Sound card vs dac/amp for gaming
Jun 10, 2015 at 6:37 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

YT-MrEleven1181

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Looking for people thoughts of what's better for gaming only no music or movies and the only games that I will be playing are competitive first person shooters, so footsteps and sound direction are most important to me.

I already have the schiit vali amp and akg q701 headphones. So my two options are 1 get a sound card or 2 buy the schiit modi2 DAC and use the schiit dac/amp combo through USB only.

So what would be better for my needs ?
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 11:42 AM Post #2 of 7

PurpleAngel

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How about get the Schiit Modi with the optical connection.
At least this way you can use the motherboard's on-board audio features
and in the future if you get an add-on sound card, you can use it's features, with the Modi/Vali combo.
 
I myself prefer Asus Xonar cards and would just get an Xonar DX card, with it's CS4398 DAC chip and plug the Vali into it.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 12:11 PM Post #3 of 7

YT-MrEleven1181

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The UK shop that stocks schiit doesn't have the modi anymore so it would be the modi2 I would need to get. I've also been told USB is better than optical but I've no idea if it's true.

I've been told by different people very different things. Some say stay well away from sound card because there all very poor quality compaired to dac/amp and others have said sound cards are great for gaming.

I was also told if I have a good dac/amp and headphones it will give better positional direction in stereo than a surround sound sound card is this true ?
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 12:33 PM Post #4 of 7

cel4145

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The Xonar DX is a very good DAC. Given that it has Dolby Headphone which can be used for virtual surround, that seems the best strategy for gaming to me, too.
 
Jun 10, 2015 at 7:09 PM Post #6 of 7

PurpleAngel

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The UK shop that stocks Schiit doesn't have the Modi anymore so it would be the modi2 I would need to get. I've also been told USB is better than optical but I've no idea if it's true.

I've been told by different people very different things. Some say stay well away from sound card because there all very poor quality compared to dac/amp and others have said sound cards are great for gaming.

I was also told if I have a good dac/amp and headphones it will give better positional direction in stereo than a surround sound sound card is this true ?

 
Being able to use the sound card features might help with FPS gaming.
and while gaming your not going to be closely analyzing the audio quality, if there is even a noticeable difference.
Also you can have Windows set the S/PDIF optical to bypass the sound card features (in the Playback tab), to get a slightly cleaner digital signal, for while listening to music.
 
Technically you can get better audio quality going with an external DAC/amp, but sound cards are really almost as good, for a given price range.
My $300 external DAC/amp is only slightly better then my $200 sound card.
 
I've heard other say they prefer to use USB over a sound card for FPS gaming.
You might try asking about a gaming setups (DAC/amp/sound card), on these threads.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-5-31-2015-beyer-cop-and-shure-1540-added
http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound
 

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