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Best soundcard - Page 3

post #31 of 83

For reference, the 96KHz, 192KHz numbers we're talking about do not refer to anything that has to do with what the human ear is capable of. It refers to a sample rate, which has to do with the signal quality, and more specifically the resolution of the signal.

 

Picture for yourself a curve on a graph and imagine that that's a sound wave. That sound wave is an analog signal; it has infinite resolution because it is the pure, original sound source. A computer however can't record that infinite resolution, since we'd.... need infinite space, essentially. So what happens to that sound wave when we record sound is we dice it up as it's played and therefore save ourselves on space needed. This same process is done by a DAC when it's outputting analog sound, but in reverse. The sample rate numbers we're talking about just refer to how often a DAC records (or reproduces) a bit of that sound wave. Just like a low-resolution screen, a sound wave sampled with a low sample rate is blocky compared to one with a high sample rate.

 

Now to one of your more specific questions, if you have a sound card that your computer is outputting through and it is limited to 96KHz, it is probably going to limit the overall output to 96KHz because its hardware is incapable of processing anything higher. I'm pretty certain this would be true for digital and analog output.

 

I also think it's worth noting that if you're outputting DTS or Dolby Digital to a receiver, those formats themselves are limited to a certain sample rate, while only newer HD versions of those support the higher sample rates. As said before, this is a moot point for most games since their own sample rates won't exceed 44.1KHz, but it's worth noting if you're really concerned about it and want some perspective.

 

I hope that helps!

post #32 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oopu View Post

For reference, the 96KHz, 192KHz numbers we're talking about do not refer to anything that has to do with what the human ear is capable of. It refers to a sample rate, which has to do with the signal quality, and more specifically the resolution of the signal.

 

Picture for yourself a curve on a graph and imagine that that's a sound wave. That sound wave is an analog signal; it has infinite resolution because it is the pure, original sound source. A computer however can't record that infinite resolution, since we'd.... need infinite space, essentially. So what happens to that sound wave when we record sound is we dice it up as it's played and therefore save ourselves on space needed. This same process is done by a DAC when it's outputting analog sound, but in reverse. The sample rate numbers we're talking about just refer to how often a DAC records (or reproduces) a bit of that sound wave. Just like a low-resolution screen, a sound wave sampled with a low sample rate is blocky compared to one with a high sample rate.

 

 

 

And that's why vinyl will always be superior normal_smile%20.gif

post #33 of 83
Quote:

Originally Posted by Oopu View Post

 

Just like a low-resolution screen, a sound wave sampled with a low sample rate is blocky compared to one with a high sample rate.

 

It is not "blocky" actually (unless you use a badly implemented or obsolete DAC), just missing information above half the sample rate. With a 44100 Hz sample rate, it is possible to record and reproduce a 21 kHz sine wave without any "blockiness", but not a 23 kHz one, for example.

post #34 of 83
Thread Starter 

what about drivers, i heard theyre bad

post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

what about drivers, i heard theyre bad

 

Drivers for what? You will find people having bad experiences with EVERY sound card's driver out there somewhere, I can tell you that right now.

 

For the X-Fi lineup (except Titanium HD, but it doesn't really need it), there's this Daniel_K driver package that should work out pretty well, at least if you're running Windows 7.

 

The jury's still out on Windows 8, but it should be mentioned that hardly anyone has Win8 drivers out yet, and most likely will not until the RTM build hits the general public in late October at the earliest.

post #36 of 83
Thread Starter 

i might go with the xonar essence, so i can have the 2 analog outs since im thinking of the p4 and n22 combo for desktop speakers

post #37 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

i might go with the xonar essence, so i can have the 2 analog outs since im thinking of the p4 and n22 combo for desktop speakers

 

Since the Xonar already has a good built in headphone amplifier and you don't need that aspect of the N22, check out the Emotiva mini-X a-100 desktop amplifier. A little bit more powerful, heavier duty amplifier.  Here's a review

post #38 of 83
Thread Starter 

oh, and which is better essence, essence st, essence stx

post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

oh, and which is better essence, essence st, essence stx

ST is technically better due to a better jitter clock, which will likely not be noticeable(might want to fact check me here, didn't get this from an official source). It also doesn't require an additional molex power connection.

 

STX is more sustainable though as PCI is being phased out.

post #40 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

 

Since the Xonar already has a good built in headphone amplifier and you don't need that aspect of the N22, check out the Emotiva mini-X a-100 desktop amplifier. A little bit more powerful, heavier duty amplifier.  Here's a review

Thanks, i was wondering about that

post #41 of 83
Thread Starter 
So, if I were to get a PCI card, which would be better the xonar essence, or the xonar essence st
post #42 of 83

Do you mean Essence STX vs ST? I'm not sure if they ever did, but Asus doesn't currently list a model just called Essence

post #43 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

So, if I were to get a PCI card, which would be better the xonar essence, or the xonar essence st

"Xonar Essence"?, there is the Essence ST, Essence STX, Essence One.

Anyway, get the Essence STX (PCI-E), it's the cheapest.

post #44 of 83
Thread Starter 
post #45 of 83

Pretty sure that's the ST, too. Sometimes Newegg has secondary item listings for the same product. Not sure why. 

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