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Need a good PCI sound card for Windows 7
starbux48
post Dec 3 2013, 05:00
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Cheapest I've found is made by Rosewill available for around $15, one by ASUS, the Xonar DG for around $20 to $30, and one of the SOund Blasters. I need to get as good as I can get for the money but keep cost at minimum. Running output to pair of Swan speakers.
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DVDdoug
post Dec 3 2013, 05:52
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See if you can find RMAA test results.

Assuming you are in the U.S, you can find cheaper soundcards if you shop around. Newegg has a 5,1 channel PCI card for $9. (You don't have to use all 6 channels.) Their website lists cheaper ones from 3rd-party sellers. But, with high-end speakers are you sure you want to skimp on your soundcard? I assume those are good speakers...

Usually the only thing that affects audible sound quality is noise. I've got a fairly cheap USB soundcard (that mostly use for troubleshooting), and with headphones, I can't hear any background noise when there's no sound playing. (USB soundcards have the advantage of being isolated from the electronic noise inside the computer, so your should have better odds of getting less noise, especially with cheap soundcards.)

QUOTE
Running output to pair of Swan speakers.
Are those passive or active/powered speakers. If they are passive speakers, I assume you have a receiver or amplifier? You can't connect passive hi-fi speakers directly to a soundcard.
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joeshrubbery
post Dec 4 2013, 05:00
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I'm using a Xonar DG right now, installed it back in the Spring and I've been happy with it from day one. I can't really speak to how well it may work driving some good speakers, I really only use with headphones (specifically my Audio Technica ATH-AD700 cans), but I can't say I've noticed anything glaringly bad about it. YMMV
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Dec 4 2013, 13:06
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QUOTE (joeshrubbery @ Dec 3 2013, 23:00) *
I'm using a Xonar DG right now, installed it back in the Spring and I've been happy with it from day one. I can't really speak to how well it may work driving some good speakers, I really only use with headphones (specifically my Audio Technica ATH-AD700 cans), but I can't say I've noticed anything glaringly bad about it. YMMV


+1. I ended up with a nice system board with a broken headphone output. I looked at the rightmark results and made the order. I've been very happy with my Xonar DG as well.

This post has been edited by Arnold B. Krueger: Dec 4 2013, 13:07
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starbux48
post Dec 4 2013, 13:11
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I did end up ordering the Xonar DG from B&H Photovideo in NYC yesterday. They had good price and ASUS had a $10 rebate as well. B&H already shipped the card and I'll have it on Friday. Right now I'll be connecting my Swan speakers but eventually will get some headphones. Never really found bad review on the Xonar DG though many cheaper cards had some.
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ChronoSphere
post Dec 4 2013, 13:30
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What stopped me from getting a Xonar was this (from foobar FAQ):
QUOTE
I have an Asus Xonar card and I'm experiencing problems...
Asus Xonar cards are infamous for their buggy drivers. We recommend getting a soundcard from another manufacturer instead.
If you're running foobar2000 older than 1.1.10, please update - version 1.1.10 introduces workarounds for certain known Xonar bugs.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Dec 5 2013, 12:24
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QUOTE (ChronoSphere @ Dec 4 2013, 07:30) *
What stopped me from getting a Xonar was this (from foobar FAQ):
QUOTE
I have an Asus Xonar card and I'm experiencing problems...
Asus Xonar cards are infamous for their buggy drivers. We recommend getting a soundcard from another manufacturer instead.
If you're running foobar2000 older than 1.1.10, please update - version 1.1.10 introduces workarounds for certain known Xonar bugs.



Now all you have to do is figure out if this is a story about a widespread problem or what. I installed Xonar drivers under XP and Win 8.1 without any issues, but what do I know?

I do know that this sort of a problem takes more than one person having trouble to develop the evidence that would make it reliable.

Back in the real world Asus has written and distributed more drivers by accident... ;-)
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dhromed
post Dec 5 2013, 16:31
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My data point is a vote in favour of the DG, which I've been using problem-free since I blew up my on-board. It's ever so slightly less noisy.
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ChronoSphere
post Dec 5 2013, 18:38
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I doubt they put that into the FAQ without a good reason. Since I'm using my audio card mostly with foobar2000, I decided to stick with the onboard one for now. I can take some noise, but not potential driver issues. Though I must say, it never has been different with ASUS: same product either works exceptionally well, or don't work at all for two different people. It's as if there is a huge quality variation between product charges..
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