Help With Picking Sound Card

CP-PC

Novice Member
Hi all (bare with me its a long post as im trying to give as much detail as possible) im planning to build a new pc with this config:

Samsung Series 5 True HD 32" LCD TV £638.01
OCZ 2GB DDR3 1800Mhz Dual Channel Kit (running at 1600Mhz) £138.64 Each Ill Be Geting 2 of these for 4GB total)
Asus P5E3 Premium Intel X48 Socket 775 Motherboard £258.49
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00Ghz 1333Mhz FSB (overclocked to 3.6Ghz 1600Mhz FSB) £134.61
WD RE2 160GB SATA2 16MB Hard Drive £39.94 Each (ill be getting 4 of these and running them in raid 0)
HIS ATI HD 3870XT 512MB GDDR4 OC'd £135.11 Each (ill be getting 2 of these and running them in crossfire)
LG GGC H20L BLu-Ray & HD-DVD SATA Drive £85.76
LG GH20NS10 DVD-RW SATA Drive £16.44
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU £105.74 Each (ill be getting 2 of these to run a dual PSU system.
Adaptec 3405 4-Port SATA PCI-Express 4X 128MB Raid Card £206.87

ill be running all of this in a Lian Li PC343B Cube Case (£250.22 with all extra's that ill need)

My hard drives will be mounted in Silverstone CFP51 hard drive cages

and for cooling ill be using 8 Scythe S-FLEX 800RPM 120mm fans. all of the fans, hard drives and power supplies will be mounted using rubber grommets and sound vibration dampening as silence will be of the upmost importance. (hence the 2 PSU's each psu will only be under about 50% load meaning they will run cooler and also quieter)

right now down to my question....... im looking for a good sound card for this system. i will be playing games aswell as using this pc for viewing of dvd's media files and lots of music. I will be using the sound card in 4 channel mode (running the FR&FL to my external mixer channel 2 and running RR&RL to mixer channel 3) my mixer is a Reloop RMX-30 BPM Blackfire Edition, i just run the computer in standard 4 channel mode and my dj software sorts out which deck gets output on which channel. i will be using the REC output of my mixer and plug it into the LINE IN on the pc so i can record mixes and stream audio via the net.


just to give you and idea i currently have a Sherwood Newcastle R-525 AVR. and due to space limitations i am only running in 2 channel mode and the speakers i am using are some very old Dynatron's (i love the sound of these speakers) and also my Reloop RMX-30 BPM mixer.
im willing to spend up to £200 on a sound card. i currently have my onboard sound and i also have a sound blaster audigy 2 ZS which has served me well.

at the moment i am currently considering the following:
Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 Sound Card - Retail
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1 Sound Card - Retail
Razer IAS Barracuda AC-1 Gaming 7.1 Sound Card + Barracuda HP-1 Gaming Headset - Bundle

i was also looking at this Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Professional Series 7.1 Sound Card - Retail but have been told the Fatal1ty/Pro marked sound cards are not worth it.
have any of you used these cards? do you know of any other good sound cards or am i better off to just stick with my Audigy 2 ZS?

just to throw a spanner in the works i am also going to be at sometime in the future getting a monitor audio bronze series surround system, and will be setting up my old pc specificaly for my music leaving this pc build running 5.1 or 7.1 for dvd's and gaming. so the sound card needs to be able to run not only 4 channel mode but also up to 5.1/7.1 in the future
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
oh just a quick note ill be running windows vista ultimate (32bit) i have seen that there are a large ammount of sound cards that have driver problems under vista.
 

Curly99

Distinguished Member
This is off topic as it's not answering your question, but looking at your suggested spec's I will point out that using a 32bit OS will not utilise the 4gb of ram you propose buying, you will need a 64bit Os for this.

Curly
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
This is off topic as it's not answering your question, but looking at your suggested spec's I will point out that using a 32bit OS will not utilise the 4gb of ram you propose buying, you will need a 64bit Os for this.

Curly

yeah i know it will only use 3.5GB max some people are reporting vista only seeing 3GB. 3 or even 3.5GB is still an improvement over 2GB even in a 32bit environment... how ever i am looking to go 64bit vista ultimate but im reluctant to as i have herd that the 32bit compatability mode can be iffy with some programs. but i am considering 64bit, and thank for the reminder i actaully forgot about the ram addressing problems with 32bit os's.

ok so change to above..... vista ultimate 64bit (not 32bit)
 

Curly99

Distinguished Member
yeah i know it will only use 3.5GB max some people are reporting vista only seeing 3GB. 3 or even 3.5GB is still an improvement over 2GB even in a 32bit environment... how ever i am looking to go 64bit vista ultimate but im reluctant to as i have herd that the 32bit compatability mode can be iffy with some programs. but i am considering 64bit, and thank for the reminder i actaully forgot about the ram addressing problems with 32bit os's.

ok so change to above..... vista ultimate 64bit (not 32bit)
I am using vista HP 64bit at the moment and haven't found anything I can't run most thing I use have a 64bit version, I'm using the motherboards onboard Soundmax audio via toslink to my amp at the moment so I also would be interested in whatever soundcard is recommended.

Curly
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
thank curly, but it seems no one has any opinions or advice about sound cards (59 views and no sound card advice)
ive been doing some more digging around and it looks like i might go for the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 Sound Card - Retail ive been reading some brilliant reviews about this card and practicaly everyone raving about it too.
plus for about £100 its well within budget too so from what i can see you cant go far wrong with this card. anyone disagree?
 

badbob

Banned
It's basically a upgraded X-Fi. A bit pointless getting an expensive card if you're using digital out to a av amp though (apart from live encoding for EAX) And I hope Auzentech are given free will to write drivers from scratch, rather just slightly modified CL drivers.
 

Razor

Member
New sound cards for HD audio are out at the end of June/beginning of July.

Might be an idea to wait. :)
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
New sound cards for HD audio are out at the end of June/beginning of July.

Might be an idea to wait. :)
my onboard sound card says its hd audio. or is that just marketing hype/gimic?

i know its not worth getting a digital high quality sound card or even a hd sound card with the amp i have at the moment as its only an old amp but i am looking to get a new amp aswell when i get my new speakers (monitor audio BR series 5.1 setup) but i havent decided on my amp and the mo thats a little later on so i might just stick with onboard audo and current amp till i get a new amp and HD sound card when they come out
 

Razor

Member
my onboard sound card says its hd audio. or is that just marketing hype/gimic?

i know its not worth getting a digital high quality sound card or even a hd sound card with the amp i have at the moment as its only an old amp but i am looking to get a new amp aswell when i get my new speakers (monitor audio BR series 5.1 setup) but i havent decided on my amp and the mo thats a little later on so i might just stick with onboard audo and current amp till i get a new amp and HD sound card when they come out

All HD audio is done via analogue connections and decoded by software (media player). The new sound cards will support HDMI out and do the HD processing onboard for those who's amps dont support it. It should also allow pass through of HD audio (digitally) to the amp for those amps which can decode it.

:)
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
All HD audio is done via analogue connections and decoded by software (media player). The new sound cards will support HDMI out and do the HD processing onboard for those who's amps dont support it. It should also allow pass through of HD audio (digitally) to the amp for those amps which can decode it.

:)
thanks for the info i think ill use my onboard audio or my audugy 2zs till we get some decent HD cards on the market
 

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