mid to high end soundcard for multiple apps

T

Thurston

New Member
#1
I'm in the market for a sound card and was hoping to get some advice on what to to look for. Here's what I have/need:

Current setup:
-AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+(65W) Windsor 2.4GHz AM2 Processor
-CORSAIR 2GB (2 x 1GB) SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel
-GIGABYTE GA-M61P-S3 Socket AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard
-GIGABYTE GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

I built the computer for gaming (BF2), music and movies (online, DVD, tv, hard drive, etc). For the sound card, I want something that supports at least 5.1 surround sound for speakers yet to be bought in the computer room.

I'm also planning on running s-video and digital coax to my living room tv and receiver (to be bought in the very near future) so that I can watch and listen music and movies on my living room couch. Will digital coax send surround sound to my receiver properly if I play a movie from my computer while viewing in the living room? Using optical cable to send to my living room is out of the question as it is a 70' or so run and coax is far cheaper than fiber.

I'd also like the ability to record music from my guitar using ableton live. Using my current onboard line in and mic in ports, there is obvious delay (latency?). I believe my processor is fast enough so I assume a good sound card would help with this.

I'm a bit of a newb to this and learning as I go so any technical responses and/or helpful links regarding sound cards would be greatly appreciated.

What specs should I be looking at when browsing sound cards and does anyone have specific recommendations for my applications? I'm hoping Krupted will chime in here but I'd also like some other opinions. I'd like to spend up to $100 on the card, however if there is a strong argument for certain cards above that price range I'm open to suggestions. Thanks in advance!
 
AMD Guy

AMD Guy

New Member
#2
I see no problem running the coax that far for your 5.1 sound information. Did you know that your motherboard already has S/PDIF IN and OUT available on it? I am looking at the manual right now and it states that an optional cable can be purchased (or you can make it) Look at the manual page 18 for connector 12 location and page 24 for the pinout information. I would try using the onboard sound that you already have since it is 6 or 8 channel and has S/PDIF. If you do not like it you can always get a good sound card anyway.
 
T

Thurston

New Member
#4
AMD Guy- Thanks for doing some research on my motherboard. I hadn't realized that it had the onboard output. I'm not sure how I would connect the onboard SPDIF connector to a coax cable, but I'm sure some adapter is available. Also the motherboard manual gives the following description:
"The S/PDIF output is capable of providing digital audio to external speakers or compressed AC3 data to an external Dolby Digital Decoder..."
I'd rather have an output cabable of providing DTS to the receiver as well, which the manual doesn't mention.

Krupted- That Delta 1010, although very cool looking, is a bit out of my price range right now (MSRP $499.95). Maybe a future upgrade. I did some searching on Newegg and found a card that I later saw you recommended in another posting.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829127002
This card would be perfect I think except that contrary to the item description it doesn't have a coax out. Is there a good fiber to coax adapter out there? Should I look for an alternate card?

Thanks again for the responses.
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#5
you can find the delta1010 card without the rackmount for $200 or less, you dont need the rackmount version.

any less then a musician's soundcard is going to leave with delays on the guitar playing. theres no way around it, most gaming soundcards arent designed to work with guitars.
 
T

Thurston

New Member
#7
BTW, I do have Vista on my work laptop, and it does have some nice features. I'm not suprised to hear you say that the on board sound is high quality; it seems to me that Vista was designed to cater to the arts much in the way Apple has done. However, the lack of support for an overwhelming number of the programs I typically use will keep XP on my home computer for at least a while.
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#8
really? i dont have any apps that worked in xp and not in vista. or, the ones i do i dont need because vista does the task natively.

if youre just doing home theater, use your oboard sound or an equivelent pci card like this one- http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16829120103
dont worry about the sound quality, vista will take care of that. i know it sounds funny that im suggesting a $20 card over a $130 one, but believe me you will not be able to hear the difference between them if youre running vista.
 
T

Thurston

New Member
#9
That card wouldn't do it for me, there's no coax digital out which I need for interfacing with my receiver in the other room (coax cable is MUCH cheaper than fiber over long runs). I went with the $130 one. A bit more than I wanted to spend, but it has great reviews and the inputs/outputs I need or will ever need.

I'm running my computer as both a HTPC and a gamer. As for the vista programs, I haven't tried too many apps on it yet, but for certain Battlefield 1942 does not run correctly with it. Granted, this is an older game (2001?) and it's EA's fault for not updating. All the same, I'm going to wait a while before switching over to Vista.

Thanks for the help!

BTW; I also have an unrelated question regarding problems with J. River media that I'll start in a new thread.
 

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