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Windows 7: Choosing A New Sound Card

31 May 2010   #1

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Choosing A New Sound Card

It appears that my sound card has croaked on my primary rig, and I'm looking for another. Recalling past discussions along these lines, it seems that there are three choices for me...the Creative Labs SB X-FI Titanium Fatal1ty, Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 PCIe or something in the Auzentech line. I say "something" simply because I haven't looked at them too closely yet. The reason for this is because I understand that they use a Creative chipset, which I assume would need a Creative driver, which is the primary reason that I'm considering anything other than Creative in the first place (I resent them deliberately attempting to obsolete older cards).

I still like the Creative card that I listed, because it does have a drive bay unit, but it appears so simplistic, that I'm not sure that it would be worthwhile to me.

Where my problem is, is that there are so many facets to consider while comparing these cards, that I get confused easily and I'm hoping that someone will be able to simplify the subject. What should I look for to decide?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
 
 

Speaking from experience I can tell you the Asus Xonar dx is a fantastic card. Prior to owning the dx I bought a creative card and loathed the drivers for it so sold it straight away where I then purchased this dx.

Most of the reviews I've read claim it to be far better value for money than the d2x and in some instances actually has better sound quality. It also caters for all occasions ie game/movie/music and the gui imo is much better looking and easier to manipulate than creatives offerings.

Every one has differing views as I'm sure your aware but the dx really is a sweet card for the price.

My 2 cents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #3

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Your post is worth more than 2 cents, and I'm leaning toward the Asus card. The only thing that I don't like is that it doesn't have a front drive bay unit...and the fact that I have never owned anything except Creative previously. However, as I said above, the Creative bay is so simplistic, that I don't think that it is much of a factor. It has far less I/Os on it than my Audigy 2 ZS Platinum.

Both cards claimed a superior sound quality for online gaming, but the Asus also mentioned VoIP, which is more important to me than gaming.

Would either card be better with my old analog 5.1 speakers?

EDIT: I imagine that it is okay, but when looking at the specs, I found this:

Quote:
Operation System: Windows Vista/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005
Since it doesn't mention Windows 7 x64, is there anything special that I need to know to make it work properly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 May 2010   #4

windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I do recommend staying away from Creative as their drivers and their support are awful. My last Soundblaster card is just sitting in my closet. I think they've been the market leader for so long that they just forgot about customer service.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

I'd suggest using a soundcard based on a chipset that was new in January 2008 or later (after Vista's first anniversary).

Unfortunately, I know of no such card. Does anyone have any suggestions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #6

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
I'd suggest using a soundcard based on a chipset that was new in January 2008 or later (after Vista's first anniversary).

Unfortunately, I know of no such card. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I have no idea of the DOB of the chipsets of any of the cards, but the Asus Xonar D2X claims that it is compatible with Vista, and it does have a specific driver for Windows 7. However, if there is a better card available, I'm all ears.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 May 2010   #7

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I decided to switch to onboard sound, until I get a new card, but so far I'm not having any luck. I have never used the onboard sound before, so as far as I know, it doesn't work.

I enabled it in the BIOS and in the Device Manager. the DM says that it is working properly and the Volume Control Mixer does indicate that there is output, but nothing out of the speakers, except the BIOS beep at startup.

I have uninstalled everything from the Creative installation, so unless someone can cue me on something that I have missed, I guess that this rig is mute for the time being...any ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
 
 

The dx runs straight out of the box with win 7 x64, Asus always do a good job with drivers and this is no exception.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #9

Win7 (7600) Home Prem 64 bit
 
 

My D2X works fine with Windows 7 64bit. Had a few hiccups when I updated drivers but all working ok now.
Sound quality is pretty good but onboard GeneralMidi sounds aren't great, so if you plan to play midi files thru it, you might be disappointed.
There's no Soundfont support to improve GM set (even tho I'm sure I saw SF mentioned in the specs).
However, it does include a midi daughter card, with I/O on a backplate for interfacing with external kit.
Works fine with DAW progs like Reason etc.
EAX isn't licensed, and Asus solution is an 'interpretation' of EAX instructions. I heard there can be game compatability issues, although I havent experienced any problems myself.
Note:- D2X card requires a floppy drive power connector, so if you have a floppy drive, make sure you have a spare power plug.
Main deciding factor when choosing this card was superior sound quality and bang-per-buck.
Reason for not even considering Creative products:- first-hand experience of Creative's crippled drivers (Audigy2 ZS Notebook - yaay for Daniel K).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

The Asus Xonar will probably be my next purchase unless Creative buck their ideas up. Tired of the occasional crackles of sound.

The auzentech is simply a creative card made by someone else.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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