Most Reliable Gaming Sound Card


Apr 2, 2010

I'm building a gaming PC and would like to know the best rated and reliable sound card. I know Creative has led the pack in the past but my experience with Creative is not been so happy.

Any recommendations?


Jul 27, 2009

I own a Creative Xtreme Gaming card, and you're right in your decision to avoid Creative. They never do driver updates, and I've had issues with OpenAL (which btw is MADE by Creative) numerous times. I've been running Windows 7 64bit for 5 months now, and the only problems I have experienced with the OS have all been related to the crappy Creative card.

ASUS Sonar cards usually get good reviews.
Well I have an X-FI titanium fatality professional and I have never once had a problem with it or its drivers but alot do for some reason IDK.

My favorites.
ASUS Xonar D2 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Ultra Fidelity Sound Card with Complete Dolby/DTS Sound Technologies $179.99


Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional $149.99
I personally love this card but others will say that it sucks.


HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card $89.99


These are my top 3 favorites.

HT Omega, Auzentech, and ASUS lead the pack. [Note that ASUS/HT Omega use the same chipset, so its features more then anything between them].

At the sub $100 range, ASUS and HT Omega lead the pack:
ASUS Xonar DS [Lacks DDL encoding]
ASUS Xonar D1/DX [Lacks DTS-Connect encoding]
HT Omega Striker

Moving up a bit, you start to see Auzentechs offerings:
Auzentech Forte
Auzentech Prelude
ASUS Xonar D2/D2X
ASUS Essence STX
HT Omega Claro

To me, no other card is even worth considering, unless you need HDMI in/outputs or a HT card, where the ASUS HDAV 1.3 and Auzentech HT HD are top tier options.
Well gaming sound cards will have more onboard memory and a faster processing chip like the X-FI Titanium is built for gaming and will generally give 3 to 5 fps improvement in games the ASUS Xonar is a little slower in games but will still see 2 to 3 FPS better then onboard. Now Creative products have gotten a bad rap since when vista came out it basically rendered all there cards useless Microsoft redesigned the way windows processes sound and that killed creative. Creative has fixed most if not all of the problems that they had. I use and X-FI Titanium and I have never had 1 problem with it and it sound spectacular.