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  Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?  
 Date Written 
Gilga mesh Mar 08, 2011, 09:20pm EST Report Abuse
need advice i am realy confused what Soundcard to get
im comming from a laptop with buildt in soundcard
but i am building a good gaming/music pc

Useful information:
Gtx580 graphic card, 2x4gb=8gb memory card, Asrocks fatal1ty or asus pro/deluxe motherboard (havent decided yet on mobo)

Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 80ohms a lot (dont have a amp might get one lateron)

My music is mostly Pop or dance at 320kbps mp3
will not be using Flac mainly cause i need mp3gain to db up to 100
i am more than happy with 320kbps mp3

Speakers: Harman Soundstick III
Os: Windows 64 bits Profesional

Play games like: Mass efect 1 , Mass efect2, Crysis2, Dead space 2, Metro 2033, Cbs bus simulator, omsi bus simulator, GTA IV, World of warcraft

Creative X-fi Titanium HD
Asus Xonar D2X/XDT
Asus Xonar Essence STX PCI Express (a bit expensive)
Auzentech Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1

Now to my Confusion:
I heard Asus and Auzentech are good for music
but Sucks for Gaming because some games might not load
Games work best with Creative X-fi card
not sure what is correct but i read it somewhere on a forum

On other hand Creative can give bad sound for headphones
reason why asus and Auzentech are better.

I also read on this forum (from a 2009 post) that if i am going for 64bit Win7 i should not go creative cause of bad 64bits driver suport where creative not have native suport but emulation

So i am realy stuck with what to get
it seem whatever i get i will get problem with

Asus xonar/auzentech > less compatibility with games
Creative X-fi> sound problems and bad sound on beyerdynamic headphones

Keep in mind I will game a lot
reason why i got for a expensive PC with Gtx580,alienware 3d monitor, 8gb memory, sandy bridge2600k processor, 800w power suply etc...

But since i getting some expensive headphones i need good sound too.
As for speaker so far i am fine with the harman soundstick3 today they made my table vibrate (has the subwoofer on top of table)

My biggest confusion now is what soundcard to get
As more i read as more confused i get between Asus,Auzentech and creative.

I dont want a Soundcard that will crash or give problem when gaming
(keep in mind some games i play is old games like Microsoft Train simulator 2001 or GTA IV, Mass efect 1) while i will most time be playing games like Citybus simulator CBS 2007, Crysis 2, Mass efect 2 etc...

I also dont want a soundcard with crap sound for my Beyerdynamic Dt770 80ohms (btw i buying this headphones in some hours from now realy like them)

And AMP usb can put in later after some months
but for now that is not priority to have usb amp.

Btw, i also be watching Blueray movies

So what soundcard?

plz help

Budget: not higher than 160 euro ( iam in europe)
Asus Xonar Essence STX PCI Express is just on the limit
and i would prefer one a bit more cheaper.


Again keep in mind i be running Blueray movies in 3d

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Michael C Mar 08, 2011, 09:44pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
Check out my system below this post or in my profile. I did a lot of research before buying my sound card about a year ago. I cannot speak from experience when it comes to the ASUS or Creative cards but I can say that the Auzentech Forte is one of the best cards in the soundcard market. I listen to a lot of music, games, movies just like you do and I wouldn't want(or need) anything but this card. I have a set of HD 280 Pro headphones and the card easily powers them with it's amp. It will blow your head off once you upgrade from a midrange soundcard. No problems in games, no crashes etc. I never experienced any sort of issues with the card itself at all.

There's a HUGE difference between music that's at 128kpbs and 320kpbs. This card will quickly make you recognize that. I prefer to listen to 256kpbs songs and up.

The card should NOT crash any games. There's no problem with that in my system and I haven't heard of that being an issue. It can do ANYTHING you'll use it for and do it well. I'm sure you'll use it for the same things as I do from what I can tell from your post.

Also, as you may know, it does have a built-in headphone amp which will power your headphones. I am looking at possibly getting even better headphones such as the HD595's and above.

Hope this helped.

Gilga mesh Mar 08, 2011, 10:06pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
Seem like a good company coming from South korea (origin of quality brands like Samsung, Cowon, Iriver products)

I am concerned about game crashes on non-creative card but you say there is none
that is atleast a good news

Yea 128kbps mp3 realy sucks
when i first got into mp3 back in 2000 i didnt care and most mp3 was 128kbps
later i didnt went under 192kbps

Today i dont go under 256kbps mp3 (same bitrate as m4a from itunes)
but prefer to stay at 320kbps

In fact some of the music i listened to much before at 128kbps has or is being remplaced with 256kbps + mp3

I also never go under db99
since 2004 i have used Mp3gain to bump up Db up to 99-100
i do sacrifice some sound in favor of sound volume
this is mostly for the mp4 audio player to sound louder.

however i never db+ more than like 3db or so
if i get a mp3 with like 80+db i just trash them and find another thats atleast 96db
then bump them to 99db with mp3gain and so far im happy.

so for me good bitrate mp3 and high db is important.

