Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

Shoonay

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What I have now is a simple on-board Realtek AC'97 soundcard, and it's perfect for my needs - has 5.1 speakers support, separate line-in and mic connectors, works on x64 OS, doesn't let me hear what's going on with my mobo and gives a pretty clear sound. WAY better then any PCI C-Media or SB64 card I had in the past.
I never had any problems with it, just some random occasional cracking&poping since installed Vista and now on W7. But I blamed it on bad drivers and the fact that my PC isn't exactly new (see the bottom of this page for my specs).
Until now, that I tried the newest Batman game, the installer warned me my card is known for having problems with clear sound playback, and boy, was it right! The game plays pretty smooth, but the sound is awful! Cracks&pops almost all the time!

So, what kind of a card should I get?
It has to be:
- PCI
- supporting (at least) 5.1 speaker outputs
- separate line-in & mic inputs for sound recording
- perfect x64 drivers support in W7 (did Creative FINALLY made it? heard it had some serious problems when Vi?ta came out)
- and of course, no cracking/poping during playback ;)

Any suggestions appreciated :)

:thanks:

PS: I never tried/heard any of those hi-end Creative SB Live/Audigy/X-Fi cards, I never really felt that I need them, music quality isn't that important to me, even with bad speakers the music you love sounds lovely, right? ;) and a soundcard is the least needed component on my list... BUT I guess it would be nice to have one like that, if it would be cheap enough ;)
 

keropi

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

I have a SB Live! 5.1 if you like it shoons! Same price as the vga :jester:
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

LOL, you teaser! :ROTFLOL2:

I dunno, is it any good on x64 systems? Heard some pretty bad things about those... :(
 

keropi

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

I have no idea.... :shrug:
I have a XiFi Elite on my Vista32 pc, and will soon upgrade to W7/pro32 (not 64 , have read that older games have probs in 64bits, and I like older games :laugh: ) , the sb as of now gave me zero problems...
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

keropi said:
(not 64 , have read that older games have probs in 64bits, and I like older games :laugh: )
Not true :p What runs on 32-bit win *should* work on 64-bit win, and what doesn't - doesn't work on both ;)
When the installer is 16-bit and says it will not run on this is a different thing... ;)

Currently playing the win version of HoM&M2, C&C Tiberian Sun and C&C Renegade without any problems.
The only game I've couldn't get to work properly a few weeks ago was Sacrifice (hanged after a while in the 1st level) and that other game where you play as a tiny angel who takes over the bodies of his enemies... what was the name... it glitches as soon as you start the game and you can't do anything.
Hey, there's always VMware and that special build of DOSBox that supports OpenGL, I can play Thief1 (that hates multicore CPU's) without any problems :)
 

Justin

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

i think the audigy 2 card is a decent enough card for very little money
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

JuvUK said:
i think the audigy 2 card is a decent enough card for very little money
Wow, I'm surprised indeed it is, around 75PLN. Didn't even check for those quality cards as last time I did they were around 300-500PLN.
Hmmm, maybe I should get a card like that, it is quite new and *should* work on x64... right? :?
Anyone has some experience with x64 OSes? ;)
 

Justin

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

i've ran one with xp64, and w7 64 beta with no problems, it should be fine m8
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

Cool, so I think I'll get that one, :thanks: Juvee! :)

And many thanks for the offer keropi :yourock: but I'm sure your card will come in handy in the future or someone else in need will find it useful :)
 

keropi

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

kk !
why not bite the bullet and get a XiFi card with the crystalizer feature? it is awesome...
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

Nah, those monsters are WAY too much for me...
And besides, soundcards don't "evolve" like graphcards, all it needs to do is play sound :)
 

keropi

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

if price is your limit , ok! (it should be the sky though....)
but really, the crystalizer makes sound better. Especially in mp3's! :woot:


ps. here is some extra knowledge about xifi cards, NOT all are real xifi ones...

this is creative's CHEAP xifi card, a re-badged Live! one, that does all extra stuff IN SOFTWARE. Notice the lame sticker on the main card chip. As you can imagine it sucks.

PER.540184.jpg



and here are the REAL xifi ones, notice the "spu" packaging, and the ram next to it. Also some models have a heatsink too...

