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Time for a real sound card. What should I get ?

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May 24, 2001
NY where the cows out number the people
Well, my trusty ol' sound card had died, keeps crashing and giving me random reboots. I think the effects of overclocking the PCI bus have taken it's toll on the poor card. It's five or six years old so I'm sure it's time for a new sound card.

There's a computer show in Syracuse this weekend and I'll be shopping for a new sound card. It's been so long since I've looked at them that I don't know what to get. I have a DVD player and play games quite often I also use my computer listen to mp3's. so I want something with real good sound quality.

My question is what to get ? I saw some cards have dolby digital surround sound. that would be real cool for the DVD's and games. I also need the card to have the game port on it for my joy stick. thought I would mention that too as I can't have one with out it. Money is not an issue. So what is out there that would make a good card ? Please help me out.
"That's alright, Tuition can be paid in installments, right?" :) :)

For the money, SB Live 5.1 is nice, but I would probably get the Turtle Beach 'Santa Cruz' card for the same price, same features, but 20 bit (versus SB 16bit) and no issues with the line-in.

If all you're doing is gaming, don't play DVDs/need surround sound, get a generic soundcard for $15.00
I have my comp hooked up to my stereo and even for gaming have suround sound... I have 5 speakers and 2 subs hooked up to my comp and it gets LOUD. But my soundcard is incredibly crap... SB pc128 ... I cant even run winamp and play at the same time. If winamp is playing, no other apps can use sound. I belive this is a typical cheap sound card issue. I may eventually try one of them x-gamers. They are the same as the platinum 5.1 as far as the card but no faceplate corect? I dont want a faceplate anyways as I already have my incredibly oversized stero center piece which has a remote control so having another one for comp wouyld be abnoxious. I hate having a cable remote and a tv remote lol, had to get one of them universal remotes. So is the x-gamer a suffiecent card? Also it needs to be able to take some incredibly hgh fsb's =)
I already have a EQ for my system too so I don't need another one. I'm thinking of looking for the Turtle Beach card as Pinky suggested. Just don't know about a sound card made by Turtles. The elfs can make good cookies so maybe turtles can make good sound cards. ???

Ok.... too much work today, not enough fun.

What is the difference between the X-gamer and the Platinum ? Just the live drive ? or is there something more?

Then Sound blaster Vs. Turtle Beach. I'v looked around and Pinky isn't the only one to say good things about the Turtles sound card building skills. Others like them too. What's the opinion here? Help me spend my life away...
zoopa_man (Jul 30, 2001 02:42 p.m.):
What is the difference between the X-gamer and the Platinum ? Just the live drive ? or is there something more?

Nope, that's about it... remote and livedrive (oh, and bragging rights).
I would go to A local Staples and buy A Sound Blaster 5.1 MP3 its around 100 dollars and comes with A 50 dollar rebate.

That would give you A nice card for 50 bucks and you won't have to worry about buying online. You get to deal with A local store so its easy to return, you don't have to pay shipping and you get to open A retail box. :).

Also, The card is the exact same as the X-Gamer 5.1 with different software.
For pure sound quality, get an MAudio Delta Audiophile 2496. Less than 200 dollars. Stereo analog in and out, stereo coax in and out...simple. But this thing has some of the best converters I've heard. The same converters are used in their top-end pro unit, the Delta 1010 (now THAT'S up there in price, closing in on the 4 digit mark). Wonderful quality. The only thing keeping it back is the fact that it offers no balanced ins and outs. Doesn't have the features of Creative Labs or Hercules offerings, but for pure sound quality, this is not beat.
for cheap, SB Live!

for better, SB 5.1 (x-gamer or MP3 or the like)

for Via boards, ANYTHING else. Some incompatabilites with via boards, but if you can get around them, it's a great card.
Then again whats the max fsb you guys get a sound blaster 5.1 to and then wahts max u can get that santa cruz to? If sblive cant take more then 45fsb then its worth gting the cruz probably...
I'm thinking about either the X-gamer or the MP3. What's the difference there ? Like I said I would like to have 5.1 dolby digital Surround Sound. And It has to be something I can plug my DVD player's sound into.

I already have a EQ for my computer and a remote that controls a lot more than just winamp. So the Platinum would just be overkill for me.

I don't think over clocking will be an issue as I have a ton of other stuff that will probably give out before any sound card would. RAM particularly and my NIC.

So....what's the difference between the X-gamer and the MP3 ?

Check my sig for system details..sorry I didn't' include them before.
Gotta go with Soundblaster Live! Platinum 5.1. Mad bragging rights there.

Back when I was putting my computer together, I had some cheap Soundblaster that didn't exist. I couldn't find specs for it anywhere. Even from Soundblaster. So I went out and spent $200 on the Soundblaster Live! Platinum, in the non-5.1 flavor. Because they didn't exist. A month later? 5.1 were rolled out FOR THE EXACT SAME PRICE!!! Piss me off! (Actually, I only spent $150 on my Platinum. It said $199.99 on the shelf, but rang up as $150 at CompUSA. I wasn't going to tell them.)
The only difference between the MP3 and X-Gamer is the included software. I personal don't care for anything they include, but then again I get tons of better software whenever I want, so I'm a bit spoiled in that dept.

The MP3 comes with conversion software for creative's onboard conversion chip... the gamer comes with, um, games.
Yah, I read the specs on both and the MP3 comes with some nifty sound programs that I may or may not use and the X-gamer comes with Ummm.... nothing special....I think I'm going with the MP3 version of the sound blaster live. Looks like the best card for what I want to do with it. Thanks for all your help. any sugestions now would still help. If you want to talk me out of it or something like that
Sweetness. Thanks for the info on staples. I hate rebates but there better than full price. I'll make a run up there tonight or tomorrow to sniff it out. Im not going to beat $50 at a computer show. That's cool. Thank You