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post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I am building a new PC next month and am looking for some suggestions on my audio setup. I will be running both Windows and Linux. Will be used for gaming (RPG and FPS), music (obviously), and misc. 

 

Between headphones, DAC/AMP, video card I am looking at spending around $500. Suggestions?

post #2 of 20

$495 video card and $5 earbuds using onboard audio.

post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

$495 video card and $5 earbuds using onboard audio

 

but only if you hate your ears...

 

it really depends on your priorities between gaming and music, personally I'd start with the headphones, do you need a headset with microphone for the gaming?

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by twiz View Post
 

I am building a new PC next month and am looking for some suggestions on my audio setup. I will be running both Windows and Linux. Will be used for gaming (RPG and FPS), music (obviously), and misc. 

 

Between headphones, DAC/AMP, video card I am looking at spending around $500. Suggestions?

I'm guessing Linux has drivers for the C-Media audio processors

 

Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $60

Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99

AKG K612 Pro headphones, $200

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc-k View Post
 

 

but only if you hate your ears...

 

it really depends on your priorities between gaming and music, personally I'd start with the headphones, do you need a headset with microphone for the gaming?

 

You know what. I actually don't need headphones for the gaming part of it dur de dur. I'll just use my ATH-AD700s that I use on my PS4 lol.

 

So just for music it is! Definitely would want a closed can for these so that I don't disrupt the baby :) Should I just use my K545s then?

 

Damn that amp is hard to find :)

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc-k View Post
 

 

but only if you hate your ears...

 

it really depends on your priorities between gaming and music, personally I'd start with the headphones, do you need a headset with microphone for the gaming?

 I'm of the opinion that when building a gaming PC, if you plan to use any decent resolution (1920x1200 for example) you should invest in a higher end graphics card.

 

Deciding on a $500 budget that includes your gfx card, headphones and a DAC/amp means that some serious compromises are going to have to be made.

 

There is a TON of undeserved bashing of PC on-board audio in my opinion.  I think this is probably a perpetuation of the fact that many years ago on-board audio was very weak. But enthusiast level gaming motherboards do actually have decent sound chips.  Mainstream digital audio as a format has not changed much since the earliest days, but the audio processing chips certainly have and even the less expensive processors (DAC chips) sound really good compared to what we saw 10-15 years ago.

 

 

I stand by my earlier comment and say go ahead and get that GTX780 and use your on-board audio.  Trust me, those smooth frame rates and high-res textures make a gaming rig one you'll thoroughly enjoy and  later on you can invest in the audio part,


Edited by cswann1 - 1/25/14 at 7:26pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post

There is a TON of undeserved bashing of PC on-board audio in my opinion.  I think this is probably a perpetuation of the fact that many years ago on-board audio was very weak. But enthusiast level gaming motherboards do actually have decent sound chips.  Mainstream digital audio as a format has not changed much since the earliest days, but the audio processing chips certainly have and even the less expensive processors (DAC chips) sound really good compared to what we saw 10-15 years ago.


I stand by my earlier comment and say go ahead and get that GTX780 and use your on-board audio.  Trust me, those smooth frame rates and high-res textures make a gaming rig one you'll thoroughly enjoy and  later on you can invest in the audio part,

Certainly, onboard audio has improved over the last 10-15 years. But not all of it has. The problem is how does one know if the motherboard they are buying implements it well? Super difficult task for someone to figure out who is not well-experienced in building machines. Could be a sound card would be a big increase or just a little increase.

Meanwhile, we do know that the difference between a $350 and $500 video card are often not very significant. I always think that you have to double spending on a video card to get any significant improvement. Get a GeForce GTX 770 for around $350 or so, and you'll get great performance. That would leave enough for upgrading the audio quality as well.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post
 

 I'm of the opinion that when building a gaming PC, if you plan to use any decent resolution (1920x1200 for example) you should invest in a higher end graphics card.

 

Deciding on a $500 budget that includes your gfx card, headphones and a DAC/amp means that some serious compromises are going to have to be made.

 

There is a TON of undeserved bashing of PC on-board audio in my opinion.  I think this is probably a perpetuation of the fact that many years ago on-board audio was very weak. But enthusiast level gaming motherboards do actually have decent sound chips.  Mainstream digital audio as a format has not changed much since the earliest days, but the audio processing chips certainly have and even the less expensive processors (DAC chips) sound really good compared to what we saw 10-15 years ago.