Btw, Now i ordered Beyerdynamic Dt770 pro 80ohms headphones
they arive in a couple of days by courrier service
and i hope i will be happy with them.
I decided to go beyer cause is pretty looking, comphy and good sounding.
the bass is a bit heavy while if i dont like it i can EQ it down a bit i guess.
i have been most used to sennheiser and koss but beyer will be my first audiophile headphone.
Before when i was younger i used a lot of Sony and Aiwa walkman headphones
but that was before i got internet and could order online other good brands.

BTW2 : I see your Case is coolermaster they make good cases
I got a HAF-X coolermaster case and put in 3x 200mm red LED light fans :)
My gaming rig will have Red light all over The 200mm fans, another thermaltake spinq red light fan, saitek/logitech red light keyboard, Razer Naga molten etc...

Meats_Of_Evil Mar 09, 2011, 01:06am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
Gilga mesh (97299) said on Mar 08, 2011 at 23:06 AST:
I am concerned about game crashes on non-creative card but you say there is none
that is atleast a good news

You should be concerned if you have an Asus Xonar and try to use EAX while gaming. As far as I know, Auzentech also uses the X-fi chip which has native EAX 5.0 support, so it should work just like a Creative X-fi card.

Now, I'm not too sure about this but I don't think you should buy the forte since you'll be watching blu-ray movies and that means DTS-HD and Dolby True HD which I'm not sure that the Forte can decode? But, I'm pretty unexperienced when it comes to hardcore audio on the PC, I just bough the X-fi Xtreme Music when it first came out in 2005! So i'm out of touch with everything else.

Everything I write is Sarcasm.
Gilga mesh Mar 09, 2011, 11:43am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
i read Auzentech have a terrible bad suport
bur you can not realy blame them if they are in south korea and there is few english speaking guys?

as for blueray i dont care about dolby and all that
as long as there is some decent sound to play the blueray movies
on my soundstick III speakers and Beyerdynamic DT770 pro headphone i be fine
so i think any mid-end range soundcard would do for that.

I heard asus is the only one that would crash game but that would be solved by disabling EAX (whatever that is)

From where i buying i get Asus more expensive than auzen
so asus essence is for me more expensive than Creative X-fi titanium HD

I also read that i shouldnt bother with soundcard that i be fine with mobo soundcard well i dont believe that since maybe for my speakers
but not for good sound from my headphones.

now i dont know if i would need to spend so much money for a titanium HD for example and if i still be fine with Extreme gamer soundcard from Creative or if i should go for asus or anyone else.

I just have No idea
i been using onboard soundcard the last 8 years on laptop
since i had no studio headphones that needed a better card

when i got my second pc around 2000 i remember it had a creative soundblaster card and it was fine (There was realy not much more options back then)

Now when i building a new pc that i spent lot of money on
it would be good if i dont had to spend so much on a soundcard
but i realy need a card that dont wont let my headphones sound likes**t

I now i cannot go higher than the source anyway
and i am happy so far with 320kbps mp3 db99-100

just to make sure i dont get a soundcard that make it sound worse.
and not let my game crash (but again i think that can be solved by disabling EAX?)

Michael C Mar 09, 2011, 03:34pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
Forte, done.

Meats_Of_Evil Mar 09, 2011, 08:20pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
Here's info about EAX:

Is there a difference between a soundcard and onboard sound? I can sure as hell notice a vast difference in sound quality. Is EAX worth it? I would say so yeah. I like using it when I can since I can hear everything much more defined and crisp than without it being enabled.

Though not all games support EAX and sadly, fewer games have the options these days.

Everything I write is Sarcasm.
<a class= Mar 12, 2011, 04:02am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
I've already been through this and overall I picked the Forte. Best price/performance. Period.

3930K @ 5.00Ghz | GA-X79-UD3P | 16Gb DDR3 | GTX770 | W7 x64
Michael C Mar 12, 2011, 05:47am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Best Soundcard for Music and Gaming PC?
sovietdoc said:
I've already been through this and overall I picked the Forte. Best price/performance. Period.

Great minds think alike.



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