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So what's the current solid 'low end' sound card? Gaming/Music?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So recently, I dug my old Turtle Beach Santa Cruz out of my ancient computer, to replace the onboard sound of my current gaming rig, which was... eh, okay, but I could hear the noises when it was thinking and accessing the hard drive and such..


So, in this computer, the Santa Cruz sounds good, but for some reason it gets kinda clicky when I am multitasking, which is really weird, cause it didn't do that on the Pentium III.  Probably some incompatibility with old tech and new stuff -- my computer is a ~$500 gaming rig circa 2009, and it still plays new games alright.  AMD processor, a few gigs of ram, etc. etc.


Anyway, I use the computer for some minor gaming, including a bit of single player first person shooters, and Pandora, and, um... dvdrips of movies. ;) ;) and FLAC rips of CDs played with Foobar2000.  My computer is running win xp pro, with the latest service pack.


I plug my 770 pro's directly into the back, fyi, though I could use a portable headphone amp if I had to.


What's a good, Under $50 (ideally under $30!) sound card which would be an upgrade in my situation?  I haven't been keeping up on the latest and greatest.  I'm in the lower 48, and am willing to buy online.



post #2 of 6

Asus Xonar DG or DGX would be alright on that budget 

post #3 of 6

One of the aforementioned cards, an X-Fi Titanium (non-HD, non-Fatal1ty), or a non-XtremeAudio X-Fi PCI card will serve you well.


...Wait a minute, did you say "Turtle Beach Santa Cruz"? That's one of those Crystal Semiconductor-based cards from the heyday of Aureal and Creative, back when 3D audio in PC games was the norm instead of the exception, and they tended to have Sensaura Virtual Ear as an included feature for Aureal A3D-esque binaural HRTF mixing, something Creative wouldn't do until the X-Fi line years later after having bought out both Aureal and Sensaura. Count me interested...

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Uh, that super-advanced santa cruz aureal stuff only works on windows 98, I think... with a very very few games... for the full A3D stuff, I mean.  I don't think it works with windows 2000, xp, etc. etc.

post #5 of 6

I'm perfectly aware of that.


You see, I build Win9x retrogaming computers from time to time, specifically because games either don't sound their best on newer OSes, or far more likely, they don't even WORK on newer OSes in spite of my best efforts to get them running on my more modern machines.


My current one is actually a 98SE/XP dual-boot rig with a SB AWE64 Gold ISA for DOS games, a Turtle Beach Montego II (Aureal Vortex2-based) for A3D games, and an Auzentech X-Fi Prelude for DS3D/OAL games under XP. Yes, that's THREE sound cards in one computer for maximum compatibility's sake, and that AWE64 Gold would be replaced with an AWE32 CT2760 if the case would fit its gargantuan 14" length. I'd throw in a Roland MT-32 or other LA synth for extra DOS compatibility, but those things aren't cheap.


Heck, I go trawling around on VOGONS to find out what the ideal components are for retrogaming computers. CPUs, motherboards, graphics cards, sound cards, exotic gaming peripherals, everything-it's a godsend when you're into retrocomputing like I am.


Does it now make sense as to why I'd have such interest in such an old, unsupported sound card?

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yea, It seems like you are just the kind of person I was thinking you might actually be, hah...

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