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Question: Sennheiser PC350 + Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am pretty new to field of impedance and audio, and I was wondering if the combination of Sennheiser PC 350 + Creative X-FI Titanium HD is optimal.

 

The X-Fi has an output of up to 330Ohms on the headphone out, and the impedance of the PC350 is 150Ohms.

 

I have no idea how impedance works. Is it ok to plug in the Sennheisers into the X-fi, even though the headfi outputs much higher impedance?

 

I am considering using a CmoyBB amplifier as well, would this work better than directly to the card?

 

Thank you very much for your responses! My main concern is the impedance question :D

post #2 of 22

The PC350 do work straight from the headphone out of the Titanium HD, but they will improve with additional amplification.

 

EDIT: Do you already have a Cmoy?

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yes, I have the CmoyBB v 2.02 from JDS Labs. I have not used it with my new sound card though.

I used to have the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude, but my recent GPU configuration blocked off my PCI slot, so I had to switch to the X-FI Titanium HD.

 

I have had the Cmoy for quite a while now. How does the CmoyBB compare to other amplifiers nowadays?

 

Personally, I really liked my X-Fi Prelude (excellent card, and excellent components, based on reviews)

 

I wonder how does the Prelude compare to the X-FI Titanium HD?

 

Even my HD has to use a PCIE extension cable, heh.

 

Back on topic: So, the CmoyBB would truly make the PC350 shine then?

 

Thank you for your reply!
 

Edit: What's the impedance allowed by the CmoyBB amplifier? Haven't been able to find it online.


Edited by Aelemar - 12/6/12 at 3:01pm
post #4 of 22

I do agree that the X-Fi Prelude is a fine card. The Titanium HD improves further on that, DAC and component wise.

 

Wait, what do you mean by your HD having to use a PCIe extension cable?

 

Yes, adding the CmoyBB will help drive the PC350. There are reports of the CmoyBB handling the Sennheiser HD650 reasonably well, and that's a 300Ohm set. The PC350 is quite a bit easier to drive.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you very much. Looks like I made a good choice with the Titanium HD. I researched quite a bit, but the Fatal1ty and any others by Creative didn't seem that great. Since I don't know much about sound, I rely a lot on reviews, and I usually read a ton of them before making a decision.

 

Hmm, by extension cable I mean, a ribbon cable that connects to the PCIE 1x slot, and allows me to move the sound card a few slots down.

 

Connecting the card directly to the PCIE 1x slot would put it within 1/4th inch of my video card which is well, not good.

 

I have more PCIE slots but, I have a special motherboard that allows me to run SLI on PCIE 1 and 2 at full 16X speed for both ports (rather than the 8x/8x that usually happens when you SLI). The furthest PCIE slot I have would drop the bandwidth to 16x/8x/8x (in other words, motherboard can handle two cards at full 16x/16x, but that specific PCIE slot is meant for tri-sli and would take bandwidth from the other two)

 

In short, I bought an "extension", connec to PCIE 1x slot, connect card to the connector on opposite side, place card a few slots down :) That way my GPUs airflow isn't hampered XD

 

By the way, my main computer use is gaming.

 

Edit: I have been testing some music with and without the CmoyBB, and when connected directly to the card the sound seems... Hmm, flat?

Listening to rock music (System of a Down) trebles seem "flat" not sure if that's the right term. Or, maybe "dead" is a better term? And base is, hm, weak? Haha

 

no idea what I'm talking about.

 

With the Cmoy though, subtle background sounds in the music seem to pop out more.


Edited by Aelemar - 12/6/12 at 3:13pm
post #6 of 22

For sheer sound quality, and a step above your X-Fi Prelude, the X-Fi Titanium HD is the logical upgrade. The X-Fi Fatal1ty cards have lower quality DACs and components, you would be better with your Prelude.

 

Ah, you mean a riser card for the Titanium HD. I thought you were talking about your HDD :)

 

It's nice to have a PLX chip, isn't it? wink.gif

 

Given that you do a lot of gaming, you picked the best soundcard for the job, there isn't anything better out there.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Haha yeah :) Hm, by PLX do you refer to the NF200 Nvidia chip? XD that's what my motherboard has.

 

And yes... it's quite nice. Most people would say that this or that card won't saturate PCIE 2.0 slot, even at 8x, but, heh maybe it's placebo effect but I have noticed improvements. Even my previous HD6950 (unlocked to 6970) setup benefited from having full bandwidth.

 

My current setup is Dual Galaxy GTX 680 GC (Factory OC).

 

Thank you so much for your help. In music, the Cmoy sounds better (or so it seems?) it's hard to tell since I don't listen to music much outside my car.

