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Best Gaming Sound Card Under $100

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello Head-if users,
I am in the market for a sound card for my gaming PC. I recently noticed in games that when I hear sounds, I can barely tell where they're coming from. I can tell if they're coming from the right or left, but the area it comes from is vague. So I was wondering what would be the best sound card for gaming and listening to music under $100. I am using KRK KNS 6400 headphones. So I am using audiophile headphones, not crap gaming head phones. Also if you think I will not get much improvement past a certain price range please say so, or if a sound card isn't even going to make a difference, please say so! My current setup is:
-Asus Sabertooth 990fx on board audio
-KRK KNS 6400 headphones

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
I have no idea how good your onboard audio is.,

Soundblaster Z is currently $85. Try it, and if you don't think it's better, ship it back.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I have no idea how good your onboard audio is.,

Soundblaster Z is currently $85. Try it, and if you don't think it's better, ship it back.

Is there a reason you suggested that rather than a 7.1 card? Also how good is the microphone that comes with that?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I have no idea how good your onboard audio is.,

Soundblaster Z is currently $85. Try it, and if you don't think it's better, ship it back.

Also will I notice much difference between this and (for example) Asus Xonar DS?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyingpie View Post

Is there a reason you suggested that rather than a 7.1 card?

Why do you need a 7.1 card? Do you have a 7.1 speakers set?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Why do you need a 7.1 card? Do you have a 7.1 speakers set?

No, is it worth it to get one with the capability of 7.1 if I ever get a set of speakers capable of using 7.1? Actually on second thought, I will most likely never go past 5.1 speakers.
post #7 of 12
Movies don't even have 7.1 soundtracks--only 5.1 (not sure about games). So the extra two channels of sound are a digital processing effect. If 7.1 isn't set up well, it's often no better than 5.1. So in many instances, it's better just to spend the money on 7.1 speakers on better 5.1 speakers smily_headphones1.gif
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyingpie View Post

Also will I notice much difference between this and (for example) Asus Xonar DS?

 

Asus Xonar DS is a decent card for the price, but I'm fairly sure it's front speaker/headphone jack is more like a line-output (with high impedance) that also pretends to be a headphone output.

Where as the SB-Z comes with a dedicated headphone output that should drive any headphone better then the Xonar DS can.

I'm fairly sure the SB-Z's DAC chip (CS4398) is better then the Xonar DS (WM8766) DAC chip.

post #9 of 12

You can't go wrong with either Creative or Asus for gaming.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I have no idea how good your onboard audio is.,

Soundblaster Z is currently $85. Try it, and if you don't think it's better, ship it back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

You can't go wrong with either Creative or Asus for gaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Asus Xonar DS is a decent card for the price, but I'm fairly sure it's front speaker/headphone jack is more like a line-output (with high impedance) that also pretends to be a headphone output.
Where as the SB-Z comes with a dedicated headphone output that should drive any headphone better then the Xonar DS can.
I'm fairly sure the SB-Z's DAC chip (CS4398) is better then the Xonar DS (WM8766) DAC chip.

Thanks everyone for the help! I think, after reading about it for a couple days, that I am going to go with the Creative Sound Blaster Z. But one other thing. I watched a youtube video made by this well known tech guy, and he made a 20 minute video on audio myths, and the main one was that sound cards make absolutely no difference in sound. He said its just a placebo affect. Anyone agree/disagree with this, and why? Is it even worth it to get a sound card?
Heres the video:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d1rXcJuEsy0
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyingpie View Post

Thanks everyone for the help! I think, after reading about it for a couple days, that I am going to go with the Creative Sound Blaster Z. But one other thing. I watched a youtube video made by this well known tech guy, and he made a 20 minute video on audio myths, and the main one was that sound cards make absolutely no difference in sound. He said its just a placebo affect. Anyone agree/disagree with this, and why? Is it even worth it to get a sound card?
Heres the video:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d1rXcJuEsy0

 

Tek Syndicate's video is not really considered an "informative" video by Head-fiers, Head-Fiers do not understand where Tek's "logic" comes from.

I doubt your going to find any other websites that agree with Tek Syndicate's "Logic".

I rarely see any posts where someone thought their on-board audio was better or even equal to their $100 sound card.

Motherboard's in the $250 (or more) range are coming with some great audio, these $250 motherboards come with the same DAC chip (CS4398) that is on the $85 SB-Z sound card.

$150 motherboards are coming with fairly "decent" on-board audio.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 3/25/14 at 2:00pm
post #12 of 12

Asus Xonar D1 or DX.  I currently have the D1 and it is much better than onboard audio, and it is made with all solid caps.  I also had the DG and it was better than onboard audio, but it died after about a year.  The D1 and DX are made with all solid caps while the DG and DS aren't, so I think they should be much more durable.

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