Sound card - new

I currently have a Creative X-FI Fatal1ty pro on window 7 ultimate 64 bit. I have had nothing but issues with its drivers. Every now and then it will become digitized and make popping/cracking noises. I have uninstall everything re-seat the card and re-install from the original disk, because the online drivers make no difference. Perhaps this is just ignorance and I don't know how to fix it. Can you please suggest a new sound card or maybe a way to fix my old one. Thanks

Why don't you try the onboard audio.

Two reasons, the audio quality is pretty poor, I have Sennheiser HD595 audiophile headphones. So there is a definite difference. Also I get audio feed back from the on board realtek sound card. 

Have you tried that same card on another computer or even another install of windows? If its still buggy it may just be the card.

Yes, It was installed on Windows Vista 64 bit. I do think it's the card that is why I want to know what is out there for good sound cards maybe not made by creative. 

Look at the ASUS sound cards there is one for every price from $20 to $250 

The Asus Xonar cards seem pretty good and are highly recommended. A selection of prices within the cards so it's more approachable depending on budget.


You think about DAC units? Sits outside the computer and puts out nice analogue audio signals. Linus did a video recent about an affordable one by FiiO.

I have had my eye on the Audioengine D1 DAC for a while. A possible 'if I have a nice chunk of disposable cash' item for myself.

I didn't even know about a DAC and it could be a project, which is nice I think I will look into it more. I don't know much about them to be honest. Are they affected by the on board audio or is it something completely separate. 

I did some research. I read that DAC aren't necessarily good for gaming. As I game mostly, would this be a good choice. The reason I read is because the sound cards have a digital sound processor that isn't in a DAC. As I said I don't know much about them and this could be in traditional DACs only. Can anyone give me some more clarification? or would this work with my on board sound card or seperate?

Can someone please explain a little more on DAC vs Sound Cards? Possible from gaming perspective?

from my understanding a DAC is just amplifying and converting the sound to analogue where the sound card is actually producing the sound.  I may be wrong on the DAC part but the Asus Xonar will be the best one to get for gaming.

or this one looks like it would be better for headphones if you dont have an amp

Can someone please explain a little more on DAC vs Sound Cards? Possible from gaming perspective?