Which sound card do you use?

Discussion in 'polls' started by Firecat, Apr 16, 2005.

?

Which soundcard do you use?

  1. SoundMAX Integrated Audio

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  2. Realtek AC'97 audio codec

    5 vote(s)
    13.2%
  3. NVIDIA SoundStorm

    4 vote(s)
    10.5%
  4. Creative SBLive! 4.1/5.1

    6 vote(s)
    15.8%
  5. Creative SBLive! 24-bit/Audigy

    5 vote(s)
    13.2%
  6. Creative Audigy2

    5 vote(s)
    13.2%
  7. VIA Envy24/VIA Integrated audio

    3 vote(s)
    7.9%
  8. C-Media

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Other (please mention)

    9 vote(s)
    23.7%
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  1. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Another insignifacant poll - I'm really not that good a poller :(

    I thought we could start a thread discussing soundcards. While for many its not that important, for some it could be the wave of life :)

    I've switched soundcards over the years - and I had problems with quite a few of those :(

    1st soundcard - CMedia CMI8738 based
    ----------------------------------------

    This soundcard gave me lots of problems with drivers, and playback of 48Khz files with the latest drivers.

    2nd soundcard - Creative SBLive! 5.1 Digital Entertainment
    --------------------------------------------------------

    This soundcard had a problem with my center speaker - I would get no sound at all from my center speaker! And I had a feeling that the center seaker calls were redirected to the subwoofer for unknown reasons.

    Can any of you help?

    3rd soundcard - Integrated/Onboard SoundMAX AD1980
    -----------------------------------------------------

    I still use this one from time-to-time. It comes very close to the Audigys in terms of Audio clarity. Its been the most trouble free so far, but I ditched it for lack of EAX 3.0 support (it only supports up to EAX 2.0, like the previous two soundcards)

    4th soundcard - Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit
    -----------------------------------------

    This one provides clarity less than the AD1980 in some cases and better in some other cases. AD1980 is just as good as SBLive! 24-bit for audio clarity. However, SBLive! 24-bit supports EAX 3.0 and its powered by the same processor as used on the Creative Audigy LS. Currently being used.

    Now, my speakers did not take properly to the Creative soundcards.

    As you see above, SBLive! 5.1 had a center speaker problem. This bug still exists for the SBLive! 24-bit, but the catch is - The center speaker is working, only that the volume of the center speaker is low compared to the other speakers in my 5.1 speakers.

    In SBLive! 5.1 my center speaker would not work at all.

    But the center speaker works well with the AD1980 and the CMedia. What am I doing wrong here? I checked the connectors and everything is fine.

    OK then, lets get on with the poll!
     
  2. abhi_mittal

    abhi_mittal Registered Member

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    Creative sound cards work phenomenonally well with Creative Speakers.
     
  3. Sweetie(*)(*)

    Sweetie(*)(*) Registered Member

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    Hi, i use SoundMAX onboard, started having problems with it recently though, so i'd be interested to see some opinions on different cards.

    Im looking for a good internal card to run my 5.1 setup, but i may hold off for a little bit, thinking of getting a PC Express system, selling this one while its still worth somthing.
     
  4. Infinity

    Infinity Registered Member

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    I am using azalia 7.1 onboard...on of those latest creations of the 775 socket.
    it's not a bad sound and to be honest this is one of those area's where I cut the corners on my pc. I prefer a better cpu or gpu then a nice sound and less speed :)
     
  5. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    AGP has a few days to go yet - the current PCI-E motherboards I saw, I didnt like because I need at least four PCI-E slots, and I find only three or four in most of them. The Intel platform may be different, but for AMD, PCI-E still needs to mature.

    The SoundMAX has quality almost as good as the Audigys - Infact its one of the best onboard sound chips I've ever seen. What problems did you have?

