Is discrete sound card better for MP3 playing?

thelawnet

Member
I have Asus P5B-E Plus motherboard, with onboard ADI AD1988A 7.1 sound.

"The AD1988 family of audio CODECs and SoundMAX® software provides superior HD Audio quality that exceeds Vista Premium performance requirements. The AD1988A and AD1988B have 10 DACs and 6 ADCs, 3 stereo headphone ports, peripheral sensing, jack retasking, microphone array capture, and S/PDIF in and out, making AD1988 the right choice for desktop PC's where performance is the #1 consideration"

"Frequency Response 20 Hz - 24 kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio >94dB
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.01%
Noise Floor –120dB
Play/Record Sampling Rate(s) 7 kHz - 48 kHz
AD/DA Resolution 16 bit "


I'm just using it for MP3s. I am going to order Aego M speakers, and I was wondering if I should get a soundcard as well? Will I notice the difference.

NO surround use, just mp3s.

Any thoughts?
 

NinjaMonkeyUK

Well-known Member
Well I jumped from an onboard ASUS soundcard to a Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer (which I use in stereo only) and the difference, to my ears, is massive... Everything is so much clearer using my X-Fi that I would never go back to onboard sound again...
 

thelawnet

Member
Well I jumped from an onboard ASUS soundcard to a Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer (which I use in stereo only) and the difference, to my ears, is massive... Everything is so much clearer using my X-Fi that I would never go back to onboard sound again...

is there any reason to get the Gamer over the regular Xtreme just for music?
 

thelawnet

Member
No. In fact, if you just want to listen to music or play with stereo sound, you get a much better bang for your buck from the envy24 based cards, like the Terratec EWX 24/96 or the M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 from eBay or other 2nd hand places.

bit confused:

the standard x-fi xtreme is £25: http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/129740

The Terratec is not available anywhere, while the M-Audio is £35 used or £50 new. Is that going to give better quality?

I'm not going to be playing with stereo sound, just play mp3s.

Nothing else.
 

badbob

Banned
I'm not going to be playing with stereo sound, just play mp3s.

Nothing else.

Mp3's are stereo! In which case I wouldn't get a Creative Labs card, go for Dogbear's recommendations.

I have a Creative X-FI Music OEM, it's good (much better than onboard) but I'd go for M-Audio instead (for music) which I own also. CL have gaming in there pocket.

Pickup M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and you're done. Be aware M-Audio have no Vista drivers, and no D3D hardware mixing (gaming features) Also no EAX in hardware, only EAX 2 in software.
 

thelawnet

Member
Mp3's are stereo! In which case I wouldn't get a Creative Labs card, go for Dogbear's recommendations.

I have a Creative X-FI Music OEM, it's good (much better than onboard) but I'd go for M-Audio instead (for music) which I own also. CL have gaming in there pocket.

Pickup M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and you're done. Be aware M-Audio have no Vista drivers, and no D3D hardware mixing (gaming features) Also no EAX in hardware, only EAX 2 in software.


Looking at the stats here:

http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/multimedia/m-audio-revolution51.html

seems like the X-Fi outperforms the M-Audio

Anyway, seems like Creative is the safer option, and Creative's volume of sales means X-Fi is now cheaper.

The X-Fi Audio BTW, appears to be a rebadged Audigy, the 'SE' edition of the X-Fi, and not worth what they are charging it. Bottom of the line = Music @ £49.95
 

thelawnet

Member
Looking at the stats here:

http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/multimedia/m-audio-revolution51.html

seems like the X-Fi outperforms the M-Audio

Anyway, seems like Creative is the safer option, and Creative's volume of sales means X-Fi is now cheaper.

The X-Fi Audio BTW, appears to be a rebadged Audigy, the 'SE' edition of the X-Fi, and not worth what they are charging it. Bottom of the line = Music @ £49.95


Actually, the Music is now been EOL'ed, and is replaced by the Gamer edition, which is identical, but slimmer PCB, non-gold inputs, and no I/O port (which is useless unless you are planning to connect guitars and decks to your card)

So best cheap option = Gamer or Music
 

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