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Are Creative cards really that good for gaming?

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Rezident

Senior member
Nov 30, 2009
283
5
81
I thought my expensive X-Fi card was amazing until it broke and I took it out and had to use onboard sound and it sounded the same to me!

Maybe audiophiles can tell the difference and if you have a high-spec PC ,a s I do, it does feel wrong, not to add a sound card, but I'm convinced onboard sound (on a decent motherboard anyway) is 90 - 95% of the way there.
 

Juddog

Diamond Member
Dec 11, 2006
7,849
2
81
I thought my expensive X-Fi card was amazing until it broke and I took it out and had to use onboard sound and it sounded the same to me!

Maybe audiophiles can tell the difference and if you have a high-spec PC ,a s I do, it does feel wrong, not to add a sound card, but I'm convinced onboard sound (on a decent motherboard anyway) is 90 - 95% of the way there.
Probably about the same difference between a monoprice cable and a monster cable of the same gauge. :whiste: :colbert:
 

Kristijonas

Senior member
Jun 11, 2011
859
4
76
I have decided to buy a Creative Sound Blaster ZXR. I have been made an impression that it is the best thing for gaming and excellent for music. It's a lot of money for me, but what can I do, I have OCD :D
 

Smartazz

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
6,128
0
76
I've used both on board sound and my Soundblaster card and the difference is very noticeable. My Sennheiser HD595s are pretty good, so that might be why there's a big difference.

Edit: Soundblaster X-Fi Fatal1ty.
 
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maevinj

Senior member
Nov 20, 2004
927
10
81
I have decided to buy a Creative Sound Blaster ZXR. I have been made an impression that it is the best thing for gaming and excellent for music. It's a lot of money for me, but what can I do, I have OCD :D
Please do a follow up once you have the new card and have used it for a month or two.
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
Hehe, if you can't tell the difference in sound quality between on board sound and a stand alone card, you are probably deaf. ;)
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
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Hehe, if you can't tell the difference in sound quality between on board sound and a stand alone card, you are probably deaf. ;)
In a blind ABX test with any goofy effects turned off? I'd be shocked if very many of the people here could do much better than chance.
 

Kristijonas

Senior member
Jun 11, 2011
859
4
76
They don't say what they are comparing against, in this review. That is a very big flaw in their methodology.
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,601
5
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They don't say what they are comparing against, in this review. That is a very big flaw in their methodology.
I also noticed that. The guy who did that review robscix is pretty well respected over at i think its head-fi forums? But he crowns the ZXR as the new champ of PCI-E audio and as far as i can tell he dosent mention the previous "champs" at all in his review the xonar STX or x-fi titanium HD.
 

Kristijonas

Senior member
Jun 11, 2011
859
4
76
I am relatively new in the IT sphere and I do not know that much about past sounds cards and this review appeared to me slightly like a bought praise. I don't think it is, but it appeared to me so, because it didn't seem to have enough to back the praise. I hope simply are genuinely enjoying the card. Maximilian, do you think ZXR is a good buy/choice for someone gaming a lot and listening to music sometimes?

Also, what do I use the dual RCA - dual RCA cable for? http://www.powermusic.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Cables_RCA.gif
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
In a blind ABX test with any goofy effects turned off? I'd be shocked if very many of the people here could do much better than chance.
The key is many, or most people have shit speakers of headphones, and that is a problem. Of all my family members, and my friends (well one had the same phones as me, haven't talked to him in well over a year though since he moved away) , none of them have sought to invest in a pair of headphones over $30. And their pc speakers probably didn't cost much more. But yes, if you have a really good sound production (speaker/headphone) its is pretty easy to tell the difference between vanilla on board and vanilla high end dac.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
325
126
The key is many, or most people have shit speakers of headphones, and that is a problem. Of all my family members, and my friends (well one had the same phones as me, haven't talked to him in well over a year though since he moved away) , none of them have sought to invest in a pair of headphones over $30. And their pc speakers probably didn't cost much more. But yes, if you have a really good sound production (speaker/headphone) its is pretty easy to tell the difference between vanilla on board and vanilla high end dac.
We live in a world where people didn't instantly reject 128k mp3. I think you are overestimating people's hearing.
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
128k mp3's dominance is the result of just a huge mess of things, most of which has nothing to do with the consumer/players fault. It largely had to do with the uneducated people encoding music. The formats supported by hardware players was also a pretty significant issues. Majority of cd based mp3 players and dvd players do not support .ogg or .acc, and while blueray/consoles support acc because its part of the HD media standards, they don't support ogg or flac.
 
Mar 10, 2005
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Wait, people still buy sound cards?
Only the hardcore audio snobs :p
It's funny because I used to be like all of these people saying onboard is just fine...until I bought a sound card.

i'm an audio snob, and i use the on-board realtek with dolby digital live and spdif output to my 5.1 receiver. ddl works brilliantly for audio positioning in just about any game, and the sound quality is literally impossible to beat with any other hardware.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
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i'm an audio snob, and i use the on-board realtek with dolby digital live and spdif output to my 5.1 receiver. ddl works brilliantly for audio positioning in just about any game, and the sound quality is literally impossible to beat with any other hardware.
Which card are you praising?
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
We live in a world where people didn't instantly reject 128k mp3. I think you are overestimating people's hearing.
Think about the tv speakers millions of Americans first heard the Beatles on, tiny monoraul speakers. That was a musical milestone.
 

WaitingForNehalem

Platinum Member
Aug 24, 2008
2,497
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i'm an audio snob, and i use the on-board realtek with dolby digital live and spdif output to my 5.1 receiver. ddl works brilliantly for audio positioning in just about any game, and the sound quality is literally impossible to beat with any other hardware.
You're bypassing the DAC which is not the same. I've used the optical out straight to a receiver and it of course sounds great since you are passing a perfect digital stream to a receiver.

Maybe the really expensive ASUS ROG boards with higher-end onboard isolated DACs take away the need for a dedicated sound card. For most users though, the Sound Blaster Z, Zx, and ZxR are big upgrades from their onboard audio.
 

Tsavo

Platinum Member
Sep 29, 2009
2,644
37
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I have a Xonar DSX in my main because it came with a pretty low-end RLTK mess. It sounds vastly better in every instance, via speakers or headphones. I use the fixed 3rd party UNi drivers for this card, not the canned, problematic stock Asus drivers.

Implementations of on-board audio are all over the map; even same audio chips can vary in quality from not only manufacturer to manufacturer, but from the same manufacturer on different motherboards.

AIB audio is a quick fix.
 
Mar 10, 2005
14,647
2
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You're bypassing the DAC which is not the same. I've used the optical out straight to a receiver and it of course sounds great since you are passing a perfect digital stream to a receiver.

Maybe the really expensive ASUS ROG boards with higher-end onboard isolated DACs take away the need for a dedicated sound card. For most users though, the Sound Blaster Z, Zx, and ZxR are big upgrades from their onboard audio.
to be honest, if you're using "computer speakers" it's probably going to sound like crap no matter what else you do. i've listened to the analog output with headphones before and it was fine.
 

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