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Motherboard: Gigabyte Sniper.M5 or Asus ROG Maximus VI Impact for best onboard soundcard? - Page 2

post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post

I want to build a HTPC/Steambox/Gaming PC/Work PC with the lowest TDP without sacrificing performance. I need low TDP as my ambient temp is between 26-36C throughout the year.

Thing is low TDP for chip but with the sheer power and heat generated by a high end GPU @ full load makes the former not really significant as far as temps in your casing goes? Also for a HTPC if you want to have DTS-HD/Dolby True HD i'd just sent HDMI out to a HDMI AVR Lastly u mentioned wifi : for 1080p streaming of videos best results is via a wired conection


Edited by trog - 7/10/13 at 9:57am
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

I believe on ASUS boards it's rated 112 or 113dB SNR due to not using the preamps or different preamps in that case. But yea the DAC should still be the same but yea the sound-quality wise might not be the same. ASrock Extreme4 and 6 boards offer the best bang-for-buck this time around IMO if looking at features vs cost, followed closely by MSI GD45 and GD65 Gaming which also features ALC1150 chipset. ASUS boards were too expensive in my eyes this time around (it's like you pay 20-$30 for the brand alone, screw that).

 

I've also ordered i5-4670K, 16GB DDR3-1866 9-10-9-28 RAM, Samsung Pro 840 128GB SSD, GTX 760 2GB and planning to overclock the CPU & GPU as far as possible. :)

 

EDIT: Seems only ASRock boards has 115dB SNR rating so yea they use a bit better quality preamps than the other boards. (these particular preamps are cheap but they perform well for the cost).

 

There is always http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87%20OC%20Formulaac/ if you want a bit better board

 

 

Can you actually hear any difference between 112db SNR and 115 dbSNR?

 

Taken from Asus Z87Deluxe:

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z87DELUXE/#specifications

 

Quote:

 

Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 112 dB SNR stereo playback output (Line-out at rear) and 104 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection 
- DTS Ultra PC II
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

 

 

Unfortunately I am building either a mini-ITX with the Prodigy or a macro-ATX with the Silverstone TJ08-E. I suspect I might go the latter (TJ08-E) as putting a Prodigy next to the TV is out of place. Too wide.

 

The Asrock Z87E-ITX has different specs:

Quote:

 

  - 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- TI NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (Supports up to 600 ohm headsets)
- Supports DTS Connect

 

Does not mention the SNR rating.

   

This is all I got from the Creative Sound Core 3D specs from creative.

http://www.creative.com/oem/products/chips/soundcore3d.asp

 

Does not mention much.

 

 

The ROG VI Maximus Impact has better ratings:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7023/asus-rog-press-conference-rog-maximus-vi-formula-and-impact.

post #18 of 25
Quote:

Originally Posted by mystvearn 

 

 

Can you actually hear any difference between 112db SNR and 115 dbSNR?

 

The numbers themselves doesn't mean that much (and the numbers on the paper aren't usually reflecting real-world results either) but every component in the audio chain will produce slightly different end result so different DACs, opamps etc will provide slightly different sound. The "better" ones doesn't necessarily have to sound better to your ears though and it's a bit question of taste and synergy with the headphones you use too.

 

Quote:

Quote:

Originally Posted by mystvearn 

 

The Asrock Z87E-ITX has different specs:

 

Does not mention the SNR rating.

 

Should be the same, they are using the same ALC1150 chip + TI NE5532 opamps combo, but maybe the DAC could be different possibly but I doubt it, don't think they had labelled it as ALC1150 chip then.

 

 

Quote:

Quote:

Originally Posted by mystvearn 

 

The ROG VI Maximus Impact has better ratings:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7023/asus-rog-press-conference-rog-maximus-vi-formula-and-impact.

 

Wow that is pretty cool, onboard audio performance is stepping up bigtime these days. Too bad this board doesn't have enough sata ports for my needs and the ATX one is probably out of the budget I typically want to spend on motherboards. :/ Doesn't seem to be available yet either.

