or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › AH!!! my video card is a MONSTER! where to put my sound card now?!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AH!!! my video card is a MONSTER! where to put my sound card now?!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

hey guys!

 

bronco here with another amateur question.

 

my situation:

 

3 pci-e x1 slots, 2 pci-e 2.0 slots, 2 regular pci slots maybe less

 

i have a 2500k overclocked to 4.5ghz....performs better than most haswell cards and most of the good motherboards for my cpu are long gone unless i buy without a warranty so choosing a different motherboard is out of the question and upgrading from a 2500k is wayyyy out of bounds.

 

my video card: GTX  780 Classified....a monster.

 

it fully covers up 1 pci-e x1 slot and partially covers a second. the one i used to use when i had a gtx 460 is above the card....but the card + the water cooling reservoir right above it means no room. the sound card would be physically touching the video card.....and that ain't happening! 

 

 

SO! last time i checked USB devices were doing quite well for music and movies and were truly making advances somewhat as capable as sound cards.. but not so well for directional audio for gamers.

 

has this changed?? what is my best option now since i dont have room for a pci-e sound card?? get a discontinued regular pci card? usb? faux-surround headphones?

 

i currently have a pair of AD700s so theyd have to be quite nice faux-surround headphones...but i still dont think i'd like them...willing to try though.

 

price range is negotiable....to a point. 

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

i noticed the xonar essence ST is a pci card.....but unlike the stx it doesnt have a headphone amp, correct??

 

or are they exactly the same except the way it connects to the motherboard?

i'll google this one i'm sure its an easy find.

 

 

i pretty much exclusively use headphones since my wife gets pissed if i crank up my speakers. 


Edited by bronco862 - 5/22/14 at 6:56am
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco862 View Post
 

I noticed the Xonar Essence ST is a PCI card.....but unlike the STX it doesn't have a headphone amp, correct??

or are they exactly the same except the way it connects to the motherboard?

I'll Google this one I'm sure its an easy find.

I pretty much exclusively use headphones since my wife gets pissed if i crank up my speakers. 

 

The Essence STX & ST both come with the same headphone amplifier chip (TI 6120A2).

As the ATH-AD700 are only 32-Ohm, might be better to use a headphone amplifier with a low output impedance.

The Schiit Magni external headphone amplifier ($99) has an output impedance of less then 1-Ohm :)

(the STX & ST's is 10-ohms)

Get an Asus Xonar D1 sound card (Used, $60) as it uses the same CMI-8788 audio processor as the ST and is also PCI.

Just plug the Magni into the D1 card.

Also the Magni can be used with more then just computers.

post #4 of 10
Or go external dac + amp and connect to the spdif out of your onboard sound.

This had 2 caveats however, that you have spdif out (most do) and you mostly play modern games and are not interested in things like Dolby headphone.

If you use a soundcard without screening like the dx I had, it can (and did) pick up noise from the gfx card when it's under stress. So if you do go soundcard make sure it's got a screen can
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks for the reply gents! i know NOTHING about ohm impedence....i'll go google it in a minute. i just read somewhere that i can actually plug a pcie x1 into a x8 slot....can anyone confirm if this is safe/wise/acceptable? 

 

 

 

my current card is the x-fi fatal1ty titanium pro pcie version.

 

but it still leaves me wondering if i should upgrade. after you guys mentioned an external dac/amp would be better for my cans. i ran into the fiiO dont know which model SO MANY, and the o2 + odac (pretty!). i would rather not spend 300 dollars on the o2+odac unless it was a noticable difference.

 

i really like the way the modi looks....vain i know. lol. 

 

how come i cannot use dolby headphone if i use an external amp/dac combo? i thought dolby products were capable of being transmitted via optical cable to an external source? or is that just something that my x-fi card can do? 

 

so many options and nowhere to test a single device. 


Edited by bronco862 - 5/22/14 at 12:20pm
post #6 of 10
Would be interested to know the pci answer myself...Would have solved my original issue without having to go the external dac route.

