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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question. I am using my HTPC primarily right now to browse the web from the living room, and in the future to record/playback HDTV, and maybe even dabble in playing back DVDs if it will be a significant improvement over my RP91. I currently have an Onkyo 989 for my audio processing, and I would think that as a processor, this would be as good or better than anything I could get to pop inside a PC. Would there be ANY reason that the digital (optical) output of a standard Aureal 3D pci card wouldn't be as good as the digital output from the mAudio series?


I have no issue shelling out the money for this card if it's going to make anything better, but if I'm using an external processor anyways, is there any difference? Thanks.



Mark
 

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There is a difference.


Maybe not in the Digital output but certainly in the ability to achieve the digital output.


A3D was run out of bussiness by lawsuit after lawsuit by Creative. They haven't existed for quite a while now and the drivers are as they were some time ago. People wrestle with getting the cards to work on XP and Windows 2000 and from what I hear you can get some part of it to work but not very well.


I think most or all of the software DVD players support M-Audio. I added support for my Aureal card in Zoomplayer but I'm limited to using only the WinDVD audio filter, I can't get the Ravisent audio filter to work with it.


You don't have the same flexability of software and OS with the A3d card as you do with the M-Audio card.


And some people say the M-Audio cards sounds better too. I personally haven't had the pleasure to hear one yet.


Good Luck,


Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So my next question would be, what is the cheapest, best card to buy if you plan on using external processing. IE, you just care about the digital out, and the analog out doesn't mean a damned thing to you?
 

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I have an Aureal 3d and an Maudio 2496. I have not been able to tell a bit of difference between the two in terms of sound quality and I did an A/B comparison between the two. Of course the standard caveat applies here. This was my personal experience and YMMV. I bought the 2496 for two simple reasons. The 2496 allows me to get DTS under XP whereas the Aureal does not. Most importantly I also have it because so many others do as well. I find that if you stick with a standard of course it stands up over time better.


Just my 2 cents.
 

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I've seen mention of quite a few people still using Aureal Vortex cards due to their low price and high availability. A 989 receiver, coupled with some nice speakers would be a revealing setup, so maybe you might notice. Personally, I don't care to upgrade my system past the point where different digital outputs are obvious :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I'll be damned if I can even get dolby digital to work in XP. I have the ATI DVD player and I have tried trials of winDVD and powerDVD. I think these won't do dolby unless you have the full versions though. Regardless, I may have to shell out some bucks to get a decent card, this is just too much hassle. And yeah, I have paradigm studio-100's connected to the 989, but still, digital is digital right? Unless the cheap cards drop bits on the floor, they should all sound the same.



So anyone got any ideas on what I can do to get even dd5.1 working on the aureal in winxp? Thanks again.



Mark
 

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Heyta, let me free you from a world of pain here. I was in your same boat with my Aureal card when I moved to XP. This is why I bought the Maudio 2496. So many people here had it working in XP I knew it would work fine for me. It did not. Then I found the magical answer that others before me found as well...Theatertek. After so much work with so many other players I broke down and bought this one. Install it and it works (at least for me) and that's it. I got DD with the Aureal and XP coupled with TT and DD and DTS with the 2496 and XP coupled with TT.


So I think it pretty much boils down to what you want here. If you have to have DTS then I would move to a 2496. If not, stay with the aureal and get TT.


Good luck.
 

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If you're dead set on using XP (or even something newer than Me) you might want to stay away from the Aureal cards. As has been said, since they went out of business so long ago, they haven't had good driver support for awhile. As I understand, most people that use them use Win9x because they are mature for that OS series. If you wish to go with a cheap solution with a newer OS, the Zoltrix might be good for you.
 
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