 

EDIT: My comp upgrade package has arrived in my country (ordered from abroad due to nasty prices in Finland), expecting to be able to pick it up at least by tomorrow :)


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 7/10/13 at 10:56pm
post #19 of 25

Been testing this chip Extreme6 audio solution a little bit, quite impressed with the sound quality I have to say. A step-up from the ALC889A surely. The mids especially sound very nice. with a more weight to it than on the older 889A chip with a bit more "aggressive" sound to it but the old chip was slightly too mellow there in comparision to for example the SoundBlaster ZxR, also the bass extension is improved a bit like advertised. In fact it reminds me a lot of ZxR's sound now too except I somehow have to hand the soundstaging to the Realtek if using 5.1 speaker output and ONLY ticking the "Surround speakers" and "Front and Right" speaker options and leave everything else unticked. The Creative card doesn't quite offer an equal spacious soundstage and the only reason I wasn't 100% sold on it due to knowing how well this particular config works on the Realtek onboard chips.

 

The only major downside with using onboard + somewhat noisy amp such as ZO, is that I can hear a bit of static just like on ALC889A browsing the internet or it may pop once while opening a song before the audio starts playing etc, about equally much even if this ACL1150 config has shielding and what not but I guess the extra amping amps up the static noise too so it NEEDED the shielding or else it would be even more noisy than for example the ALC889A. I had hoped to see an improvement in this aspect due to the shielding but yea it doesn't seem to help much.

 

Also seems weird that with the ALC889A I seemed to get louder output, now I'm at ZO2.1 (full volume) + Windows volume @ 17% for same volume as with ALC889A at 14% windows volume...

 

Also running my 4670K @ 4.4GHz as I type this. :) This may be the sweetspot for this particular chip, at least primarily testing 4.5GHz seemed to be more of an hazzle than I had expected.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 7/13/13 at 11:49pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystvearn View Post
I see. However, haswell chips have lower TDP while maintaining performance. Another thing is that even though I can source a new G1 board, the board may be a few years old now and there will be unavoidable degradation in the capacitors of the motherboard. It will be costly to replace the parts.

 

Believe me, if I could find an LGA1150 board with an EMU20k2/CA20k2 on it, I'd point you to it immediately, but I can't because they just don't exist.

 

Good thing we have PCI-Express slots to put sound cards into. Saves me the hassle in having to select certain (often overpriced) motherboards, and I'm planning on going Broadwell or Haswell-E next year, when I finally have the dosh to build a worthy successor to this old Kentsfield (Q6600) box.

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Been testing this chip Extreme6 audio solution a little bit, quite impressed with the sound quality I have to say. A step-up from the ALC889A surely. The mids especially sound very nice. with a more weight to it than on the older 889A chip with a bit more "aggressive" sound to it but the old chip was slightly too mellow there in comparision to for example the SoundBlaster ZxR, also the bass extension is improved a bit like advertised. In fact it reminds me a lot of ZxR's sound now too except I somehow have to hand the soundstaging to the Realtek if using 5.1 speaker output and ONLY ticking the "Surround speakers" and "Front and Right" speaker options and leave everything else unticked. The Creative card doesn't quite offer an equal spacious soundstage and the only reason I wasn't 100% sold on it due to knowing how well this particular config works on the Realtek onboard chips.

 

The only major downside with using onboard + somewhat noisy amp such as ZO, is that I can hear a bit of static just like on ALC889A browsing the internet or it may pop once while opening a song before the audio starts playing etc, about equally much even if this ACL1150 config has shielding and what not but I guess the extra amping amps up the static noise too so it NEEDED the shielding or else it would be even more noisy than for example the ALC889A. I had hoped to see an improvement in this aspect due to the shielding but yea it doesn't seem to help much.