I'm looking at the Beresford Bushmaster dac, it's cheap and very highly regarded and apparently works fine with low impedance cans.

Regarding Dolby headphone, I was assuming you wouldn't be using your soundcard but passing digital straight out through your onboard. If you can use your card then you can use Dolby over spdif, or at least I think you can as I'm not familiar with that card.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

my card is weird. i dont think it can 'dolby' whatever it sends to my cans but if i shoot it out to an external device via optical out then it will do some dolby encoding magic. i thought that was weird since you know....if it can do that why can't it use dolby on the games i'm playing?? hell, my onboard realtek can do that. 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco862 View Post
 

thanks for the reply gents! i know NOTHING about ohm impedence....i'll go google it in a minute. i just read somewhere that i can actually plug a pcie x1 into a x8 slot....can anyone confirm if this is safe/wise/acceptable? 

my current card is the x-fi fatal1ty titanium pro pcie version.

but it still leaves me wondering if i should upgrade. after you guys mentioned an external dac/amp would be better for my cans. i ran into the FiiO dont know which model SO MANY, and the o2 + odac (pretty!). i would rather not spend 300 dollars on the o2+odac unless it was a noticable difference.

i really like the way the Modi looks....vain i know. lol. 

how come i cannot use Dolby Headphone if i use an external amp/dac combo? i thought Dolby products were capable of being transmitted via optical cable to an external source? or is that just something that my x-fi card can do? 

so many options and nowhere to test a single device. 

 

You can plug a X1 PCI-E card into a X1 or X4 or X8 or X16 PCI-E slot.

It's preferred to have the impedance (Ohm) of the headphones to be 8 to 10 times (or more) the impedance of whatever source the headphones are plugged into.

Chances are the Titanium Pro sound card has an output impedance of maybe around 50 to 75-Ohm(?).

And you have been plugging your 32-Ohm AD700s into the Titanium, not prefect, but I guess it worked well enough for you.

Is your Titanium Pro currently plugged into your motherboard?

If your using your Titanium Pro sound card, which comes with CMSS-3D headphone surround sound, I would assume you have no need for Dolby Headphone.

You might just consider replacing the Titanium Pro with a Sound Blaster Z (22-Ohm headphone output jack).

Or get a Schiit Magni amp and plug it into the Titanium Pro.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

yeah....after reading up on ohm impedence i'm curious to see what the difference in soudn quality would be like or if the volume is just going to be five times lower if i were to get the magni.  my god i couldnt get the volume up past 10-15 on anything i listen to lol. i assumed another soundblaster card wouldnt give me improved audio quality....but it would improve my surround experience within games, correct? 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco862 View Post
 

yeah....after reading up on ohm impedance I'm curious to see what the difference in sound quality would be like or if the volume is just going to be five times lower if i were to get the Magni.  my god i couldn't get the volume up past 10-15 on anything i listen to lol. i assumed another Sound Blaster card wouldn't give me improved audio quality....but it would improve my surround experience within games, correct? 

 

The Sound Blaster Z comes with a better DAC chip (CS4398) then the Titanium Pro, so should at least be a small amount of improvement in audio quality.

Technically the Titanium Pro's audio processor (using CMSS-3D software) comes with more built in hardware audio processing features and I'm assuming the newer SoundCore3D audio processor (SBX software) used in the newer card (SB-Z, Zx, ZxR) off loads more audio processing to the main CPU.

But I would assume Creative Labs will be putting more work effort (support) into the newer SoundCore3D with SBX software, then support for the older cards (Titanium).

So far I myself do not see a lot off people regretting at replacing their older Titanium cards with the newer Z series (One would have to "assume" a fair amount of people replaced their older Titanium cards with Z cards).

 

You can always ask on this Creative Labs sound Blaster thread about Titanium Pro vs SB-Z.

http://forums.creative.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › AH!!! my video card is a MONSTER! where to put my sound card now?!