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Windows 7: I Need Help Choosing a New Sound Card


07 Jan 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 
I Need Help Choosing a New Sound Card

Hi,

I am listening to most of my music on my computer these days. I'm using lossless files and have been wanting to buy a new set of headphones for ages. However I think this money may be better spent on a new sound card as I'm currently using the built-in card that came with my motherboard. I know my PC may not be the best computer in the world but would installing a sound card give me better sound quality?

I have a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Intel X58 Socket 1366 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard. I know it's quite a basic motherboard but don't feel the need to upgrade it yet link here.

I'm not sure what information you need so I'm just going to list some things. I have a Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 case, Intel Core i7 950 3.06GHz CPU and a XFX HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI DP Out PCI-E graphics card.

Could you please recommend a compatible sound card for me? I listen to a lot of music so sound is really important and I'd want the best possible sound from my PC. I don't really have a budget but ideally like something in the range £200 or under would be great.

I'd really appreciate any suggestions as to what sound card to buy. Also if possible a link to a stockist in the UK, although this isn't crucial.

Finally is it hard to install a sound card? A friend put my machine together for me and I don't really want to bother him if I could slip it in myself without too much difficulty.

Thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

All depends how much money you willing to spend. I personally have owned an Asus Xonar Essence STX ( about 140 £ ) along with Sennheiser HD 650 (270£). You can get some less expensive headphones like Grado SR 80i. (100£) However if you decide to go for Asus Xonar ( STX or ST ) or other descent sound card you just cannot be buying cheap headphones.
Hope it helps
Overclockers UK
Richer Sounds - The UK's Hi-Fi, Home Cinema & Flat Panel TV Specialists!
Superfi Online - UK's best supplier of hifi equipment including separates, systems and accessories. Purchase Home Cinema Equipment, DVD players, minidiscs, amplifiers, cassette decks, CD players, Digital recorders, personal stereos, speakers, turntab
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 -- PCLinuxOS KDE4 FullMonty 2011
 
 

Are you really going to hear much difference in the sound? Especially if you are going to be using headphones.

Nothing wrong with onboard sound these days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 

Yeah. Xonar Essence has got a headphone amplifier built in. Combined with descent headphones sound quality is just amazing. Really nice experience having a listen with this setup. And on top of that is not extremely expensive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #5

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
unless you want special sound effects for games most computer sound cards are MORE than fit for purpose these days when listening to music.

IMO your money would be BETTER spent on a decent set of cans -- say Sennheiser or Bose. Bose are expensive but they work fine.

Or :

Actually talking of Bose for around 85 GBP you can buy the absolutely EXCELLENT Bose 2 companion set of small PC speakers -- just plug the audio out of the computer into these -- these beat almost anything until you start getting into the 2 or 300 GBP range.

Companion 2 multimedia speaker system | Bose

Although it says 99 GBP here you can find these a lot cheaper.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Thanks to everyone for your replies. I do play games as well so I think I'll look into some of those soundcards mentioned as well as the speakers. I can't make up my mind on the headphones yet but will get something I like eventually.

Thanks again.

Grace. x
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Just picked up the X-Fi Tianium HD (the HD part is important) and its really good. Supposedly built for Windows 7, and as far as Im aware, thats the only drivers it even has.

Much better than the old X-Fi.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 I Need Help Choosing a New Sound Card




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