 

Also seems weird that with the ALC889A I seemed to get louder output, now I'm at ZO2.1 (full volume) + Windows volume @ 17% for same volume as with ALC889A at 14% windows volume...

 

Also running my 4670K @ 4.4GHz as I type this. :) This may be the sweetspot for this particular chip, at least primarily testing 4.5GHz seemed to be more of an hazzle than I had expected.

Interesting. I will let you know with the ALC1150 codec on the Asus Z87i-pro motherboard when I get it. Which is probably next week earliest. I can almost certainly say that any chip is better than my Asus U46SV laptop Sonic Focus sound card. I had a LGA775 which had ALC888 and that was better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

Believe me, if I could find an LGA1150 board with an EMU20k2/CA20k2 on it, I'd point you to it immediately, but I can't because they just don't exist.

 

Good thing we have PCI-Express slots to put sound cards into. Saves me the hassle in having to select certain (often overpriced) motherboards, and I'm planning on going Broadwell or Haswell-E next year, when I finally have the dosh to build a worthy successor to this old Kentsfield (Q6600) box.

Here is a review from Guru3D about the ROG VI board with ALC1150 codec

http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/asus_maximus_extreme_vi_z87_review,21.html

 

They don't exists. In fact I can't find an S/PDIF input jack on any new motherboards. My Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L had it and I could use it to pull audio from the TV to the PC speakers which were better.

 

I sold my Q6600 a year ago now in anticipating Haswell. Also I was migrating countries. Made the PC for £500, used it for 4 years, sold it all off for £250. I'm quite happy that I got back half its value.

 

My next PC spes here:

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/mystvearn/saved/1WzR

post #22 of 25
Hmm, I wonder what to do, I'm really going in circles atm.

I still have a bit issues with popping/buzzing, a bit more than I'd like, if I lower the volume on ZO I can almost eliminate it (mostly just the popping remains) but I also happen to think ZO sounds best with volume MAXED and then lowering the volume on the audio source until suitable levels. However with ZO maxed the EMI/static interference will be heard the most and it's a bit too much for me to withstand on this Extreme6 board.

So should I like try another board just in sake for hoping that EMI will be lower or is there some possible fixes for this or what should I do... I am slightly interested in MSI GD65 Gaming board too no doubt featuring a KillerNIC onboard too and ALC1150 solution coupled with another opamp than ASRock's. However maybe it's these opamps that adds too much noise? Maybe I should invest in an opamp-less ALC1150 solution? ASUS, Gigabyte...

Decisions decisions.... I don't really feel like circulating through all mobos just to find one that offers me satisfying-low EMI interference. I'm also satisfied with how the current one sounds but the bass isn't portrayed as dynamically if the ZO volume isn't maxed, in fact I feel overall the sound gets more dynamic with ZO maxed and that's why I'd like to keep it maxed for best result. :P

Do some1 measure onboard chip "EMI noise"? I'd kill for a list that lists "EMI noise level" comparison for different boards!

EDIT: What about: http://us.hardware.info/productinfo/benchmarks/1/motherboards?products[]=186949&specId=1552&tcId=47 (would you want high or low, as there's no description of what noise level here is meant but I guess it's the usual of how loud it can go before distortion kicks in or the alike) I guess this is just a different matter which isn't interesting for me. Well measuring EMI interference is probably a bit hard lol.
Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 7/17/13 at 3:45am
post #23 of 25
I'm heavily concidering swapping boards at this point, it's just something about it that I don't like, it feels "cheap" like ASRock usually tend to be and offers bunch of extra "silly" features masking their poor build quality / hardware specs. Also the popping sound drives me nuts sometimes.

Now I'm concidering either MSI GD65 Gaming or ASUS ROG Maximus VI Hero (gotta love the name haha). Both have their advantages but I'm somewhat leaning towards the ASUS one. Looks like a "great-bang-for-buck" board costing only a mere 5 EUR more or so than Extreme6 (suddenly this feels overpriced).

