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  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 2, 2008, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default help picking a gaming/music sound card

i need help picking a sound card.

my requirements are that it MUST have drivers for vista 64-bit and be otherwise COMPLETELY compatible(i should be able to plug the card in, adjust a few settings in the setup, and then be good to go). things like extended warranty and customer service aren't especially important considerations for me. also, cost is NOT important - although i'm not going to pay for features i don't need.

i will NOT be putting this card into a HTPC setup. it will be used on my computer desk and be hooked up to 2.1 and 5.1 speakers, my earphones, and the monitor speakers.

I will primarily be listening to music, watching bluray movies, and playing games on it(in that order). I've heard that its hard for a card to be good at both outputting music AND games, BUT those 3-D soung gaming features sound pretty awesome.

anyhow, i think i've narrowed it down to:

-Razer Barracuda AC-1
-AuzenTech X-FI Prelude

however, ASUS cards have also been mentioned - although i can't seem to figure out which one is the best.

i'm HEAVILY leaning to the Prelude atm, although if someone can make a case for the Barraduda...or one of the ASUS cards.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 2, 2008, 06:42 PM
Cptn Vortex's Avatar
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Asus Xonar DX is fantastic for under $100. I use it with studio grade Monitor speakers and Headphones. Its nothing but great. Its also PCIe, low profile, and works great with my Vista 64 bit. Software is easy to install and easy to use.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old December 2, 2008, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 561

how does it compare with the auzentech?
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old December 3, 2008, 05:35 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 343

I can't personally compare it to the Auzentech as I've never heard one but I can definately recommend the Asus Zonar DX like Cptn Vortex above.

My little Logitech speakers, Sennheiser headphones and low/mid range Paradigm home speakers all sound good.

It also adds 3D sound back into games without Creative getting a dime so there's another plus!
ASUS P5Q-E - E8400 (4GHz) - Corsair TX650W - 2xHIS HD 4850 IceQ Turbo - 2x2GB Mushkin Ascent 8000 - 2xWD 500GB - TRUE 120 - Antec 1200 - ASUS Xonar DX - Big Smile
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old December 3, 2008, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 266

Both are very comparable in terms of sound quality. I'd say the Auzentech for gaming (because of native EAX) and the Asus for music. Despite all the hate that Creative receives and deserves, the X-Fi is a pretty revolutionary chip.
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Old December 3, 2008, 03:07 PM
ragenrok's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Drayton Valley, Alberta
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My System Specs


I have to put a vote in for the auzentech prelude, very good card. Full support for vista x64 and drivers are made by auzentech not creative yet it uses creative tech so you can still use EAX (with alchemy).

Some cards have problems with the mic input being way to quiet, you can rma the crad for a new one if you get this. Mine has this problem but my on-board soundcard works fine for the mic input so thats what I use.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old December 3, 2008, 11:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 561

i see the barracuda has no love lol

thanks for the opinions :) i'll probably go with the auzentech if i happen to have some room in my budget and the DX otherwise
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old December 4, 2008, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 43

+1 for the Auzentech Prelude. I was having trouble with a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic in Vista x64, got the Prelude and have never looked back. Works perfectly, fantastic sound quality.
Case: Antec 1200.
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 3.5GHz.
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro.
RAM: 4GB Corsair Dominator Twin2X PC2-8500.
Graphics: Xpertvision Radeon HD4870 1GB.
Sound: Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB.
PSU: PCP&C Silencer Quad 750w.
OS: Vista Home Premium 64bit OEM.
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