mikeny

Distinguished
Aug 6, 2006
1,469
0
19,310
So, I always wondered; is there a noticeable (or any) difference between a sound card that has PCI interface or PCIe interface? Also, I've been out of the loop for several years, has AuzenTech fallen from grace; seems like newegg discontinued most of it's sound cards. I was curious, If I was to change sound cards, what's a good one for just gaming and the Logitech 5.1 digital speakers. Did I hear correctly that XFI is not as popular as it use to be? I see a lot of systems with HT Claros.
 
Solution
If you have the Forte already, keep it. There aren't many soundcards that are better, and none for under ~$160 or so.

As for PCI vs. PCI-E, there is a slight advantage to using PCI-E in general, especially if there is a direct power connection to the PSU. That being said, several cards that are released on both interfaces [ASUS Xonar D1/DX, ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, ASUS Essence ST/STX] are "better" on PCI. [In the case of the D1/D2, the lack of the extra PCI to PCI-E bridge, and in the case of the ST, the inclusion of a Jitter Clock the STX lacks].

Either way, barring a thousand dollar audio setup, you won't notice.

mikeny

Distinguished
Aug 6, 2006
1,469
0
19,310



Seems like most people who buy it, use it for headphones. I use DD...optical.
 

someguynamedmatt

Distinguished
Between the two interfaces, not really. Some people say that the Xonar Essence ST (PCI) sounds better than the Xonar Essence STX (PCIe), but if you ask me, that's just a myth. Some people claim the exact opposite, too...

Auzentech really has fallen as a company, but their sound cards haven't. They still put out some really amazing sound... it's just a little hard to get in contact with them if something does happen to go wrong. I've never had any problems at all with my X-Fi Forte, though... really well built card. I'd still HIGHLY recommend them.

Hmm... The Claros, you say? Honestly, I'm not a big fan of them. They may be decent sound cards, but I'm not a fan of HT Omega as a company, and there's one major flaw with that purchase: Auzentech has their X-Meridian 2G, which utterly stomps the Claro cards (IMHO... no offense to anyone... just an opinion), often for less money, too. The only thing stopping Auzentech, once again, is how small of a company they are and their lack of advertising.

The X-Fi can refer to two things - the X-Fi processors, or the X-Fi cards made by Creative. If you're talking about Creative, then yes - they have the same problem as HT Omega: slightly inferior cards at poor price points. A lot of people used to complain about their drivers, and although they're still not the best, they've come a long way and are at least usable now. Auzentech actually uses Creative's X-Fi processors (ONLY in their PCIe cards) on their own cards, and has vastly improved upon the drivers and performance in general.

As for a recommendation for your 5.1 setup, I'll have to recommend either the Auzentech X-Meridian 2G or X-Fi Forte, or the Asus Xonar DX. Both Auzentech cards should be around $110, and will basically do the same thing on two different interfaces. Actually, the X-Meridian is a full-fledget surround setup card for 7.1, while the X-Fi Forte is more for smaller setups, especially headphones, but supports everything up to 5.1 surround. Being a low profile card, though, it needs a breakout port on the back instead of each individual plug - look at a picture and you'll see what I mean. Really amazing card, though... both are unmatched for the price. If you don't want to spend $120 on a sound card, the next step down is the Asus Xonar DX or D1, depending on your choice of interface. Both are more of a general use card, and while they both put out some really nice sound, they're just not quite up to the same level as Auzentech's cards. Note, the DX needs a 4-pin floppy power connector... just so you don't miss that like I almost did. The next step down is the Xonar DS, I believe... just a lower quality version of the D1(X).
 

mikeny

Distinguished
Aug 6, 2006
1,469
0
19,310


Ah, Thanks. I have the Forte. So I should keep it. By the way, if PCIe card is not in a x1 slot but in the x4 slot, would that cause instability in the system as a whole?
 

someguynamedmatt

Distinguished
No problem. :) I'd say that if you already have the Forte, then basically any other sound card you'd buy wouldn't make nearly enough difference to justify the cost. Just my opinion. I'd probably look at a new set of speakers as the next upgrade, but they really start to cost a lot as sound quality goes up. Your call.

And no, not at all. A PCIe x1 card should be able to work in any available PCIe slot. I prefer x1 because it fits a little tighter, but that's just my personal preference.
 

mikeny

Distinguished
Aug 6, 2006
1,469
0
19,310



I have the Logitech Z-5500 5.1 digital speakers. Thank you! Only think that looks to be replaced is my video card; 4890. :)
 
If you have the Forte already, keep it. There aren't many soundcards that are better, and none for under ~$160 or so.

As for PCI vs. PCI-E, there is a slight advantage to using PCI-E in general, especially if there is a direct power connection to the PSU. That being said, several cards that are released on both interfaces [ASUS Xonar D1/DX, ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, ASUS Essence ST/STX] are "better" on PCI. [In the case of the D1/D2, the lack of the extra PCI to PCI-E bridge, and in the case of the ST, the inclusion of a Jitter Clock the STX lacks].

Either way, barring a thousand dollar audio setup, you won't notice.
 
Solution

MagicPants

Distinguished
Jun 16, 2006
1,315
0
19,660
The bus interface can make a difference in games, as it determines how much data can reach the card.

This is only important if you have multiple devices fighting for the same bandwidth. For example, there was a bad nvidia driver a few years back that saturated the bus and caused the audio to stutter.

I can't remember if it was PCI or PCI-E.
 

mikeny

Distinguished
Aug 6, 2006
1,469
0
19,310



A new video card :) I have a 4890. I was going to switch from Nehalem cpu (and also mobo) to Sandy Bridge but I asked around in forum and it's not worth it. Spend it all on video card :)
 
This is only important if you have multiple devices fighting for the same bandwidth. For example, there was a bad nvidia driver a few years back that saturated the bus and caused the audio to stutter.

That wasn't NVIDIA, as only Creative cards were affected, and it happened even on non-NVIDIA based motherboards [just less frequently]. Even newer cards like the Titanium are known to be affected, so its NOT a PCI problem. [I suspect X-RAM is the root cause...]
 

Idonno

Distinguished
Jan 3, 2011
694
0
19,060
And yet the HT | OMEGA eClaro is the only new PCIe soundcard on newegg that has an average 5 star user rating.
There is a reason for that. From personal experience I can tell you it's an excellent card with rock solid drivers! :sol:
 

TRENDING THREADS