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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is crazy. I can't sort out the details of which card is better than the other.


My needs:



HDTV and SDTV, 3d Gaming, DVD playback, CD playback, faithful repro of DVD-A and SACD if possible as well.


I will use the output of the sound card digitally (required) to send the surround information to the receiver (A yamaha 5650) which will decode, arrange and amplify those signals.


What should I look for in these sound cards? I'm quite confused.
 

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Hello,


I think Revo is a very good choice for this price.


I read Audigy 2 works at 48kHz and doesn't like 44.1kHz for CD audio :(


To read CD DTS with the audigy 2 must be hard with spdif output
 

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Currently, the only way to listen to DVD-A on a PC is to use the SB Audigy II. As for SACD, you can't. The format was basically designed NOT to play on a PC. You can't even play the CD layer on the PC (atleast on my attempts). So until someone cracks the format or modifies a player, you are out of luck with SACD.


If you primarily want the sound card games, expecially EAX games, the Audigy is probably the best option. The Revo uses Circle Surround for its surround format processor. To be honest, I don't game, so I really have no idea how Circle Surround sounds with games on the Revo.


Probably any of the cards will work fine. I have a Revo, but I was moving up from a SB Live. I have been happy with the Revo, but drivers are still maturing.
 

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I use the nForce2 for one main reason which you specified. You want to output via SPDIF to your DD/DTS amp. The only way to get EAX or Direct 3D surround in games through the SPDIF is with nForce as it's the only device to contain a Dolby Digital ENCODER (same as in the Xbox.)


Basically I have one digital cable from my PC to my AMP and get DD Movies, DTS Movies, Surround Games. Even with an Audigy 2 you would have to run all the analog outs into your 6 analog INs of your amp. Total Pain.


The only downside to the nForce is the fact it resamples 44.1 to 48, but the quality through my £850 amp and £1000 speakers is lovely.


Regards


Vic
 

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All of the add-in cards you mention are better than integrated solutions, and no offence to nVidiots. If you are gaming, the Audigy is the way to go because of it's low CPU utilization and support for the latest EAX. If you are an audiophile, the Revo's the path. If you're a gaming audiophile like me, you're sort of screwed. Because I want high frame rates, I'm going with the Audigy 2. I just won't use my HTPC for playing DVDs. Only OTA HDTV and gaming . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WAIT!


Why can't we have TWO soundcards in one computer, and for one application, the sound is send through/out of one card, and for another, it's sent via the other card.


There was a thread mentioning mutiple soundcards here .


I think I may be onto something. Maybe we can have the best of both worlds.


Looking into it now ...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jcarlsony2k
WAIT!


Why can't we have TWO soundcards in one computer, and for one application, the sound is send through/out of one card, and for another, it's sent via the other card.
Actually, I'm doing it on my gaming PC. My gaming PC has EWX24/96 and Audigy 2. I'm using only 4 channels for gaming, so I connect front output of Audigy 2 to EWX24/96 input and rear output of Audigy 2 to amp rear input. I also connects EWX24/96 analogue output to amp front input and digital output to amp digital input. It works fine. There is no problem to do that.


The software configuration is something like this. Set Audigy 2 as Windows default sound device with 4 speakers (or whatever you want). Set EWX24/96 as music/DVD player's default sound device. Set EWX24/96 to output its internal hardware mixer output as analogue and digital output. Or, maybe set EWX24/96 to output its wave output as analogue and digital output to avoid the degradation in their internal hardware mixer when you listen music.


However, like I said in different thread, Audigy 2 with software realtime re-sampler works good enough for casual listening. So, I'm not this really worth to do for everyone.


My reason of doing this is that I had several games play 44kHz sound. It is the game, so I could not use software resampler. I must have some non-resampling and DirectSound supporting sound card to solve it. ;)
 

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Note that he is asking about the Audigy 2 ZS. This is not the same card as the Audigy 2. It supposed to have fixed a number of the previous limitations like not having a true 24 bit path.

If anyone has actually see one or see a real test of one please add that to the string so he can review it as part of his choice.
 

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I'll put my two pence in again to make clear the one single point I went for nForce2 and why he may think it's important as well.


He stated that he wants to use his surround amp. How will he get surround sound in games (and DVD-A) using his current amp and speakers?


With A2 - through the analog in's on the amp.


Now what happens IF he wants to get an SACD player or some other external analog surround device?


With A2, he can't plug it into his amp as the analog in's are taken up.


nForce2 was the ONLY way I could route ALL audio through to my amp via SPDIF. One cable - no messing. And I still got room for my SACD player.


Yes it resamples, but SOME resampled sound cards set-up with decent equipment do not sound half as bad as people make out in this forum. I went through the same fears myself 18 months ago, and by the time I'd read the scaremongering of people with ears like a hawks, I was expecting my HTPC to sound like a long wave radio.


NOTE: I am by no means recommending he gets nForce2, I am simply putting a point forward that I think is important as has been overlooked in this thread by the bias of people calling us nvidiots!


Regards


Vic
 

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Thats a more sensible idea. I was thinking of doing something similar for 2 channel CD audio but using a USB sound device which wont resample and is outside the PC's interference. I can then still leave my nForce SPDIF as my digital out for everything else.


Vic
 

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This would work perfectly only as long as there is no output on the "unused" card, otherwise it's *still* consuming CPU cycles to generate sound and defeating the whole purpose. In fact, I could envision that two soundcards would perform worse than either one of them solo . . .


Just a thought . . .