 

About to fire up some games though and test it, if I remember from when I used the Cmoy with my Prelude, the difference was quite tangible (Battlefied 3, amplified enemy footsteps attempting to sneak up on you, hehehe)
 

And well, hmm it's a riser of sorts XD

 

I just hope the ribbon cable doesn't degrade sound quality (but again, I also have to use a cable from the sound card to the Cmoy sitting on my desk, lol.)

 

If there is any degradation, it's probably something a headfi noob like me can't notice, haha.


Edited by Aelemar - 12/6/12 at 3:22pm
post #8 of 22

Yes, I'm talking about the NF200 chip.

 

First of all, that's a load of nonsense that other people talk about, usually people with Radeon GPUs that fail to reach PCIe 2.0 limits, despite being native PCIe 3.0 cards. A card like a GTX680 does saturate the PCIe 2.0 bus, already reaching within PCIe 3.0 speeds. And having full lanes is always a logical decision to do, otherwise people should just build machines with smaller specs.

 

Well, the Cmoy helps to deliver more power to the PC350, which makes the headset perform as it should, rather than being under an unnecessary effort that results into worse overall sound quality.

 

For gaming purposes, the PC350 is without a question the second best headset available on the market, with the PC360 being the best, its improvements coming from having a wider soundstage, but the PC350 is already very good and better than all the alternatives.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow, so the PC360 is the best for gaming? I seriously didn't know that. I knew the PC350 were good, but didn't know they were THAT good for gaming, haha.

 

Hmm, so you think my GTXs are saturating my ports? :o I was under the impression that the GTX 690 can saturate a single PCIE 16x slot, but not the GTX 680, even if overclocked.

 

(Dual 16x PCIE slots rock!!!)

 

My motherboard supports PCIE 3.0, if I was to switch from my 2700k to an Ivy bridge. But again, supposedly then when in SLI the board would switch to PCIE 3.0 8x/8x (NF200 chip supposedly doesn't offer full bandwidth with PCIE 3.0 like it does with PCIE 2.0) and well, PCIE 3.0 8x is supposed to be equivalent to PCIE 2.0 x16.

 

This is going quite off-topic, by the way, haha :)

 

I almost got the GTX 690, but thought that it wasn't worth it, since it cannot SLI with a single GTX 680. Dual GTX 680 offers better performance, and I can always add a third later on.

 

By the time I need the power of two GTX 690s anyway, might as well upgrade to the newest card on the market, lol.

 

Anyway, thank you so much for all your help and your replies :D

post #10 of 22

The PC350 are good indeed :) The PC360 improve on that, but that comes at the expense of isolation and leakage, due to its open nature.

 

You don't need to worry about PCIe saturation because the difference isn't significant compared to native PCIe 3.0. You would only really miss the remaining untapped performance if you play at 1080p+ resolutions, especially since you're running SLI, which is the better multi-GPU implementation.

 

It's a shame your board doesn't support 16x/16x on PCIe 3.0. From what I seem to recall, boards that do so usually have more than one NF200 chip.

 

While goin off-topic isn't a commendable thing, this is your thread, so you're entitled to that :)

 

I agree that doing tri-SLI is only worth it if you're able to upgrade such setup often. Newer generation high-end GPUs are often a better option, especially since there are still plenty of games that don't scale up nicely (sometimes not at all) with multi-GPU systems.

 

Out of curiosity, what are the hardware and software specs of your computer?

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

PC Specs:

 

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper

PSU: Antec True Power Quattro 850 Watt (Thinking of replacing it, although it works excellently I've had this for about 2 years)

Motherboard: ASRock Extreme7 Gen3

CPU: Core i7 2700k @ 4.6GHz (can do higher, up to 5.0GHz but not happy with the voltage needed to do so, plus... 4.6GHz is plenty XD). Setup at around 1.35v, 1.31-1.32 under load (stupid Vdroop) max temp I've seen on a hot day is 70, but usually it stays below 60-65 at full load. Idle temps are 35-40.

Cooler: Corsair Hydro H80

RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1866 MHz

GPU: Galaxy GTX 680 GC x2 SLI x16/x16

Sound: X-Fi Titanium HD +CmoyBB 2.02 + PC350 XD

HDD: 3x 40GB Raid 0 Intel SSD (Had these for a long while, used to use two in Raid for gaming but the low space made me switch to a regular HDD for gaming. Longer load times... who cares? XD)

HDD2: 2TB Seagate 7200.12 64MB Cache (partitioned in two even halves, first half for backup and data storate, second half for game installations).

DVD/RW Drive

 

Monitor: Gateway FHD2400 24" 1920x1200 (had this monitor for about 2 years, still works great).

