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Questions about the best solution for PC gaming and Music listenning (sound card, amp/dac, dont...

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi every one,

 

I decided to buid a new PC and i want the best gaming sound, with CMSS-3D. I play game 70% of time and 30% listen EDM. So i have many questions :

 

- What is the best actually gaming sound card (CMSS-3D obsviously, in 2013-2014) ?

 

- Even if the PC sound card has a headphone amp, I would like an amp / dac for listen music like EDM, but i don't want to plug&unplug (between gaming sound card and the amp/dac) always my headphones when switch between game and music, :   So have i many solutions or its not possible ?

 

                         - i read that trough optical between sound card and dac/amp  we don't loose the CMSS-3D and EAX effects, its real or not ?

 

 

in clear i want :

 

PC soundcard (EAX, CMSS-3D) >> game > headphone

 

""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" >> dac/amp (combo or all in one) >> music > headphone                                 this without unplug headphone between sound card and dac/amp

 

(I have V-Moda M100 (i know its not the best for gaming, but for the moment its that, (perhaps Q701 or K702 in several months))) 

 

budget sound card is ok

budget dac/amp (combo or all in one) : 350€

 

 

Many thanks to you, (sorry for bad english)

post #2 of 42

Hardware is only as good as the software that runs it. That being said, having good software with a cheap card is better that an expensive card with bad software. For me, and maybe not for you, I can use my on board sound card (built-in to the mobo) using Linux (ALSA) and a good music player. For gaming I am guessing that you will be running Windows and unfortunately, Windows does not have very good sound processing. Your best bet is getting an external (usb) DAC. Personally I am to new to the audiophile world to give a good suggestion, but I do know that there are plenty of other people here to help you. In short I recommend using whatever your computer was built with, and just upgrading your software. If this doesn't do it for you, or your pc does not have a port that you need, then you should look in to buying an external DAC. Hopefully this helps you decide on what you need.

post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi Atomicus88,

 

Interesting opinion, but i'm not totally agree with you. For example, in game like, EAX effects and CMSS 3d are very important to spot ennemis, for enjoying etc,

for music, i play flac on my old laptop and play flac on my PC with basic real sound card, its not sound same !

 

I think hardware is before and software after (if speak between 320kb or flac, not 56kb obviously)

 

 

to return to my topic, any suggestions?

post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanMichou View Post
 

Interesting opinion, but i'm not totally agree with you. For example, in game like, EAX effects and CMSS 3d are very important to spot ennemis, for enjoying etc,

for music, i play flac on my old laptop and play flac on my PC with basic real sound card, its not sound same !

I think hardware is before and software after (if speak between 320kb or flac, not 56kb obviously)

to return to my topic, any suggestions?

Creative Labs Titanium-HD sound card (price ?).

O2 headphone amplifier, EHP-02, 99 GBP.

http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

post #5 of 42

Oops

post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi PurpleAngel,

 

This sound card seems good, but its THX true studio and no CMSS-3D, the difficulty is to found the best actually sound card 2013-2014 which use CMSS-3D (don't want SBX, dolby or thx), i think its the best for gaming, but the sound card who use that aren't so good for music, do i need a Dac ?

The Amp seems nice!

problems is with the dac an keep the EAX and CMSS-3d, like i say i the first post.

 

ty for your response :)

 

 

EDIT : I see that the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD is THX Trustudio, but i see for game it use CMSS-3D and keep trustudio thx only for music or films,

 

Is it really that ?


Edited by JeanMichou - 12/12/13 at 6:00am
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 

I found that page with many good infos, anyone can make more clear that infos (about eax, cmss-3d over spdif (sodac (maybe amp ?) ? http://www.head-fi.org/t/363893/x-fi-spdif-prelude-vs-titanium/30  

 

It seems like impossible de keep effects cmss-3d or eax over spdif, coaxial, optical ...
 

Have we a solution ?

 

 

EDIT : i understand that a guy Nameless have tested Effects eax cmss over spidiff and it seems it work, so who have reason?


Edited by JeanMichou - 12/12/13 at 6:02am
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi (and sorry for 3 consecutives posts)

 

If i take :

 

Pc sound card X-fi Titanium (non HD, i already have one) >> optical/toslink >> Asus essence one dac/amp >> Headphone (m100 or k702)

 

if that will work fine ? I will keep the gaming effects and the CMSS-3D ?