    Regards,
    Firecat :D
     
  6. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Can you explain this in detail? Why dont they work well on non-Creative speakers? o_O
     
  7. jvillas

    jvillas Registered Member

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    Hi, I just installed an EMU- 0404 soundcard on my computor athlonxp, windows xp sp2,1g ram. Cost$100 US. Good sound is important to me. Current speakers I use are the Klipsch2.1's. There does seem to be another soundcard that is getting alot of recognition for it's extremely good sound and value,($29.00), that is the Chaintech AV710 7.1channel.
     
  8. Sweetie(*)(*)

    Sweetie(*)(*) Registered Member

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    I've only started having problems recently, losing sound quality.
    after investigating the software configurations/settings etc, im convinced the problem is hardware related, previously it worked flawlessly giving excellent sound through my 5.1 set up.

    It's surprising to me because the motherboard (Asus P4P800-D) is only 2yrs old. It's still under warranty but im not going to bother with a claim, i can't afford the downtime.

    I have been very happy with the quality of the SoundMAX chip but the software could be alot better.
     
  9. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    The one thing I noticed was that SoundMAX had lots of problems with various Asus' Pentium 4 motherboards.

    This is usually because Asus chooses to place the sound chip right between the PCI slots, and while installing any PCI or AGP card, it sometimes scratches the surface of the SoundMAX chip.

    And moreover, with graphics cards like the X800 and a CPU like Intel 3.x GHz which heat a lot, along with the long path from the sound chip to the South Bridge, the disspated heat from the components sometimes end up touching the SoundMAX chip.

    Asus' AMD motherboards with SoundMAX dont have many bugs, with they really screwed up SoundMAX with many Intel boards.

    If you are looking for a good soundcard, I'd recommend you buy a Gainward Hollywood at Home 7.1, which has excellent audio quality and a very cheap price. Or you can go for the SBLive! 24-bit which is also quite cheap.

    Both soundcards are 7.1, 24-bit anyway ;)
     
  10. Sweetie(*)(*)

    Sweetie(*)(*) Registered Member

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    Thanks for that, ill have a look at those cards.
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Well, I'll recommend the SBLive! 24-bit if you have an analog speaker system. The Hollywood at Home is somewhat crippled at the analog output.
     
  12. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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  13. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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  14. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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  15. LIW

    LIW Registered Member

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    i am using audigy2 nx.... lousy card
     
  16. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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    I had it for 3 Years and it's great!!
     
  17. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    How is it compared to SBLive and other cards in your opinion?
     
  18. iwod

    iwod Registered Member

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    Actually i am on Realtek HD audio.... which is a whole lot dofferent to AC 97.
     
  19. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Are there any 24-bit onboard sound chips yet? I heard it is there, but I dont see many mobos which use such audio.....except a few which manage to put in VIA's Envy24.
     
  20. iwod

    iwod Registered Member

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    MSi has a Nforce 4 broad with a creative Live 24 Bit audio chip.
    Or uses the old Soundstorm which is equally good.

    the newest ALC 882M realtek HD Audio even have Dobly Master Audio Cert!. And it is avalible on the coming gigabyte Royal MB.
     
  21. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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    I tried SBlive and I could not tell the Differance My Speakers make the system Altec Lansing THX Cerified 3 front 2 rear and a Subwoofer weighs about 80 LBS and it sounds great!! HTH :D
     
  22. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Due to myself being unable to get the center speaker working on the SBLive!, I switched back to the SoundMax. Total Bliss! VERY nice sound.

    Anyone else tried soundmax? I myself find it hard to believe that an integrated onboard soultion (i.e. SoundMax) is just as good as the Audigys, and better than most others in the market!

    But its true! Believe me on this!
     
  23. Triple Helix

    Triple Helix Webroot Product Advisor

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    Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is great also the sound is above all!!:D

    But it is true!!:D :D :D :D

    http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/soundcards/santacruz/specs.asp
     
  24. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    Yes I agree with you there - The SBLive! 24-bit has a good treble, but thats its only strong point as far as quality is concerned.

    The Santa Cruz has been a great performer. And the SoundMAX too.

    Remember, we've got reviews to prove them both! :D
     
  25. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

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    i currently use the realtek ac'97 codec, however, i do plan to upgrade to an audigy 2 zs when i get the money.
     
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