Both of these have pretty nice audio setup, looks like ASUS one is better; seems like a higher quality opamp, cleaner PCB layout (DAC moved a bit further down so it's not too close to the graphics card slot, premium japanese capacitors, multilayer PCB with copper. Overall the motherboard PCB looks so much cleaner with less soldered stuff on it.
Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 7/19/13 at 1:03am
post #24 of 25

Hi All! I just joined this site so I hope I can blend along and subscribe on to this thread as I am also pondering on replacing my motherboard and shift to Mini ITX and the only thing holding me back is that I don't find on-board audio solutions to be sufficient.

 

I have always used a discrete sound card for all my builds and this time I'd like to try giving up on that if there are worthy replacements. Indeed this Maximus Impact is very interesting since it could have a discrete class audio quality.

 

I am actually, also, considering OP's options but again, Mini ITX form factor is my first priority.

 

So to cut the story short, are there any motherboards out there to date that is worthy of giving up a discrete sound card?

 

I don't know if I can call myself an audiophile already but I am a music lover (I'm kinda eclectic though) and I am a bit particular of sound quality.

post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I'm heavily concidering swapping boards at this point, it's just something about it that I don't like, it feels "cheap" like ASRock usually tend to be and offers bunch of extra "silly" features masking their poor build quality / hardware specs. Also the popping sound drives me nuts sometimes.

Now I'm concidering either MSI GD65 Gaming or ASUS ROG Maximus VI Hero (gotta love the name haha). Both have their advantages but I'm somewhat leaning towards the ASUS one. Looks like a "great-bang-for-buck" board costing only a mere 5 EUR more or so than Extreme6 (suddenly this feels overpriced).

Both of these have pretty nice audio setup, looks like ASUS one is better; seems like a higher quality opamp, cleaner PCB layout (DAC moved a bit further down so it's not too close to the graphics card slot, premium japanese capacitors, multilayer PCB with copper. Overall the motherboard PCB looks so much cleaner with less soldered stuff on it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bim27142 View Post

Hi All! I just joined this site so I hope I can blend along and subscribe on to this thread as I am also pondering on replacing my motherboard and shift to Mini ITX and the only thing holding me back is that I don't find on-board audio solutions to be sufficient.

 

I have always used a discrete sound card for all my builds and this time I'd like to try giving up on that if there are worthy replacements. Indeed this Maximus Impact is very interesting since it could have a discrete class audio quality.

 

I am actually, also, considering OP's options but again, Mini ITX form factor is my first priority.

 

So to cut the story short, are there any motherboards out there to date that is worthy of giving up a discrete sound card?

 

I don't know if I can call myself an audiophile already but I am a music lover (I'm kinda eclectic though) and I am a bit particular of sound quality.

 

 

I got the Asus Z87i-pro. Running it on the 3rd day now. No regrets :)

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z87IPRO/#overview

 

The ALC1150 is neutral compared to the ALC888 on my Gigabyte EP43-DS3L which was slightly warmer. You hear a lot more lows and the high is not overbearing. I am not sure if my sickness is causing hearing fatigue or just the choice of music. After further listening to more classical music, I can say the lows are quite tight. You will hear every instrument with no reverberations in the lows. Compared to the ALC888 you get more sound from this soundcard. Since this is practically a neutral sound card, any EQ settings you want to make is easily achievable. People who are used to warmer sound may not like this card out of the box. At first I thought my hifi (Panasonic SA-PM11) was on "clear" setting, but with the Panasonic headphones which have good low and warm signature, this sound card is definitely neutral.

 

Sorry for the late reply. Was busy getting the parts. More info on my build here:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1408746/need-recommendations-on-gaming-work-htpc-steambox-pc-low-tdp-high-performance/20

 

If you are serious about your audio though, it is best to invest in a stand alone solution. For a mini-itx, this solution works.

 

Hope this helps :)


Edited by mystvearn - 7/26/13 at 8:56pm
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