 

Many thanks

post #9 of 42

The X-Fi Titanium HD only uses THX TruStudio Pro in Entertainment Mode. Switch to Game Mode, and it'll use CMSS-3D Headphone instead. (You should always be in Game Mode with X-Fi cards for gaming in the first place; that's the only mode in which it'll utilize hardware sound acceleration, if called for.)

 

However, if you already have an X-Fi Titanium and just want better sound quality out of that, then yes, you can opt for the external S/PDIF DAC approach. Just make sure you keep the analog "Speakers" output as your primary playback device and turn on "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" in the sound card's control panel.

post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 

Many thanks NamelessPFG,

 

I have read all of your posts before that ^^ but i wasn't sure, because i don't understand all of english and i prefer to be sure before spend 500€.

 

So i will go with the Asus Essence One,

 

PC sound card creative x-fi titanium (non HD) >> optical toslink >> asus essence one >> headphone out for M100 (perhaps k702 in several months)

 

 

is asus essence one is good choice here for me ?

post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanMichou View Post
 

I have read all of your posts before that ^^ but i wasn't sure, because i don't understand all of English and I prefer to be sure before spend 500€.

So i will go with the Asus Essence One,

PC sound card creative X-Fi Titanium (non HD) >> optical Toslink >> Asus essence one >> headphone out for M100 (perhaps k702 in several months)

Is Asus Essence One is good choice here for me ?

Audio-GD NFB-15.32, 185 Euros + shipping

Comes with dual (WM8741) DAC chips and a headphone amplifier that drives my 600-Ohm headphones.

USB, optical & coaxial inputs.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicus88 View Post
 

Hardware is only as good as the software that runs it. That being said, having good software with a cheap card is better that an expensive card with bad software. For me, and maybe not for you, I can use my on board sound card (built-in to the mobo) using Linux (ALSA) and a good music player. For gaming I am guessing that you will be running Windows and unfortunately, Windows does not have very good sound processing. Your best bet is getting an external (usb) DAC. Personally I am to new to the audiophile world to give a good suggestion, but I do know that there are plenty of other people here to help you. In short I recommend using whatever your computer was built with, and just upgrading your software. If this doesn't do it for you, or your pc does not have a port that you need, then you should look in to buying an external DAC. Hopefully this helps you decide on what you need.

This is incorrect, both Linux and Windows can be configured to send bit-perfect data to your computer's DAC. Not only that, but if Windows did have bad sound processing that's what would get sent out to a USB DAC anyway, so that wouldn't help. This is assuming the slight differences could even be perceptible, which is unlikely.


Edited by KurtBlanken - 12/13/13 at 11:07pm
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

what is the advantage of the two WM8741 ? (i'm newbie here for the moment)

 

USB : 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz , 192kHz
Coaxial: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz ,192kHz
Optical: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz

 

it's a pity, 96 kHz on optical, and its what i will use, thats right ?

 

Is the Compass 2 WM8741 is better for me ?


Edited by JeanMichou - 12/14/13 at 8:10am
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanMichou View Post
 

What is the advantage of the two WM8741 ? (i'm newbie here for the moment)

USB : 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz , 192kHz

Coaxial: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz ,192kHz
Optical: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz

it's a pity, 96 kHz on optical, and its what i will use, that's right ?

Is the Compass 2 WM8741 is better for me ?

There are 2 audio channels in the Audio-GD DAC/amps, so with 2 DAC chips (WM8741), each DAC chip only has to convert one channel (from Digital to Analog), which I assume gives a higher Signal to Noise ratio, over having one WM8741 DAC chip having to convert both audio channels.

I really doubt for optical use, you would notice a difference between 96Khz and 192Khz, when watching movies or gaming.

With the NFB-15.32, it comes with a 32-bit/384Khz USB input, which would out perform the S/PDIF (optical/coaxial) connection (for music listening).

I think the NFB-15.32 would do the job for your current use, I can't see you having a use for the Compass 2's extra features (that I know of).

post #15 of 42

I was troubled by this with my old computer. I couldn't find a single sound card that would satisfy the need of 7.1 surround sound and high ohm stereo output. Then I saw this motherboard recently when I was building a new rig: http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20Z87%20Killer/

 

115 SNR with 600ohm support for stereo and 7.1 rear output with DTS Neo:PC (better than CMSS3D)!! I listen to EDM 70% of time and game 30% on surround. This is absolutely an amazing value with amazing sound! Absolutely no background noise when I use my 7.1 tiamat (back 7.1) or stereo headphone for music (front stereo). Get it man, you won't regret it!

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