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Non Asus or Creative Sound Cards

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

How do brands like Auzentech and HT Omega compare?  I never see them recommended but I am familiar with the brands.

post #2 of 8

Auzentech was pretty prevalent among C-Media card manufacturers, but I admit I only started paying attention to them when they did the unexpected and managed to talk Creative into providing them with X-Fi EMU20k1/20k2 APU/DSPs to base some of their cards around. My X-Fi Prelude's still going strong.

 

I guess Creative realized that their market was shifting over to Auzentech when they started building better-quality cards on their DSPs, so they tried to take back the market with the X-Fi Titanium HD. I'd say it worked.

 

(As it turns out, Creative also licensed EMU20k2s to Gigabyte for some of their G1-series motherboards, and to Onkyo for the SE-300PCIE card, but good luck getting your hands on one of those outside of Japan!)

 

HT Omega is one I have no experience with, and for whatever reason, all but one of their cards remains based on the old PCI interface. Those that have bought their cards, though, utterly swear by them to the point of not needing to consider anything else. Not even other C-Media chipset cards from Asus or Auzentech.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I am asking because I am looking to maybe replace my x-fi titanium hd. I had a xonar Dx but I happened to exchange it because I absolutely hated the software for it. I had it for about three days and to be honest the jump from my recon 3d to the xonar was less than the jump from xonar to the x-fi.

I could get the $250 sound blaster but I am very curious about other sound card brands.
post #4 of 8
Nothing wrong with PCI (especially when a lot of modern hardware is just using translation chips) - unless you don't have PCI slots; HT Omega and Auzen produce, more or less, "pimped out" reference C-Media boards. Sondigo was in that boat as well, but didn't charge an arm and a leg for the final product. redface.gif

That said, you shouldn't be expecting "night and day" differences between soundcards, unless you're using them to directly drive your headphones or speakers (which, unless they've got in-built amps, you probably shouldn't be). popcorn.gif

The top hardware from Asus, Creative, Auzentech, and HT Omega is more or less going to be on-par in terms of fidelity, while Asus and Creative have moved (at least somewhat) beyond what C-Media can deliver (although Asus is basically C-Media too). You could also look at M-Audio and ESI (both are VIA based); less "features" but again, will put you in the "hi-fi" range.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
Nothing wrong with PCI (especially when a lot of modern hardware is just using translation chips) - unless you don't have PCI slots.

 

Yeah, that's the issue with more modern motherboards right there. PCI in and of itself isn't an issue as far as sound card interfaces go, but it's being phased out in the age of PCI-Express.

 

On top of that, it's said that more modern chipsets don't have native PCI interfaces and use bridge chips, which can cause issues with certain sound cards. I still remember all the infamous reports of Creative cards in the SB Live! days acting up on old VIA chipset motherboards with somewhat quirky PCI implementations. Not sure if other card chipsets of the day, like Aureal's, fared any better.

 

Other than that, in terms of actual sound fidelity, most modern sound cards are indeed close enough to not warrant switching them out all the time. At that point, any more money spent on audio equipment is best put toward the headphones or speakers and any amplification systems they may need, if the sound card itself isn't sufficient.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Yeah, that's the issue with more modern motherboards right there. PCI in and of itself isn't an issue as far as sound card interfaces go, but it's being phased out in the age of PCI-Express.

On top of that, it's said that more modern chipsets don't have native PCI interfaces and use bridge chips, which can cause issues with certain sound cards. I still remember all the infamous reports of Creative cards in the SB Live! days acting up on old VIA chipset motherboards with somewhat quirky PCI implementations. Not sure if other card chipsets of the day, like Aureal's, fared any better.

Other than that, in terms of actual sound fidelity, most modern sound cards are indeed close enough to not warrant switching them out all the time. At that point, any more money spent on audio equipment is best put toward the headphones or speakers and any amplification systems they may need, if the sound card itself isn't sufficient.

+1. Especially to the bold part. I see much ado about nothing when it comes to soundcard/source discussions in a lot of cases - sure, it makes a difference up to a point, but basically you're gonna get to a point where you've accomplished "good enough" (e.g. clean and clear), and spending more on "higher performance" will not produce audible benefits (especially as opposed to putting the money into better headphones/speakers and so on).
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well the main point of this thread was to find out why nothing else is ever recommended. 

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poisoner View Post

Well the main point of this thread was to find out why nothing else is ever recommended. 

HT Omega cards tend to be fairly pricey for what they are, and Auzen has been relatively quiet in recent years. They re-released the X-Merdian, which is a somewhat famous board, but otherwise not a lot has made a big splash. I think neither would be a problem, if you're interested.

Onkyo, from my understanding, requires Japanese-language drivers, which makes them a bit of a kludge for American users, and M-Audio has had A LOT of trouble with drivers for Windows Vista/7.
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