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Windows 7: PCI vs PCI-E for sound card bus.

26 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 ultimate x64
PCI vs PCI-E for sound card bus.

Hi soundphiles!
looking to add a dedicated soundcard to my rig. last was an audigy 2 gold edition pci, now I'm thinking about a PCI-E Xi-fi or something, but apart from extra bandwidth on PCI-E what other advantages are there over a cheaper PCI?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Sep 2012   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

Nothing. In most cases you won't really need PCI-E for most a 1X slot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 ultimate x64

my mother board is very basic and the on board is pretty rotten, so defiantly going for the dedicated sound card, just wondering what to go for and if PCI-E offers anything worth the extra price really
My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Sep 2012   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

Many of the newer sound cards are PCIe as PCIe is replacing PCI as the expansion "standard". Many new motherboards no longer have PCI slots or the ones that do use a "bridge" to get PCI which means it isn't really PCI and some PCI cards will not work (also many new PC's do not have PCI slots).

To "future proof" (e.g. if you want to use the sound card in a new PC sometime) go for the PCIe if you have a PCIe slot in your PC.

I have a new PC, that was built for my recording studio. I use the built in RealTek for "PC sound" (but not recording) and its OK. I too have a Gigabyte motherboard (Z77X UD5H) and Gigabyte provided a software enhancement to the RealTek - Creative Audigy Advanced MotherBoard which provides many of the extras that Creative supplies with a SoundBlaster sound card. I can't hear any difference between this combination and the SoundBlaster Xfi I once had in the old PC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

As firebird stated above, PCIe is the choice for future proofing as PCI slots are on the way out.

As for the advantages of PCIe over PCI, there is no advantage either way as both have more bandwidth than you would ever need.

In regards to choice of a dedicated soundcard, I would recommend either the ASUS Xonar DX or the more expensive

ASUS Xonar Essence STX (PCIe) or the ASUS Xonar Essence ST (PCI).

Unless you are an Audiophile with an awesome Amplifier \ Speaker \ Headphone setup I would stick with the cheaper Xonar DX.

Please refer to the ASUS website as both the Xonar Essence ST and STX soundcards support different hardware configurations.

Below is a link to an excellent review of both the ASUS Xonar Essence ST and STX.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 PCI vs PCI-E for sound card bus.

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