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Pink Poney
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727 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I turned on my pc today, opened up my media player and started some music, and was greeted by a loud hissing from the front left speaker in my stereo setup. Firstly, the speakers are 2.1, so they hook into a subwoofer, then the sub goes to the sound card. I first tried testing to see if it was the speakers by switching the inputs on the subwoofer. The hissing came out of whatever speaker was plugged into the front left input. Now comes the funny part....

I deduced that my sub must be the source of the problem, so i opened it up, and cut some wires to get a better look at the circuit board. I ended up putting it aside to fetch some other speakers so I could listen to something...when those speakers were hooked up, the hissing problem prevailed. So basically, I ruined my subwoofer for nothing, because it's the sound card that died. I don't know yet if I want to buy a new one...
 

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No sir, I don't like it.
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5,506 Posts
Overrated? I wouldn't say that...

If you have a good set of speakers, the difference in audio output between onboard sound and say, an X-Fi or Xonar is very noticeable even if you aren't an audiophile.
 

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Opensource-spice
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1,503 Posts
Overrated? I wouldn't say that...

If you have a good set of speakers, the difference in audio output between onboard sound and say, an X-Fi or Xonar is very noticeable even if you aren't an audiophile.
The price doesn't make the performance. Sound cards have really nothing to do with how a game performs and operates. I wouldn't pay $60 for something just to have my ears kissed ever so slightly more.
 

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The one and only
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3,658 Posts
it really does make a difference to me. I first noticed a huge difference playing COD4 with my xfi xtreme gamer and creative 2.1 speakers. I actually felt in the game for once, and i could feel adrenaline pumping through me. it was pretty intense lol. 24 inch monitor helps too haha
 

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Pink Poney
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727 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Guess we'll see what happens with money. Granted, I don't have a >$100 set of speakers, but I think they are nice enough to deserve a sound card at least. Guess I'll have to get them working again lol, then I'll see what onboard audio sounds like...
 

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Pink Poney
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727 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Okay what the hell, I tried hooking my speakers into the soundcard today for more troubleshooting, and the hissing had gone away. Hopefully it stays that way, or is as easily resolved next time it happens.:lol:
 

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You don't. Soundcards are the most overrated pieces of hardware in existence.
Creative made people believe this with their crappy hardware and worse drivers.

Onboard audio isn't bad by any means, but it can't hold a candle to a good audio card. I'm NOT an audiophile in any way, shape, or form, but I can easily detect a sound quality difference with my Asus Xonar card. I've now tried, twice, to go back to onboard audio for a couple of reasons (ie. room in my case) but both times I've been disappointed in the audio quality of onboard audio after using something so obviously better and had to put my xonar back in.

Mr.Pink....Asus Xonar DX PCI-E. You won't regret it.
 

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The Hunter
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15,879 Posts
Amen, Spyhop. Granted I haven't had the luxury to listen to a Xonar, but it'd be my first pick. Creative is just too crappy with its support, but my X-fi indeeds gives a great boost in audio quality over my onboard RealTek chip. It sounds much more clear and vibrant, you don't need great speakers to hear the difference. Of course, I have it hooked up to my stereo set, so I notice the difference easily :)
 

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the last decent creative card was the SB Audigy 2, anything newer is a waste of cash.
 

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The one and only
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yeah wish i knew that when i bought mine. at least they came out with windows 7 beta drivers already, which work pretty well.
 

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The Hunter
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the last decent creative card was the SB Audigy 2, anything newer is a waste of cash.
You're not the only one to say that. To be honest, I'm not unhappy with my Xfi, but the biggest problem is the crackling caused by electricity spikes. My onboard soundchip either doesn't notice these, or it doesn't have the clarity to throw them through to my speakers.

I know it lacks some crucial features, but those I don't use anyway, hooking up the thing through standard jacks. I heard good things about Auzentech though, but those come at a price. I just hope that Asus has managed to break the monopoly a bit.
 

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I have an old Soundblaster Live! that just collects dust, I notice no difference between it and the onboard sound.
 

