Hiya, first I wanted to say thank you for all the amazing minds I have seen on this forum. I did a lot of homework when I was shopping for a new set of headphones, I was looking at the new Plantronics, Logitech, and Turtle Beach headsets, as well as the Razer products. And well after stumbling on this site from a google search, I started reading about other options from companies I never even heard of (thats how new to the world of PC sound I am). So after reading around, I bought the ATH A700's to replace my old Plantronic 337's. And while I admit I loved the 337's...the A700 blew my mind. I was literally sitting here in tears when I turned them on, and my mom just happened to see me and asked if they were broken. And I was like its so clear....LOL she thought I lost it
But now this is my new issue. I was going to just use the Realtek onboard cause people have said how it is good enough.And I agree, when I was using the 337's and before those some $20 Turtle Beach headset, and before that a $10 Walmart brand, the sound was great. But after I plugged in the A700, I started hearing a faint hiss in my MP3's and in some of my games. I thought it was the headset till I plugged it into the USB card that came with the Plantronics and the hiss went away. I could just use that, but I wanted to get a good dedicated internal card. I've read the discussions here on Head-Fi and I see a lot of posts about upgrading an existing card. But I am wondering as a upgrade from onboard sound trying not to go over $100 which card works best?
This is for me almost strictly a gaming card. Not much of a competitive FPS player, More for single player games, like Skyrim, GTA, Mass Effect (just avoid the ending of 3 lol), and games like that. Or online I play a few like off and on WoW, or SWTOR and GW2. I play FPS, but not as often online, I usually do the campaign modes in those. I wouldnt waste your time with this as search does do wonders, but this is what I havent totally cleared up in my head:
Asus seems more for music and Creative more for gaming (from what I hear)
Asus has better drive support than Creative
Creative's EAX works great for older games, but newer games use Dolby
In my research of decent cards, I am debating between Xonar DG, Xonar DX, Xtreme Gamer, X-Fi Titanium, and Recon3d.
Like the Xonar DG for its headphone amp and the price you cant beat. (Around $25 new)
I found a refurbished Xonar DX for $39. This one gets reviewed at blowing the X-fi Titanium away, but it lacks the power to drive headphones.
Xtreme Gamer I saw refurbished at $35, but I heard nothing but horror stories here and they said save up for Titanium instead
X-Fi Titanium for positional audio and its EAX features for older games (Refurbished at $45) I hear a lot of horror stories dealing with their drivers though, and most people have said that was the deal breaker with this card.
I've heard Recon3d was only good as an onboard upgrade, I havent seen it much cheaper than $80 though.
The motherboard is an Asus IPIBL-LB. I was thinking about the X-fi Titanium, but after reading about how Windows 7 no longer supports EAX, I was wondering if that means Creatives line no longer has the gaming edge? I have Vista, but I am planning to build a new PC within the year with windows 7 so I wanted this sound card with that also in mind.
So for a headphone gamer, am I putting too much thought into all this? haha....Would it be easier to just go with the Xonar DG with the headphone amp, or is there another card under $100 that you'd say fits the needs of an onboard upgrade and can drive these headphones? I know I could have just run to a store, but in honesty, I think you guys are way wiser than the peeps you get to help you at those stores. Thanks for reading my little book
Edited by cronic22 - 10/9/12 at 1:54am