 

 

I stand by my earlier comment and say go ahead and get that GTX780 and use your on-board audio.  Trust me, those smooth frame rates and high-res textures make a gaming rig one you'll thoroughly enjoy and  later on you can invest in the audio part,

 

You are 100% correct. I meant sound card and not video card. In my build I do have the 780. I did have 2, but I decided to upgrade to a 1440p monitor, added more storage to both my SSDs and my storage disk. Figured I could always go back and add the 2nd when I can. 

 

Here's the link to my current build (has the K545s and E18 I purchased a month ago to see my total spend on my christmas gifts to myself haha) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Hzu8. The only thing I have to figure out still is what AC router I am going to get.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by twiz View Post
 

 

You are 100% correct. I meant sound card and not video card. In my build I do have the 780. I did have 2, but I decided to upgrade to a 1440p monitor, added more storage to both my SSDs and my storage disk. Figured I could always go back and add the 2nd when I can. 

 

Here's the link to my current build (has the K545s and E18 I purchased a month ago to see my total spend on my Christmas gifts to myself haha) http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Hzu8. The only thing I have to figure out still is what AC router I am going to get.

Check out the Yamakasi DS270 IPS SE 27" 2560X1440 monitor, only $329

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141014647239?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

Or if you prefer to buy in the USA, check out Monoprice.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Check out the Yamakasi DS270 IPS SE 27" 2560X1440 monitor, only $329

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141014647239?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

Or if you prefer to buy in the USA, check out Monoprice.

 

 

Any reviews on this monitor?

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dc5itr329 View Post
 

Any reviews on this monitor?

http://www.overclock.net/t/1454422/yamakasi-ds270-ah-ips-monitor-2560x1440

 

It looks like Newegg is selling these Korean monitors (Qnix, Yamakasi, Crossover, etc) from their website, the monitor still ships from Korea, but I'm guessing Newegg handles the support.

And you play $50 (or more) markup for buying through Newegg.

post #12 of 20

Those monitors are so tempting and I'm in the market. Can they be good? Sure beats the $600+ for the Dell monitor I've been eyeing for my graphics workstation.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Certainly, onboard audio has improved over the last 10-15 years. But not all of it has. The problem is how does one know if the motherboard they are buying implements it well? Super difficult task for someone to figure out who is not well-experienced in building machines. Could be a sound card would be a big increase or just a little increase.

Meanwhile, we do know that the difference between a $350 and $500 video card are often not very significant. I always think that you have to double spending on a video card to get any significant improvement. Get a GeForce GTX 770 for around $350 or so, and you'll get great performance. That would leave enough for upgrading the audio quality as well.

 

 

The main point I wanted to make is that even the weakest of the latest generation on-board audio processors are acceptable, at least for a temporary solution.  I work with computers, and lots of them as an IT tech, and I've been plugging my Grado, Sennheisers, and UE TF10's into probably several dozen different computers, both laptop and desktop (and mobile for that matter) and I have never thought to myself "OMG this is horrible, I can'st stand to listen to this!"  Matter of fact, they all sound fine to me.  If you're building a gaming PC on a budget you're going to have to make choices. You can choose to build a good gaming PC by spending on things that cannot be substituted for (quality graphics processing doesn't come on-board), or you can choose to make an expensive .mp3 player.

 

I agree that going with the next-to-top-model video card gives the best bang for the buck.  Getting the $400 card or the $500 in the short term is not a great deal of difference performance wise, and hey $100 is not insignificant.  But over the usable life of the PC, the $100 isn't that huge, but that extra performance can mean extending the usable life of the PC as newer and more demanding games come out.

 

 

 

 

EDIT: That monitor is on Amazon right now for $349


Edited by cswann1 - 2/1/14 at 9:48pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AladdinSane View Post
 

Those monitors are so tempting and I'm in the market. Can they be good? Sure beats the $600+ for the Dell monitor I've been eyeing for my graphics workstation.

For the Yamakasi, so far I'm not seeing anyone who has it have anything negative to say about it.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

For the Yamakasi, so far I'm not seeing anyone who has it have anything negative to say about it.

Me either and I've tried. IPS panel is allegedly by LG so no slouch. This is my "real" workstation so trying to get over bias. I can get the Dell U2713HM for $575 with some credits I have. It is supposed to be  a fantastic monitor for my purposes (graphic design, photo/video editing) . Color accuracy and sRGB profiles a big plus.

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