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Need help on buying a new sound card

Poll Results: Which would you choose and why?

 
  • 66% (2)
    ASUS Xonar DG
  • 0% (0)
    Auzentech X-fi Bravura
  • 33% (1)
    Auzentech X-fi Forte
3 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello, this is my first time on these forums and I would like some help.

 

I am currently looking for a new soundcard to go with my computer. I have stumbled apon a few cheap ones. I am currently using an onboard soundcard on my ASUS P7P55D PRO.

 

These are the sound cards:

 

ASUS Xonar DG: ($35 CAN new) - I have heard great things about this card. Is it comparable to the Bravura and the Forte?

Auzentech X-fi Bravura: ($35 CAN new) - Is this more reliable than the Forte and is it better than the DG? 

Auzentech X-fi Forte: ($45 CAN new or $30 second hand) - Many people have reported that this card is very unreliable and will break down quickly (static, etc). I also heard that there is a new model that prevents this?

 

I dont know too much about them and I would appreciate some help. I always play games and barley listen to music or watch movies. It is like 95% gaming and 5% other. I currently have Steelseries Siberia v2 Headset and I am most likely going to upgrade to the popular Audio Technika ATH-AD700 Headphones. I mostly play FPS games like BF3, COD, Counter Strike Global Offensive and other competitive FPS games. Which one of these sound cards will give me an edge in audio by me able to hear footsteps, etc. and all those little things.

 

I would greatly appreciate your opinions on these cards and help me out.

 

Thanks 


Edited by Hamodi - 1/5/13 at 1:27am
post #2 of 15

The Auzentech X-fi Bravura, looks like the best choice, I'm assuming it's more reliable then the Forte.

Also might want to look into which cards are still getting driver updates.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

It seems that the Xonar DG has the most updated drivers but I've heard that there are modded driver packs for these sound cards. What is the diffrence between the normal drivers and the modded drivers?

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamodi View Post

It seems that the Xonar DG has the most updated drivers but I've heard that there are modded driver packs for these sound cards. What is the difference between the normal drivers and the modded drivers?

The "United Xonar Drivers", which are on the Brainbit website.

I use them, not sure it they really do improve audio, but I do use them.

http://brainbit.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

post #5 of 15

The X-Fi Bravura is to be avoided, as it lacks the actual X-Fi DSP that all the other Auzentech X-Fi cards have. That makes it a glorified XtremeAudio at best.

 

The X-Fi Forte that I had was fairly reliable and didn't need the grounding trick, but I found that my card was a bit different than most. Came with a factory-installed HSF, among other things. I suspect that Auzentech released a later batch down the road that fixed the early engineering flaws.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I've heard of the newer ones with the heatsinks. The one I might buy is second hand for only $30. I'll ask the owner if their's is one of the newer models. Thanks for the heads up!

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The "United Xonar Drivers", which are on the Brainbit website.

I use them, not sure it they really do improve audio, but I do use them.

http://brainbit.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

Is there a diffrence between Creative and Auzentech drivers because I've heard that Creative drivers are not wery good. Are there also modded driver packs for Auzentech line of sound cards?

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamodi View Post

Is there a diffrence between Creative and Auzentech drivers because I've heard that Creative drivers are not wery good. Are there also modded driver packs for Auzentech line of sound cards?

Might be best to ask questions like that on Creative labs own forum.

But I would assume sound card that uses a Creative Labs audio processor would use Creative Labs software/drivers, at the core.

Maybe use a different looking interface.

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamodi View Post

Is there a diffrence between Creative and Auzentech drivers because I've heard that Creative drivers are not very good. Are there also modded driver packs for Auzentech line of sound cards?

 

The Auzentech drivers are provided by Creative, so there isn't much difference.

 

However, Creative's largely gotten their driver act together over the past few years; most of the infamy dates back to the early Vista days. The Titanium HD in particular has a solid driver set.

 

For the other cards, though, you have Daniel_K's X-Fi Support Pack. That driver set will work well on all proper X-Fi cards, even the Auzentech-branded ones. (Except the Titanium HD, but it doesn't really need it.)

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

The owner of the second hand Forte said his doesn't have the heatsink. Would it still be a good idea to buy it from him for $30 or should I just go buy the Xonar DG new for $35 or do you have any other suggestions for sound cards? Also, which would be better for playing modern competitive FPS games, Dolby Headphone or CMSS-3D?

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamodi View Post

The owner of the second hand Forte said his doesn't have the heatsink. Would it still be a good idea to buy it from him for $30 or should I just go buy the Xonar DG new for $35 or do you have any other suggestions for sound cards? Also, which would be better for playing modern competitive FPS games, Dolby Headphone or CMSS-3D?

The Creative Labs X-fi Titanium (non-HD), will sell (used or refurb) for around $50.

I believe the Titanium (non-HD) uses the same surround sound technology as the Titanium HD, but the Titanium HD comes with a better DAC and op-amps.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Creative Labs X-fi Titanium (non-HD), will sell (used or refurb) for around $50.

I believe the Titanium (non-HD) uses the same surround sound technology as the Titanium HD, but the Titanium HD comes with a better DAC and op-amps.

I will try to look around for that sound card, thanks for the help. Is the Titanium on the same level as the Forte or Xonar? Also, I'm still very new with these terms but what what do DACs and op-amps do? Is it the better they are, the higher the sound quality?

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamodi View Post

I will try to look around for that sound card, thanks for the help. Is the Titanium on the same level as the Forte or Xonar? Also, I'm still very new with these terms but what what do DACs and op-amps do? Is it the better they are, the higher the sound quality?

I would assume (best guess) the Titanium (non-HD) and Forte are roughly the same, but the Forte has a headphone amplifier.

Also the DAC on the Forte might be a little better.

 

Sound quality wise, I would think (guess) the Xonar DX is roughty around the same as the Titanium (non-HD) and Forte.

 

DAC - Digital to Analog Converter.

Modern audio is stored and processed in a Digital (zero & ones) form.

Amplifiers are analog (wave), the diaphragm in headphones & speakers are analog and ears are analog.

 

So after digital audio is processed, the DAC is used to change the audio signal from digital to analog.

 

The best DACs recreate the audio signal to as close to original recording (what the sound engineer in the studio created).

And I guess different DACs can add their own "tweaks" to the signal.

 

Op-amp is short for operational amplifier.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

I cant find any normal Creative Titaniums where I live and I couldn't find any stores in Canada that sell em. Should I just go the safe way and buy the DG and also what is the diffrence between the DG and DS. I know that the DS has 7.1 support but is it higher sound quality if I'm primarily going to use a headset?

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamodi View Post

I cant find any normal Creative Titaniums where I live and I couldn't find any stores in Canada that sell em. Should I just go the safe way and buy the DG and also what is the diffrence between the DG and DS. I know that the DS has 7.1 support but is it higher sound quality if I'm primarily going to use a headset?

ebay has lots of listings for the Titanium (non-HD)

 

The Xonar DS is high quality (better DAC & is 7.1) then the DG, but the DS does not come with a headphone amplifier.

The DS is DTS audio

The DG is Dolby audio

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