PER.540177.jpg


PER.540183.jpg


PER.540195.jpg
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

keropi said:
if price is your limit
yup, the prize is the limit for me, and like I said, a soundcard is the least important component so I'd rather get some more money for a new mobo+cpu ;)
keropi said:
the crystalizer makes sound better. Especially in mp3's! :woot:
Sure, but you can achieve much with software, too!
I'm using the iZotope Ozone with foobar (through the WinAmp bridge plugin as it's originally for WinAmp) and everything sound awesome!

EDITED:

Oh, and I don't have any mp3's, I've OGG'd everything as the sound compression versus the sound quality is much better (no highpitch hisses / "birds singing" ) at VBR ~192kb/s and I'm happy with that :)
 

Harrison

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

Proper X-Fi cards are the best to get. You mentioned it needs to be PCI, which is a shame as the nwer cards are all PCI-E x1.

Avoid the bottom end cheapest in the X-Fi range though as they are not proper X-Fi cards. They don't have the hardware processors on board the cards and do everything in software emulation, including using system ram, so are not good.

Audigy cards are very good. I still have an Audigy 1 card and its great.

However with Vista and Win7 remember that they removed and changed how the OS audio drivers communicates with older sound cards. New drivers needed to be made to get them working again, so make sure Vista/Win 7 drivers are available for whatever card you go for. There were a lot of issues with Audigy cards not working with Vista when it first came out. Not sure if that has now been fixed with newer drivers.

Regarding older games. I've also had nearly no problems at all running games and software. I've successfully installed games dating back as far as 2000 perfectly well. Even Masters of Orion 3 runs fine on Vista 64bit.

The only game I've still not get to run at all on Vista 64bit is Call of Jurez. Whatever I try that damn game just won't boot.
 

Justin

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

windows 7 drivers are available and i'm using them with w7 and an audigy2 as we speak (y)
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

Harrison said:
You mentioned it needs to be PCI, which is a shame as the nwer cards are all PCI-E x1.
Oh, I forgot about that slot as I don't use it for anything, hmmm, maybe I'll recheck those cards....

Harrison said:
There were a lot of issues with Audigy cards not working with Vista when it first came out. Not sure if that has now been fixed with newer drivers.
Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of, I remember that too...

Harrison said:
The only game I've still not get to run at all on Vista 64bit is Call of Jurez. Whatever I try that damn game just won't boot.
I remember trying the first version from BitGamer when I tested games on my pre-SP1 Vista x64 with my old GF6600 and 1-core CPU, and it didn't run very good, but at least it worked ;)
 

Harrison

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

With Call of Jurez for me, it installs fine but when I try to run it says a fill called MSVCP71.dll isn't designed for Vista and then quits. I've tried to patch the game with the newer DX10 update but that complains that I have the wrong version of the game. And I own an original copy, not a downloaded one! So I'm stumped. I might try installing the game on one of my XP machines then copying the installed directory over to the vista system and see what happens.
 

rkauer

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

I think this will not work, mate.

There is not a downloadable fix for this issue?
 

Shoonay

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

Harrison said:
With Call of Jurez for me, it installs fine but when I try to run it says a fill called MSVCP71.dll isn't designed for Vista and then quits.
Hmmm, since I've installed Vista and now on W7, each and every time I have a "missing/unsupported/whatever *.dll" problem, I just search for it on google - there's this nice site called dll-files.com, download it and put to Windows\System.
If my memory serves me well, it worked every time.
Maybe try that?
 

Nathanieltolbert

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Re: Considering a new PCI 5.1 soundcard for my W7 x64

I'm running an X-Fi Fatality PCI-e card from Sound Blaster. I haven't run into any problems with the hardware or software in W7 (using RTM right now. God I love being a member of MSDN.) I have been testing various video cards, sound cards, hard drives, and optical drives. It even recognizes my Camcorder, something that windows XP was supposed to do but couldn't. Not having too much trouble right now. DTS-connect and DDLive! are my next two tests that I will run when I drag the computer out to the receiver in the living room later this evening. As for what soundcard to use? Find one that works, that fits what you need and use it to your hearts content, Sound Cards are like Video cards in that choice is purely preferential. I like creative, but I've had Creative sound cards since the Sound Blaster Pro we got in 1993. They certainly have had some stinkers of cards though, SB32 value, anyone? the RAM is onboard, but it's disabled by default. ridiculous. Or the original Sound Blaster 16? Didn't it have terrible audio output issues, not to mention the motherboard incompatibilities of the original X-Fi soundcard. But they work for me, so I don't complain.... too much :D

Nathan
 
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