions and reflections.

 

I am sensitive to noise and have built a nearly silent PC. There is nothing I hate worse than hearing EMI whine and popping, and for this reason I find the higher end products attractive.

 

I can get a refurbished Creative X-Fi Titanium HD for $90. I think that's a fair price if creative can publish a win8.1 driver this January.

 

Does anyone have a positive Windows 8.1 story they would like to share? Specifically for the X-Fi Titanium HD?

 

Lets say my price ceiling is higher than that. Is my only other option a ZxR or can I have-it-all with another product from Asus or HTOmega?

post #2175 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarwaxDAC View Post
 

Over a decade ago I owned an Aureal 8830 chipset (TB Santa Cruz). I've been out of the sound card market for a long time and I would like to purchase something that is at least as fancy as what A3D was putting out back then. I'm looking for some guidance on what I should purchase.

My guess is not. But maybe you can point me in the right direction?

My computer:

Headphones: Sennheiser HD380pro (56-Ohm)

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX.

Motherboard Sound: Realtek 887, not licensed for Dolby Headphone.

OS: Windows 8.1

In this thread, a recommendation made for the shortest path to simply having DH would be to buy an Asus Xonar DGX. This seems reasonable, however I am concerned about whether or not the DGX would also include fancy things like occlusions and reflections.

I am sensitive to noise and have built a nearly silent PC. There is nothing I hate worse than hearing EMI whine and popping, and for this reason I find the higher end products attractive.

I can get a refurbished Creative X-Fi Titanium HD for $90. I think that's a fair price if Creative can publish a Win8.1 driver this January.

Does anyone have a positive Windows 8.1 story they would like to share? Specifically for the X-Fi Titanium HD?

Lets say my price ceiling is higher than that. Is my only other option a ZxR or can I have-it-all with another product from Asus or HTOmega?

Turtle Beach Systems Santa Cruz sound card, I liked that card, nice and stable drivers.

I would say to just get the Asus Xonar DG/X sound card for now, $10 mail in rebate this month.

Use it for several months, see what kind of driver update come out for the higher priced sound cards.

It's just hard to say if Creative Labs will do more driver updates for the Titanium series, Creative Labs might not even know themselves, they might just be waiting to see if enough people will by enough Titanium cards to justify spend cash for driver updates.

What about getting the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) sound card, sometimes goes on sale for $65.

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