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You're deaf then Dastinger, the quality between RT and a Creative card is easily destinguished in Bass and Treble ( RT is always too metallic, and lacks support for Occlusion and Obstruction for 3D Audio)

You're not the only one to say that. To be honest, I'm not unhappy with my Xfi, but the biggest problem is the crackling caused by electricity spikes. My onboard soundchip either doesn't notice these, or it doesn't have the clarity to throw them through to my speakers.

I know it lacks some crucial features, but those I don't use anyway, hooking up the thing through standard jacks. I heard good things about Auzentech though, but those come at a price. I just hope that Asus has managed to break the monopoly a bit.
Amazingly, the PCI-E XFi's have worse problems then the PCI versions.

Creative has always sucked hard, at supporting the PCI specs properly.
 

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Premium Member
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All creative cards based on the emu10k or the emu20k chips outperform every AC97 based solution in terms of both speed and sound quality (yes, H/W accelerated audio makes a difference).
Only things worse on creative cards are the crappy drivers and the lack of features on older models compared to newer integrated solutions.

Of course there are some other sound cards out there that get the job done, are quite cheap and outperform creative cards of the same price range. Not to mention some very specific integrated solutions, like some mobos that came with integrated emu10k chips or the awesome (for its time) SoundStorm.
 

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The Hunter
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Is Auzentech not still using the creative chipset? If so, what's the point?
They put in features that Creative lacks, use much higher quality components that are even moddable, and have better connectors, at least from what I've read. The X-fi chip isn't bad per definition I think, never had this clear sound. It obviously isn't professional stuff either, but for the home consumer and gamer it's definitely a nice thing. But like PsyMan said, it's the drivers where problems begin.
 

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Actually, on the XFi, its the build quality that is the big issue, Take a look at the capacitors sometime, alot of them are known to be problematic, not to mention, they've used electrical caps across the entire board rather then mixing audio and electical capacitors.

Creative should've used SSC's on a card as expensive as the XFi, the fact they didn't.... heh... well when a full recap can fix the crackling on them,.. it goes to say they should stop cutting corners.
 

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If you have a good set of speakers, the difference in audio output between onboard sound and say, an X-Fi or Xonar is very noticeable even if you aren't an audiophile.
If you have a good set of speakers, chances are you also have a decent amplifier, which is much more important than a shiny x-fi crystalizer.

the last decent creative card was the SB Audigy 2, anything newer is a waste of cash.
Audigy 2 was only good with the kxproject drivers, which automatically ruled out EAX. And if you rule out Eax, you are better off buying e-mu or anything using an envy chipset (terratec, m-audio, etc).

For the Live series, a3d owned them so hard that that Creative could do nothing but sue them out of existance. Also, there was Soundstorm, which again was awesome.

Last good Creative card was the AWE64, and even that wasn't flawless (iirc it provided adlib compatibility via emulation, which had its flaws).

You're deaf then Dastinger, the quality between RT and a Creative card is easily destinguished in Bass and Treble ( RT is always too metallic, and lacks support for Occlusion and Obstruction for 3D Audio)
3d audio is a buzzword (do you know what the advanced 3d positioning in eax do? It applies a bunch of midi-based reverb and echo effects to pcm sound), and all the differences with the percieved sound quality come from bad drivers are bad software setup. I've had the SB Live sound like a powerhouse with the proper setup, and it was the worst, buggiest card Creative ever shat out.

All creative cards based on the emu10k or the emu20k chips outperform every AC97 based solution in terms of both speed and sound quality
All creative cards based on emu10k/20k underperform any audio solution that can drive 44.1khz natively.

AC97 was superseded by Intel HD, nearly 5 years ago. Which is the main reason why you don't need a soundcard anymore, unless you are a composer who needs that 0ms asio output and sixty different plugs on a front panel - in which case, you can find cards much better then what Creative offers.

Besides, once you have bit perfect output, you can't improve sound quality any more - and you can get bitperfect output on late generation ac97 anyway. Not to mention Intel HD.

Soundcards are dead animals by today, that should be by all rights extinct.
 

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SBLive was only buggy on Via chipsets, Alot of finger pointing went on there, but the cause was in the Via chipset, and not the Sound card, even without the SB Live, the KT133(a) had data corruption, SBLives just caused it to have more issues.

I'd take the build quality of an SBLive over a XFi any day.
 
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