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Windows 7: Sound Card upgrade?

24 Feb 2012   #11
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

The X-Fi Titanium Hd is a very card.

When I was shopping around for a new card a couple months back, I went through many reviews deciding which one I wanted. And they all seemed to have this common conclusion:

-The X-Fi Titanium HD (the HD part is important) was a huge improvement from the older X-Fi cards, and considered Audiophile grade.

-In music only, it performed very well, but the Xonar was slightly ahead of it in this area.
-In Gaming, the X-Fi was the better card.

So I think it depends on what your looking for as to which one to choose. But both are very good cards.


I chose the X-Fi it because I do alot of gaming, and switching to the X-Fi chip for gaming makes a huge difference in games to my ears.
And although the Xonar performed a bit better in music, the X-Fi is still no slouch. So it was a good comprimise between both areas.



As bonkn said, they are often geared more toward a digital reciever. My X-Fi has 2 RCA ports for a digital reciever (or can be converted to 3.5mm for stereo speaker) and a headphone jack.
That is somewhat of a downside, but I think some newer models out now may have support for analog 5.1.

One other downside to the X-Fi (or at least 1 thing people seem to complaina bout alot) is that it was built for Win7, and only works for Win7. The drivers will not install on any older OS. I don't find this a downside, but many do for some reason.


On mine, once you plug in headphones, it disables those RCA ports.
I use 2.1 Klipsch Pro Media Speakers, but mostly my Sennheiser Headphones, so this card suits my needs perfectly.



Also, the main reason I suggested going with a x1 is because PCI is a older technology. If you plan on keeping the card for a while, it may be the best bet. My motherboad for example doesn't have any PCI slots. Only 2 x16, 1 x8, and 3x1 slots.
Others may soon start following the same idea.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Feb 2012   #12
Vaseer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

In 3-4 years, current cards will get obsolete, and PCI slots are still built in new motherboards. It really depends on the model you choose. There are some that don't have nor pci-e x1 nor pci, the just have PCI-E x16. As mentioned, it depends on the model one chooses.
IMO you'll get the same gamin experience with a xonar D1 or DX as with the creative if paired with proper 5.1 speakers. Dunno about headphones, as i don't have a proper pair. Bottom line, it's up to you and your own preference. IMO the xonar is better in my case, and with the config i have. Excellent linux driver support, and perfect positioning in games even though it's just a xonar DS. If you are uncertain, watch some reviews on the cards, and choose the one that has more chances of getting new drivers in the future(with new os for example win8). If you want recording though, stay away from the Xonar DS. It will do for beginners with an instrument, but if you want something more serious, try something like a D2 or Auzentech.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #13
metalmania31

Windows 7 Pro 64bit build 7601 SP1
 
 

I do a great deal of both music and gaming. And only recently started really playing MP FPS and the surround really makes a difference in hearing an enemy creep behind you or around a corner. But I listen to quite a bit of music too. I don't know, but thanks for the input. I'm still on the fence of which to get. I'm in no hurry though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Feb 2012   #14
Vaseer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Considering that EAX was broken by 7 and vista, xonar software does include a GX function. It reenables eax support and all. My personal preference would be the xonar. I am sure though that either one will work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #15
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Vaseer View Post
Considering that EAX was broken by 7 and vista, xonar software does include a GX function. It reenables eax support and all. My personal preference would be the xonar.
Only broken for games that used EAX in conjunction with DirectSound3D, and still works with games that used EAX with OpenAL. Also Creative came out with Alchemy for those DS3D based games and is used as a wrapper and translates the DS3D audio to OpenAL, and restoring full hardware acceleration for those games that use it. It is also a much better solution than what Asus came out with as it full supports up to EAX 4, whereas GX only supports up to EAX 3 and fakes it for EAX 5 (pure software solution, and doesn't work properly).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2012   #16
Vaseer

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

True enough, but in configuration with the hardware i have right now, the xonar gave the best performance and quality for me. Then again, i don't game every famous recent title out, so might be off on the gaming end. I do vouch for the music quality and video.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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