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  1. #1
    Joined
    Feb 2001
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    18,901

    Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    put my bluegears enspire with dts and dd live encoding back into my computer tonight to replace the onboard sound solution on my gigabyte p35 ds4. while the sound with the ds4 onboard sound using it's dts was useable, if you're a movie or tv watcher on your computer and want very good quality sound..you won't get it from onboard sound. even though with both the onboard and my bluegears, you have a dts interactive encoding function for stereo source material, a comparison of the 2 shows a dramatic difference...i won't..and i can't..go back to onboard sound...not without a solid realtime comparison before i commit dollars towards onboard.

    on the downside, my new pci-e tuner card killed my onboard network adaptor (hauppauge 1800) it's working great otherwise and pq is excellent..but i had to buy a wireless N adaptor to sit 1 ft away from my router

  2. #2
    Joined
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,234

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    Onboard sound is fine if you are using digital-out to a receiver that does DD/DTS decoding and stereo expansion. The only thing you are missing is positional sound from games. Analog quality is typically awful due to very low quality DAC's and electrical noise from the mobo.


    i5 3570k Windows 7 x64 gaming rig, Intel NUC SageTV server (2TB iSCSI storage), Intel i3 HTPC

  3. #3
    Joined
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    420

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    I was tempted to take out my HT OMEGA CLARO, and start using onboard sound, but no, I left it in. I love gaming and audio in Dolby Pro Logic IIx surround sound.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Feb 2001
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    18,901

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    my stereo does all that decoding function..but the quality of the onboard sound while good..is not great ..at least with the realtek 889a chip

  5. #5
    Joined
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    420

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    I've heard that the Analog Devices 1988B 7.1 HD Audo codec is really good, espicially with the SonicFocus Blackhawk Equalizer app. Said codec came on it's own card called Supreme FX with my motherboard.

  6. #6
    Joined
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    44

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    I guess for people with sh1tty speakers or sh1tty headphones there is no point getting a sound card. That is unless you are gaming. EAX always makes a difference when you play games. With no EAX some sounds are just not rendered. This is why Sound Blaster cards are that popular. They used to be expensive now you can get e.g. X-Fi Gamer for $50. This one uses Cirrus Logic CS4382 DAC that can be found in many stand alone CD players as well. Great value for a sound card I think even if you are not a gamer, considering it comes with good virtual surround for headphones, i think it sounds better then dolby headphones actually.

  7. #7
    Joined
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    18,901

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    can't speak to headphone use..but i tried a soundblaster live external 24 bit and found the sound very average (for music and movies..can't speak to games)

  8. #8
    Joined
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Indpls. IN.
    Posts
    7,728

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    Tenax , I am hearing some good things on the Auzentech Prelude. I just bought one myself . Haven't had much time with it but so far I just love the card . Wish I could comment on the cards abililty to do DD but with these 2.1 speakers I have thats not going to happen
    "The Lord Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want"
    PS:23

  9. #9
    Joined
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    18,901

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    lol..i love my bluegears.it will never leave my computer again unless they abandon pci slots entirely i had considered the new asus card which is supposed to be quite good..and pci-e, but at this point, it's 250 bucks..lot of beans for a sound card for non professional use.

  10. #10
    Joined
    May 2003
    Location
    Toronto,Ontario
    Posts
    362

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    Quote Originally Posted by tenax View Post
    lol..i love my bluegears.it will never leave my computer again unless they abandon pci slots entirely i had considered the new asus card which is supposed to be quite good..and pci-e, but at this point, it's 250 bucks..lot of beans for a sound card for non professional use.
    tenax unless there is a feature on the Asus card that isn't on your Bluegears, don't waste the money. Despite the smoke and mirrors that Asus is trying to pull with that card, all it is is a C-Media OxygenHD chip on it. Same chip that is on the Razor and Auzentech X-Meridian, and quite possibly your Bluegears (depending on which model it is).

  11. #11
    Joined
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    18,901

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    thanks for the tip stormy..yeah, i'm quite happy with my bluegears..it keeps amazing me when i watch movies and shows how much better the presence and soundstage is then onboard sound and other offboards i've tried

  12. #12
    Joined
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    420

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    I like my HT OMEGA CLARO, I was tempted by the ASUS card, but decided not to get it, as it was nothing more than an 8788HD card.

