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Which Sound Card is Best for Gaming?  

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My Audigy card died and I'm looking for a good replacement. I don't like Creative as a company so I'd like to get a card from another company, but I'm willing to consider another Creative card if it really is the best for my system.
I'm not running digital - I have the Klipsch Promedia 4.1s as speakers, so I'm limited to quad sound. I don't use my PC for watching DVDs - just games and playing music ... I have an Athlon 64 3000 with a gig of 3200 ram and a geforce BFG 6800 OC video card ...

Any suggestions? I know the Terratec sixpack card scored well on some tweak town tests, but other than that I haven't kept up with sound card stuff ...
post #2 of 27
the audigy 2 value cheap good eaxhd4.0 every thing you need
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the recommendation, psycho. I did a little web research and it looks like the audigy 2 is the best deal going ... Guess I'm still going to be stuck with Creative then ...
post #4 of 27
Hi Gray...I have the Audigy 2NX external...I think it is around 100.00 or less...it may be more than you need...but it works well.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Guess I'm still going to be stuck with Creative then
For a dedicated gaming rig,yes.If you plan to use your box for music playback,look elsewhere.
post #6 of 27
What if you want to do both. I want gaming, and dvd audio playback. What do I want?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by hdtv00
What if you want to do both. I want gaming, and dvd audio playback. What do I want?
Creative labs Audigy. I have the external 2nx. It comes with a software player for DVD audio and works well for games.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Hughmc
Creative labs Audigy. I have the external 2nx. It comes with a software player for DVD audio and works well for games.
Remember,though,that you will have to use the analog outs for DVD-Audio.
post #9 of 27
Stick with the Audigy 2. I am in to music and Home Theater, my husband is in to PC gaming, and we have been through a lot of different cards - the Audigy is the best yet!!!

As for being limited to analog with your Klipsch Promedia 4.1s- YOU ARE NOT! For about $110 (newegg), get the Creative decoder DDTS-100. I have the Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1s, and this is the route I took, as I really wanted the Klipsch speakers. Of course, you won't have the center speaker, but you will almost have surround sound.

You can plug anything into it, PC, DVD player, etc. It decodes everything DD, ProLogic, DTS.

Karen
post #10 of 27
Quote:
As for being limited to analog with your Klipsch Promedia 4.1s- YOU ARE NOT! For about $110 (newegg), get the Creative decoder DDTS-100
If you are referring to my post about being limited to analog outs, then please re-read.I was talking about DVD-A discs.

I just want to make sure that no one gets the impression that an Audigy is going to pass a digital dvd-a stream to any decoder.

Thanks,
Shawn
post #11 of 27
Also,if you want the best cd audio playback possible from a computer then buy a card that will allow you to bypass windows kmixer.I use both an Audigy 2 and an Audiotrak Prodigy in my rig.The Audigy 2 wins on games but it's a whole different story when it comes to music.
post #12 of 27
I was referring to Gray's original post when he referred to having the Klipsch speakers (which aren't "digital") and being limited to quad sound.

Karen
post #13 of 27
Shawn,
I am curious about DVD-A, though. Are you referring to DVD music disks? I have been reading about them and have started seeing them in stores. Why can't the Audigy send a digital signal from a DVD to an external decoder? If the Audigy's Digital Out is hooked up to the decoder's Digital In, what keeps it from processing it and sending it to the speakers properly? I'm not challenging you, I'm still learning! :confused:
What sound card would you need for DVD-A?
And would this be true of all DVDs played on the PC?

Karen
post #14 of 27
Shawn, I may have found the answer on digitalaudioguide.com:
"At present PC's do not support the DVD-Audio standard. Therefore, a PC player will not recognize and play the ultra-high fidelity PCM and MLP encoded audio tracks on a DVD-Audio disk. However, most PC's can recognize and play DVD-Video compatible material on a DVD-Audio disc."

s this the reason? This info was dated 09/03/2002.
Karen
post #15 of 27
Hi Karen,

Quote:
Are you referring to DVD music disks?
Yes,the ones labeled DVD-Audio,the 24/96-192 variety.Not a normal dvd with audio on it.

Quote:
Why can't the Audigy send a digital signal from a DVD to an external decoder? If the Audigy's Digital Out is hooked up to the decoder's Digital In, what keeps it from processing it and sending it to the speakers properly?
Copy protection.They don't want you making digital(bit-for-bit) copy of their new high resolution format.The soundcard is unable to pass the digital stream.

Quote:
What sound card would you need for DVD-A?
The Audigy 2 is fine as long as you use the analog outs an their less than stellar software or something like powerdvd 6 deluxe.I am currently unaware of any pc card that will pass a dvd-a bitstream(digital out).