Quote:
Originally posted by jcarlsony2k
WAIT!


Why can't we have TWO soundcards in one computer, and for one application, the sound is send through/out of one card, and for another, it's sent via the other card.


There was a thread mentioning mutiple soundcards here .


I think I may be onto something. Maybe we can have the best of both worlds.


Looking into it now ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by slikvik
Yes it resamples, but SOME resampled sound cards set-up with decent equipment do not sound half as bad as people make out in this forum. I went through the same fears myself 18 months ago, and by the time I'd read the scaremongering of people with ears like a hawks, I was expecting my HTPC to sound like a long wave radio.
Lol! It's good to know that it doesn't.


I guess I was torn between using one sound device period. This thread has begun to make me believe that TWO sound devices are possible. If that is anywhere near the case, I'm now thinking of:


NFORCE2 motherboard (because of the unique ability to encode to DTS on the fly - nice for games) with a Revo for Music.


Just now to figure out how to make the switching of devices seamless for my HTPC integration quest. Although she probably COULD edit the registry, I'd want to keep the wife away from complex scenarios, etc.


Hey - the way I look at it -- it's a challenge. I just don't want to spend several hundred dollars on a solution that could have been addressed with much more reasonable alternatives.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pepar
All of the add-in cards you mention are better than integrated solutions, and no offence to nVidiots. If you are gaming, the Audigy is the way to go because of it's low CPU utilization and support for the latest EAX. If you are an audiophile, the Revo's the path. If you're a gaming audiophile like me, you're sort of screwed. Because I want high frame rates, I'm going with the Audigy 2. I just won't use my HTPC for playing DVDs. Only OTA HDTV and gaming . . .
The CPU utilization is negligible nowadays IMO. Only a few FPS when gaming. You cannot get better sound when gaming than an nForce board connected to a home theater surround setup.


I have an Audigy and an nForce board. I cannot tell a difference in framerate when playing, for example, MOHAA. I have not tried the Revo. And the digital audio output of the Audigy seems clunky compared to the nForce.


Also, the nForce is the only way you can get multichannel sound through your receiver with WM9 files.


I really have a hard time seeing how the nForce isn't the ideal SINGLE solution for an HT/Gaming PC unless you want a Pentium proc.


Sean
 

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I also use a nforce2 board. perfect for gaming and dvd...I use a seperate cd player because well, If I wanted a cd media center I would build an inexpensive pc just for that, who need 3.2ghz for cd player???? With a sound cards that stays at 44.1 any old pc should be fine...or if all else by a seperate cdplayer , heck for $300 you ccould get one that does dvd-a or sacd..try that on a pc....you pentidiots :) pent=pentium
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay L
I also use a nforce2 board. perfect for gaming and dvd...I use a seperate cd player because well, If I wanted a cd media center I would build an inexpensive pc just for that, who need 3.2ghz for cd player???? With a sound cards that stays at 44.1 any old pc should be fine...or if all else by a seperate cdplayer , heck for $300 you ccould get one that does dvd-a or sacd..try that on a pc....you pentidiots :) pent=pentium


Dont agree with this, spending $300 on a soundcard would give you better sound quality than a $300 cd player, well unless it was stolen, and even then it would have to be a good deal.
 

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Well, nVidia would like everyone to think that their solution is the best, but all the reviews/comparisons I've seen put the Audigy 2 way ahead sound quality-wise. With it's support for all of the important environmental surround APIs and lower CPU utilization it is a compelling part. Of course, I'll be using my HTPC only for gaming and OTA HD (and not DVD/DVD-A playback, so my take on this matchup may not be valid for the next person. FWIW, I will be using a nForce2 400 Turbo mobo and will do my own comparison. On-the-fly Dolby Digital encoding for decoding through my pre/pro is certainly appealing.


Just my $.02.

Quote:
Originally posted by Sean_S
The CPU utilization is negligible nowadays IMO. Only a few FPS when gaming. You cannot get better sound when gaming than an nForce board connected to a home theater surround setup.


I have an Audigy and an nForce board. I cannot tell a difference in framerate when playing, for example, MOHAA. I have not tried the Revo. And the digital audio output of the Audigy seems clunky compared to the nForce.


Also, the nForce is the only way you can get multichannel sound through your receiver with WM9 files.


I really have a hard time seeing how the nForce isn't the ideal SINGLE solution for an HT/Gaming PC unless you want a Pentium proc.


Sean
 

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first: everyone is entitled to an pinion and I respect that.




now what I am saying is for $300 you can get a cd player that will also play sacd or dvd-a or dvd...No soundcard can do ALL that and I don't feel a sound card will sound as good IMHO of course..also much more user friendly to use a sperate cd player, WAF and all


I have a XP2500+ cpu and my sound never takes more tha 3% cpu utilization..fine by me! I run 1942 at 1280x960 all graphics set as high as possible and 44khz sound and I get no stutters or problems, just super great frames rates, and I could get a much faster cpu still....


I also don't see how a Audigy would give better gaming sound quality since it is ONLY analog VS the digital for Nforce...PC+analog+creative labs=noisey IMHO of course
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay L


I don't feel a sound card will sound as good IMHO of course..also much more user friendly to use a sperate cd player, WAF and all

I feel that my Revo(analog outs) TRAMPLES my $1100 Sony 90es player. Now, of course I can't compare dvd-a and sacd. Also, you can't get much better WAF than having all of the CD's displayed on screen to choose from:)


All IMHO of course...

mike
 
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