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Considering a new Gaming-orientated sound card: Need advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, a soundcard hasn't been a concern of mine for a while but now I'm considering a small upgrade and soundcard has appeared on my list of "yay or nay? I don't know so I'll ask some people with knowledge in the area".

 

Preface: PC Gamer. Mainstream and Indie game focus. i5 2500k/HD6870/8Gb.

 

A few years ago I bought myself a reasonable HTIB, Onkyo HT-R518 Receiver and Onkyo Speakers (all of the speakers seem to end in -5128) and I use them approximately 80% of the time, usually for Gaming. I also use my Minerva Mi-1 custom IEM's for most of my music listening or TS3, with my Corsair HS1A headset being used when I'm gaming and require a mic.

 

For Gaming audio output I use the optical output on my Club3D Theatron Agrippa 7.1 DTS (seems to be the C-Media CMI8770) which hooks up to my Receiver and speakers. If I'm using the HS1A or Minerva Mi-1's I'm using the onboard soundcard on my ASUS P8Z68-V LE (seems to be the Realtek® ALC892).

 

The money: I only have about £60 spare which is not much at all. In that kind of money range, the X-Fi Titanium and the ASUS Xonar DX.

 

Do I need an upgrade? Should I upgrade with the budget I have? Do you need more information from me to make an informed decision?

 

Thanks for your time taken to read this and the patience if I have missed out some glaring point, which I'm likely to have done.

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I have a Fiio E11 portable amp which I use with the Mi-1's or the HS1A's whenever I use the earphones/headphones option.


Edited by ElcomeSoft - 2/5/12 at 2:34pm
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElcomeSoft View Post
Well, a soundcard hasn't been a concern of mine for a while but now I'm considering a small upgrade and soundcard has appeared on my list of "yay or nay? I don't know so I'll ask some people with knowledge in the area".

Preface: PC Gamer. Mainstream and Indie game focus. i5 2500k/HD6870/8Gb.

A few years ago I bought myself a reasonable HTIB, Onkyo HT-R518 Receiver and Onkyo Speakers (all of the speakers seem to end in -5128) and I use them approximately 80% of the time, usually for Gaming. I also use my Minerva Mi-1 custom IEM's for most of my music listening or TS3, with my Corsair HS1A headset being used when I'm gaming and require a mic.

For Gaming audio output I use the optical output on my Club3D Theatron Agrippa 7.1 DTS (seems to be the C-Media CMI8770) which hooks up to my Receiver and speakers. If I'm using the HS1A or Minerva Mi-1's I'm using the on-board sound card on my ASUS P8Z68-V LE (seems to be the Realtek® ALC892).

The money: I only have about £60 spare which is not much at all. In that kind of money range, the X-Fi Titanium and the ASUS Xonar DX.

Do I need an upgrade? Should I upgrade with the budget I have? Do you need more information from me to make an informed decision?

Thanks for your time taken to read this and the patience if I have missed out some glaring point, which I'm likely to have done.


Save a few dollars and get the Asus Xonar DG, if you even buy a new sound card.

 

 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

 

Save a few dollars and get the Asus Xonar DG, if you even buy a new sound card.



Any reasoning or explanation behind this?

post #4 of 5

You using Digital for your speakers, so the components of the sound card wouldn't matter as the receiver would be doing all the work.  It be totally different if you was using analog for your speakers.The sound card is mainly affordable which why he prolly suggest it because of the budget you have set.

 

Then you would just plug the line out of the card into the Fiio E11 for your headphones. You might get lucky and catch a deal on other options. The only thing the DG doesn't have is a op-amp socket. For changing the sound signature of the sound card.

 

Your E11 amp is better then the DG in-graded amp in-case your wondering.But then your Club3D sound card should still be just as good or better.  Unless your having issues with your Club3D or want some features of the xonar. Then there isnt any point of switching over.


Edited by genclaymore - 2/5/12 at 4:17am
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

You using Digital for your speakers, so the components of the sound card wouldn't matter as the receiver would be doing all the work.  It be totally different if you was using analog for your speakers.The sound card is mainly affordable which why he prolly suggest it because of the budget you have set.

 

Then you would just plug the line out of the card into the Fiio E11 for your headphones. You might get lucky and catch a deal on other options. The only thing the DG doesn't have is a op-amp socket. For changing the sound signature of the sound card.

 

Your E11 amp is better then the DG in-graded amp in-case your wondering.But then your Club3D sound card should still be just as good or better.  Unless your having issues with your Club3D or want some features of the xonar. Then there isnt any point of switching over.


I thought so re: Digital but as I wasn't really 100% certain so I thought I'd ask.

 

Good to know I'm using the right outputs, although I am certain that I do not have my speakers set up 100% correctly via Windows/Receiver. Definitely something I know that I need to look into, after I've got my definitive yay or nay on a new soundcard.

 

The CMI8770 seems to be limited to a maximum output of 16-bit/48hz, which is more than likely suitable for the tasks at hand but I have to ask and confirm it.

 

The idea for a new soundcard is to get my ears around the newer technologies related specifically to gaming such as EAX, CMSS-3D?/Dolby Headphone etc. and further enhance my enjoyable gaming experience sound-wise. Two other side-benefits of an enhanced gaming audio experience would have been a connector so that I can use a soundcard for my frontpanel audio (rather than the motherboard's onboard that I currently use) and the move to PCI-E so that when I upgrade my rig next time, I can move it up and not worry about having to replace it.

 

Sounds like it's quite a resounding 'Nay' when it comes to a new soundcard, as in there won't be much of an upgrade for reasonable monies.

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