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God Of Gaming

A great audio setup for PC?

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So, I'm dualbooting WinXP x86 and Win7 x64, installing games older than 2005 on XP and newer on 7, and since I love old games I stay in XP most of the time and only switch to 7 on a whim when I feel like playing a newer game. I also watch ripped blu-ray movies as well as listen to lossless music. So far I'm using onboard audio and cheap stereo speakers with 30W subwoofer.

 

I want to upgrade to something way more serious now. I want to put a dedicated sound card with good APIs, from which I'd love to have hardware accelerated EAX 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and maybe OpenAL. On a secondary note I'd prefer as good a sound quality as possible. And I want to connect it to a 5.1 system, that will cover the whole room not just around my seat.

 

I researched quite a bit of sound cards, and Creative X-Fi Titanium HD has the closest specs to what I need, but since It doesn't have enough analog connections for 5.1 I guess I'll go with Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional. The AuzenTech X-Fi HomeTheater HD is also an option, but I read somewhere that it has a less than desirable frequency range of 40 Hz to 15 kHz.

 

As for the speakers, I'm thinking of something like this:

4 of these for the corners of the room: http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/Intimus-5B-Bookshelf-Speaker,108,90,249.aspx

this center channel speaker: http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/Intimus-5C-Center-Channel-Speaker,109,90,251.aspx

this subwoofer: http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/NEW-Bravus-IIa-8D-Powered-Subwoofer,305,66,858.aspx

and this amplifier for the speakers: http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa5

 

From what I hear, I might also need a preamp between the sound card and the amplifier / subwoofer. Well, since I don't really understand that much, I'm asking here for advice and recommendations :)

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It seems you have a large budget for audio gear. Everything looks fine, but don't cheap out on the audio card, get a high end Omega card. Your system should sound great!

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Does that Omega card have hardware accelerated EAX 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5? I can't find anything about that on its site. It's important for me to get the most immersive experience out of games with a lot of "sound candy" so I'm staying away from the Asus Xonar series which only seem to be lacking in that department. Also, do I need a preamp and if I do which would you recommend? I read somewhere that amplifiers need a lot more input voltage than what sound cards output, so if that's the case I guess I'll need one.

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Does that Omega card have hardware accelerated EAX 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5? I can't find anything about that on its site. It's important for me to get the most immersive experience out of games with a lot of "sound candy" so I'm staying away from the Asus Xonar series which only seem to be lacking in that department. Also, do I need a preamp and if I do which would you recommend? I read somewhere that amplifiers need a lot more input voltage than what sound cards output, so if that's the case I guess I'll need one.

 

The preamp should your be audio card, so you don't need one. But I would check the specs on your amp and sound card to make sure. I would look around for a Omega card that works for what you need.

Edited by Black64

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I'll be getting soon a motherboard that doesn't have any PCI slots, so the only HT Omega sound card that would be compatible with it would be the eClaro, and seeing that it is a low profile card, I doubt it would be worth it over a Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro or AuzenTech X-Fi HomeTheater HD. Darn it, why doesn't X-Fi Titanium HD have enough analog outputs for 5.1 :(

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Auzentech soundcards whoo :)

 

I would say external dac/preamp however you will be looking at and I kid you not $1000+ easily.

 

However you can get stereo sound for $250 from as high quality external dac/preamp which would also include balanced XLR out or unbalanced RCA.

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Im no expert on sound, but how would you feed that amp? Just attached directly to the sound cards analoug out? And then feed the subwoofer with just an RCA split of the Centre/Sub 3.5mm jack?

 

I would have thought getting a Receiver may be easier to mange, and provide still impressive sound. Espically considering the budget you have. This would then also mean you could just get a card that does DTS/DD out, and leave the signal digital till your amp.

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Im no expert on sound, but how would you feed that amp? Just attached directly to the sound cards analoug out? And then feed the subwoofer with just an RCA split of the Centre/Sub 3.5mm jack?

 

I would have thought getting a Receiver may be

 

easier to mange, and provide still impressive sound. Espically considering the budget you have. This would then also mean you could just get a card that does DTS/DD out, and leave the signal digital till your amp.

Unfortunately his amp only takes balanced xlr or unbalanced RCA inputs, no digital inputs at all. He could consider a receiver with toslink in or better hdmi in and use hdmi from the gfx card then use the reciever to split out the sound ans send the video on to the tv/monitor.

 

Edit: could get this to match the amp

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/umc1

Edited by Stonerboy779

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That one seems reasonable. How good is it in comparison with a X-Fi Titanium onboard DAC? What is the cheapest sound card that I can couple it with to get hardware DS3D/EAX/OpenAL?

Which one?

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depends if your onboard optical out or if your hdmi audio out supports it otherwise no. However 11 band eq sound processor it also decodes all the standard digital audio formats and functions as a tuner and pre amplifier.

 

Lack of eax open al etc would matter jack because to me the amazing quality of sound from movies and especially music is superior to a simulated 3d environment in games.

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