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Old 09-21-2007, 01:39 AM   #1
uglygoat's Avatar
Jan 2005
Clebland, OH
Posts: 2,765
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got a audio technica lp to digital turntable for being born thirty some years ago this past tuesday.

i've been using the pc's onboard sound card, but would like to get a 'true' card.

set up thus far, i can try and read the mobo if it will help. amd athalon 64, 3400+, 2.21 ghz... got a gig of ram.

please suggest good affordable sound cards. the rig is moving away from games and towards being my stereo/multimedia center, i'll prolly hook the radio cd and surround/home theatre up to the pc in the near future.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:49 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 14,296
Liked 814 Times on 514 Posts

I use a Creative SB Live 5.1 card. It works well, and it was pretty cheap. It's definitely not a high end card, but I haven't had any issues, and it makes a set of Logitech speakers sound decent with most media apps.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:08 AM   #3
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
Posts: 11,912
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Can't go wrong with Creative Labs.

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:41 AM   #4
keiths's Avatar
Apr 2007
Coldwater, Michigan
Posts: 336
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If U want one of the best go here
Creative Sound Blacter 7.1 X_FI Extreme
Hope this helps.I'm a Computer Tech

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:17 PM   #5
chillHayze's Avatar
Mar 2006
Columbus OH
Posts: 1,589
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I have a similar card to the one posted above. I have the multimedia edition whereas the one posted is the gamer edition with some pro gamer's name on it. That endorsement doubles the price of the card...

The problem with my card is the SPDIF is the little 3.5mm jack and my logitechs accept the coaxial RCA input. So I am using the analog until I find an adapter that actually works.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #6
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Mutilated1's Avatar
Jul 2007
Hoover, Alabama USA, Alabama
Posts: 2,150
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The sound card basically doesn't matter. What I mean is that with a digital signal, a $20 sound card will sound just as good as a $200 sound card.

If you want to make a great improvement in your sound quality, get a modest sound card of anykind thats compatible with your system, and save any extra money you get for better speakers. A speaker system with a nice subwoofer will make a much bigger improvement in your sound than getting a top end sound card instead of a low-end or budget type sound card.

I've got a few sound cards laying around here, I'll sell you one for what it costs to ship it to you if you like. PM me if you're interested.

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Old 09-23-2007, 01:31 AM   #7
Jun 2007
Posts: 737
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I mostly agree with you, but disagree on one little pint, Mutilated: for gaming, the choice of card can make a huge difference. Only the creative cards can handle modern EAX, and so other cards suffer as a result. Of course, the OP stated that's not a huge concern of his, so the point is moot, but I just wanted to clarify that. The flip side of this is that ALL Creative cards cannot properly encode/decode digital sound for 5.1, and so are limited to 2.1 in/output if that matters to you. They do analog fine, but the sound quality is lower than with many other cards.

As far as a great but inexpensive sound card, I'd recommend this Chaintech card:

It's dirt cheap, but preforms like a champ, especially when you're using digital. Perfect for playing music and movies. Many of my home theater/ computer geek friends have and love this card; I'm stuck with my Creative X-fi because of my gaming needs .

Definitely have some good speakers though; generic speakers are absolutely terrible, and you will see no gain from your upgrade. I'd recommend a nice Logitech setup; you can find the z5300's for around $70 now, IIRC.

So bottom line, avoid Creative if gaming is not a priority and/or a digital signal is important to you. A Creative card will give you better sound than onboard, but your money can be much better spent elsewhere . I'd definitely avoid an older Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 card, though; those are old enough that modern onboard sound is about comparable.

I hope that helps! If you have any other questions feel free to ask. The place where I myself learned much of this information is here.

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