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard

Mouse: Cyborg RAT 7

Controller: Razer Onza Xbox 360 Controller

 

Hm... I think that is it, haha. :)

 

As for the saturation, I read that GTX 680 can saturate PCIE 2.0 if it goes to extreme resolutions like 2500+ or something like that, but lower it should not saturate at all. :o

 

Software: Windows 8 Pro x64

 

What are your system specs? ^.^


Edited by Aelemar - 12/6/12 at 4:21pm
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

For sheer sound quality, and a step above your X-Fi Prelude, the X-Fi Titanium HD is the logical upgrade. The X-Fi Fatal1ty cards have lower quality DACs and components, you would be better with your Prelude.

 

High-end Fat card's are better than the Prelude. As with the PC360 being the best gaming headphone, no, a HD558/598 with a zalman mic mod is better and cheaper. Also what do you mean by saturation of the PCI-E 2.0 lanes? If you put any sort of load on a graphics card in that slot it will use almost it's complete bandwidth, download GPU-Z and you will see it the lane idling in 8x mode, do the screen test it will change to 2.0 16x. Not being negative here but just some incorrect information.


Edited by DefQon - 12/6/12 at 4:55pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelemar View Post

PC Specs:

 

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper

PSU: Antec True Power Quattro 850 Watt (Thinking of replacing it, although it works excellently I've had this for about 2 years)

Motherboard: ASRock Extreme7 Gen3

CPU: Core i7 2700k @ 4.6GHz (can do higher, up to 5.0GHz but not happy with the voltage needed to do so, plus... 4.6GHz is plenty XD). Setup at around 1.35v, 1.31-1.32 under load (stupid Vdroop) max temp I've seen on a hot day is 70, but usually it stays below 60-65 at full load. Idle temps are 35-40.

Cooler: Corsair Hydro H80

RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1866 MHz

GPU: Galaxy GTX 680 GC x2 SLI x16/x16

Sound: X-Fi Titanium HD +CmoyBB 2.02 + PC350 XD

HDD: 3x 40GB Raid 0 Intel SSD (Had these for a long while, used to use two in Raid for gaming but the low space made me switch to a regular HDD for gaming. Longer load times... who cares? XD)

HDD2: 2TB Seagate 7200.12 64MB Cache (partitioned in two even halves, first half for backup and data storate, second half for game installations).

DVD/RW Drive

 

Monitor: Gateway FHD2400 24" 1920x1200 (had this monitor for about 2 years, still works great).

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Mechanical Keyboard

Mouse: Cyborg RAT 7

Controller: Razer Onza Xbox 360 Controller

 

Hm... I think that is it, haha. :)

 

As for the saturation, I read that GTX 680 can saturate PCIE 2.0 if it goes to extreme resolutions like 2500+ or something like that, but lower it should not saturate at all. :o

 

Software: Windows 8 Pro x64

 

What are your system specs? ^.^

 

Nice specs making for a balanced high performance build. How much memory do you have installed?

 

Unfortunately I had to decommission my desktop and I'm now running a laptop:

Core i7-2820QM

8GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz

Geforce GT 555M

750GB SSH

DVD-RW drive

 

Reasonable enough. I opted to get a better CPU rather than a better GPU, and having performance between a 2500K and a 2600K works for now :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

High-end Fat card's are better than the Prelude. As with the PC360 being the best gaming headphone, no, a HD558/598 with a zalman mic mod is better and cheaper. Also what do you mean by saturation of the PCI-E 2.0 lanes? If you put any sort of load on a graphics card in that slot it will use almost it's complete bandwidth, download GPU-Z and you will see it the lane idling in 8x mode, do the screen test it will change to 2.0 16x. Not being negative here but just some incorrect information.

 

Actually, there are many better options for gaming headphones than those Sennheiser models. However, what was being discussed is which were the best headsets for gaming.

 

Have you seen performance numbers and lane status on GTX 680 GPUs on native PCIe 3.0 chipsets? The information is correct. The performance loss from using a GTX 680 on PCIe 2.0 as opposed to running on PCIe 3.0 incurs 5fps on a worst case scenario, but the fact is that by running on PCIe 2.0, that's performance lost due to bus limitations.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Wow, totally forgot to include the memory amount. Currently I'm running 8gb (2x4gb) with space for another 8gb (2x4gb) or 16gb if i buy 8gb sticks.

However, for the sake of overclocking stability, if I do increase the ram I'd use the exact same ramsticks, including memory size.

post #15 of 22

It would be better if you could sell your current modules and replace them by a pair of 8GB modules, allowing for future upgrades to be easier and more cost effective, unless you intend that machine to top at 16GB.

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