    I also enjoy movies on my card, as well as music.

  13. #13
    Joined
    May 2003
    Location
    Toronto,Ontario
    Posts
    362

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightowl224 View Post
    I like my HT OMEGA CLARO, I was tempted by the ASUS card, but decided not to get it, as it was nothing more than an 8788HD card.
    Yep. Even saw one review where they had removed the shield and Asus had gone so far as to etch off the C-Media logo and info from the chip (could still be seen under their own logo).

  14. #14
    Joined
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    420

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    Quote Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
    Yep. Even saw one review where they had removed the shield and Asus had gone so far as to etch off the C-Media logo and info from the chip (could still be seen under their own logo).
    Razer is known to have done the same thing with their 8788HD based card, called the Razer Barracuda, by etching off the CMEDIA logo and putting their own logo on. I saw a review of the Razer card, but don't remember where, where the Razer was revealed to be an 8788HD card.

    All ASUS and Razer are doing where the drivers are concerned is modifying the drivers, and adding stuff like this so called DS3D to the drivers, and so on.

  15. #15
    Joined
    May 2003
    Age
    35
    Posts
    2,001

    Re: Sorry, But Onboard Sound Doesn't Cut It!

    i have setup auzen/blue gear's cards and they are very nice, far better then an x-fi even for gaming, the problems with the x-fi are all due to creative being HORRIBLE at driver programing, the hardwares there, but the software SUCKS BALLZ, i mean they never did put out proper 64bit windows drivers for the sblive 5.1 or 24bit(audigy chip ver) after having beta drivers for over a year.....

    honestly its not the lack of EAX support your hearing or not hearing, its the lack of PROPER eax 2 support, everything above2 is just a gimmic, the human ear/brain cant prosess the number of voices used in higher eax specs.

    oh and make note that the x-fi pci-e card is acctualy a damn ac97/hd audio codec on its own card, its not even a true x-fi, it uses SOFTWARE to support higher EAX modes....so its as cpu bound/driven if not MORE cpu bound then cmedia or even realtek based solutions.

    i compared the x-fi pci-e card a friend of mine bought(thinking it was a true x-fi) with my onboard HD sound using latist drivers, the x-fi used more cpu(by as much as 15% in some stressfull situations like 7.1 movies and gaming)
    oh and it did NOT SOUND BETTER.

    i admit my 7.1 setups a mix of diffrent speekers none top of the line, but i can tell the diffrance between cards and onboard chips and even driver revisions used, realtek has REALLY updated the drivers for the chip used on my board, its quite noticeable, eax supports better, sound quilitys better and cpu use is i th 1-2% range under 7.1 mode.

    btw my speekers are as follows, logitech 2.1 speekers for front left and right, not the highest end ones but these ran 145bucks 2 years ago on sale at the egg, front center and sub are connected to a set of altech lancing computer speeker, older set but VERY high quility, duno orignal cost, a buddy gave them to me when he moved because he had way to much stuff(we filled a large pensky moving truck top to bottem front to back as well as the cab of the truck, his car and his bronco being packed tight with stuff...)

    for side and rear im using a set of cambrige soundworks 4.1 speekers(also have their own sub) when these came out they where 285bucks with a soundblaster live soundcard on sale at frys(called incredible univerce at the time i think) i know its a mixed system but it works very well, sounds as good as my buddys pioneer recever(can decode dolby and dts) with his expencive pioneer speekers, tho i do admit he has more bass then i do, he has a huge sub we built behind his couch, 4x18in subs in 1 box designed to spred the bass thru the whole room/house, its CRAZY(great for movies i tell you, its crazy when something blows up and it acctualy makes the couch jump )

    back on topic, if i where to buy a sound card it would be cmi based for sure, but comparing my current onboard to cards i have round here.. audigy1,sblive5.1 plat gamer, sblive 24bit, and a host of others, the onboard using current drivers is just as good if no better in every use, and it dosnt requier yet more software to be installed.

    my main tip with ANY onboard sound, KEEP THE DRIVERS UP TO DATE, at least realtek programers are capable enough that the driver updates they make fix stuff and dont make the driver 50mb large.
    2nd tip, use the EQ settings, they also have a great effect.

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