Quote:
And would this be true of all DVDs played on the PC?
No,just dvd's that are labeled dvd-a.

Shawn
post #16 of 27
So...on a PC, you would only be hearing 2 channels?
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by KarensPhotos
So...on a PC, you would only be hearing 2 channels?
You can listen to DVD Audio in 5.1 Multichannel analog sound. It sounds awesome and don't let anyone keep on about digital...yadda yadda...yes digital is great sound for DD5.1 and DTS, but the 5.1 multichannel really is nice.

Years ago they use to record cd's in 3 formats. AAD: Analog Analog Digital; ADD:Analog Digital Digital; DDD: ALL Digital.

They stopped doing all digital because many audiophiles said the sound was "too clean", or something to that effect.

Also when the music was transferred from the original master tapes which were analog, the digital streams revealed the analog source limitations.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by KarensPhotos
So...on a PC, you would only be hearing 2 channels?
No,you will still hear the normal 5.1 layer w/ a pc drive.

I thought that Creative has/had a drive that could properly read dvd-a but then again I could be imagining it :confused: .

Shawn
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Hughmc
You can listen to DVD Audio in 5.1 Multichannel analog sound. It sounds awesome and don't let anyone keep on about digital...yadda yadda...yes digital is great sound for DD5.1 and DTS, but the 5.1 multichannel really is nice.

Years ago they use to record cd's in 3 formats. AAD: Analog Analog Digital; ADD:Analog Digital Digital; DDD: ALL Digital.

They stopped doing all digital because many audiophiles said the sound was "too clean", or something to that effect.

Also when the music was transferred from the original master tapes which were analog, the digital streams revealed the analog source limitations.
Yes,I've read posts where some people actually prefered the analog connection over i-link.
post #20 of 27
I am confused. I was under the impression that you could only get 5.1 multichannel from a digital connection. I got the Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1s for Christmas and the SW amp doesn't have a Digital In. I know that the Audigy will decode, but does it send it out over the analog connections? Help me out here, I'm getting myself pretty confused :confused:
But I guess why would Klipsch make a multimedia set-up if you couldn't utilize it?

Karen
post #21 of 27
Quote:
I was under the impression that you could only get 5.1 multichannel from a digital connection.
It depends on where you want to do the decoding,eg. let's say you have a dvd player that has a digital out and a 5.1 out.Assuming that the receiver or pre/pro has dd/dts decoding and a 5.1 anolog input,you could either let the dvd player decode and send the decoded info over 6 analog cables to the 5.1 input or you could let the receiver-pre/pro decode the info by sending it a bitstream from the digital out.

Quote:
I know that the Audigy will decode, but does it send it out over the analog connections?
If the Audigy is doing the decoding then it must use it's analog outs.
post #22 of 27
Thanks! This has helped a lot!

I also run an audio out from my DirecTV satellite receiver to the Line In on the Audigy for DD PayPerView movies. Will the Audigy also decode this stream?
I was under the impression that I would need the external decoder.

Karen
post #23 of 27
Karen you absolutely don't need a decoder as long as your audigy supports 5.1. Just plug the 3 rca miniplugs into the appropriate plugs on your audigy......then make sure that you go into your audigy settings and select 5.1 sound. Should work great.

I have been using the promedia 5.1s (first THX and now Ultras) for 2.5 years and they sound great. Make sure you keep your receipt though!!! I have had two sets fail on me....and they have been replaced under warranty. The amp in the sub goes out and you will get nothing from your surrounds. There is a Promedia forum here:

http://forums.klipsch.com/idealbb/fo...=98&sessionID=
post #24 of 27
Thanks Susan, Im glad to hear that I don't NEED the external decoder! But I must still be doing something wrong.
When I play a DolbyDigital DVD movie in the PCs DVD player, I get no ouput from the center speaker and all voices are coming from the FL & FR - a little disconcerting!
I am 99.9% certain the speaker connections are correct as I usually triple check everything. When I run a Speaker Test channel check in the Creative software, all channels are correct. I have the speakers set up as 5.1 in the Audigy Speaker Selection. The Audigy card is set to internally decode on the sound card. I have CMSS 3D enabled at CMSS 2 (?)
Doesn't sound much different than my old Altec-Lansing 4.1s! Well, better quality sound! What could I be doing wrong? I'm pulling my hair out!

Karen
post #25 of 27
DUH.......
PowerDVD was set to 4 speaker. Boy, that made a difference!!!!!

Karen
post #26 of 27
Glad it worked out for you! If you were missing the center channel....they surely didn't sound very good.

That's a heck of a nice sub for a set of computer speakers eh?
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by KarensPhotos
DUH.......
PowerDVD was set to 4 speaker. Boy, that made a difference!!!!!

Karen
Been there,done that lol.
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