Just wanted to gather some opinions. Do you think this series of Sound Cards is still practical for today's games, I feel as though sound technologies have advanced a lot since the X-Fi release, but I just bought a Creative Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeGamer on Ebay on the cheap, do you think this would be better than my Onboard Audio - Realtek ALC892
Thanks for your time,
It really just matters what you're going to be hooking up to it. If you have a standard set of pc speakers any onboard sound will be fine. Hell even most 5.1 sets, if they are PC speakers, will sound fine with onboard sound. Now if you are trying to drive a beefy pair of headphones or some nice speakers you might need a sound card but these days any more its almost better to get a usb dac or amp. I currently use an Audioengine D1 and don't really foresee myself ever needing to bother with a sound card again. The D1 does everything and has all the outputs I would want any soundcard to have and if I build a new system I can just hook it up to that. I just don't see the point in stand alone soundcards anymore.
I'm using a Logitech Z506 5.1 Surround Set. What about EAX?
EAX largely died out since the release of vista. In the library of games that do use EAX it can be done through the CPU. Since most games heavily use the GPU rather than the CPU nowadays this doesn't really negatively affect performance much.
Check the wikipedia article on EAX for more info.
A speaker system like that will be drawing all it's power from the subwoofer. Any onboard soundcard would push that system just fine. Don't get me wrong though, that soundblaster card will be better than what you have onboard I just don't know if it'll translate to any noticeable sound quality improvements with your current setup.
Okay, thank you for the clarification. I appreciate the input.
Hmmm... I'd actually be curious as to know how things would sound with onboard if you had an AVR that had analog 5.1 inputs, and you connected your PC through that method (instead of S/PDIF or HDMI)
I actually plan on that but I wonder if I should get a sound card for that or not.