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  • Help me pick a sound card for Linux use!

    Hello everyone. I've been searching high and low for information on the support for higher-end consumer/gamer sound cards under Linux (especially, under 64bit. I'd run whatever sort of wrapper/driver for a 32 bit is necessary, as long as I get feature parity). Every company I see, seems to have some problem. What I've studied so far...


    Creative X-Fi Titanium Series - Creative is generally known to have shitty drivers. Are X-Fis really unable to work with ALSA?

    Auzentech X-Fi Prelude - Licensed the X-Fi technology, but perhaps their linux drivers are better than those provided by Creative?

    Asus Xonar series - Haven't gotten a clear picture one way or the other. Some people say they work great under Linux, some people say they're useless.

    So, any advice? Thanks!

  • #2
    If you're content to have slightly less high-end of a sound card, you could get a used Audigy 2 ZS. That's what I did; works natively with ALSA in both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux, and has never given me any problems. If you go the X-Fi route, you might have better luck with OSS, where there are already drivers available.

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    • #3
      Thanks. I actually have an Audigy 2 ZS now. However, when I upgrade my motherboard I might quite possibly run out of PCI slots, so I was looking for a PCI-E solution. If worse comes to worse, I'll be glad to know that the ZS still runs.

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      • #4
        Forget about any X-Fi card They are not supported in linux.
        Know nothing about Asus cards.

        If you find that you do have the available pci slot and do not use the Augigy look at the HT Omega Striker or the AuzenTech XPlosin.
        Both cards use the C-media CMI8770 chip and are great in linux.
        If you want eenen higher end look at their C-media CM1778 cards.

        Personally I love C-media either onboard or as PCI.

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        • #5
          Why don't you use the onboard sound? hda-intel does not sound so bad usually...

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          • #6
            I'd take the ASUS Xonar DX 7.1.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by d2kx View Post
              I'd take the ASUS Xonar DX 7.1.
              Agreed, the Cmedia chip on the Xonars are very well supported on linux.

              Speaking from personal experience the AuzenTech X-Plosion works extremely well in linux. (Same can't be said in windows).

              I currently use the Auzentech X-Meridian (no longer available) which uses the same chip as the asus cards (Asus rebrands the chip but it is a CMI-8788) and in windows and linux it has proven to be a extremely solid card.


              Friends don't let friends buy creative.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone. I'm dumping Creative, definitely!

                My next card will either be one of the AuzenTech or Xonars. I hear there will be new versions of both coming out in the next month or two. The Auzen 7.1 Cinema sounds like a great card, as does the Xonar D2X. Anyone know if the Xonar D2X really has no header for front panel audio? I read somewhere that it doesn't, but I'm not sure if they just mean it doesn't come with the cable necessary to do so, or if it actually doesn't have the connector.

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                • #9
                  Beyond the shadow of any doubt, this is the card that I --HIGHLY-- recommend. Absolutely perfect linux drivers, and the sound is soooooo good.

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271001

                  That uses the C-Media 8770 chipset which has much more mature drivers then the 8788. Maybe someday when the 8788 drivers mature I can recommend something with that, but until then I just cant.

                  Get the HT Omega Striker, you wont be disappointed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                    ...


                    Friends don't let friends buy creative.

                    Really. I have my X-Fi gathering dust in my garage. I think I will just give it away.

                    Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                    Beyond the shadow of any doubt, this is the card that I --HIGHLY-- recommend. Absolutely perfect linux drivers, and the sound is soooooo good.

                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271001

                    That uses the C-Media 8770 chipset which has much more mature drivers then the 8788. Maybe someday when the 8788 drivers mature I can recommend something with that, but until then I just cant.

                    Get the HT Omega Striker, you wont be disappointed.

                    I have had my eye on that card for a while. Only thing is, aside from all the extra connections (which are pretty much worthless to me) would it be any better than say, a Audigy2 Value (sound quality wise)?
                    Last edited by Melcar; 07-07-2008, 10:50 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                      Beyond the shadow of any doubt, this is the card that I --HIGHLY-- recommend. Absolutely perfect linux drivers, and the sound is soooooo good.

                      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271001

                      That uses the C-Media 8770 chipset which has much more mature drivers then the 8788. Maybe someday when the 8788 drivers mature I can recommend something with that, but until then I just cant.

                      Get the HT Omega Striker, you wont be disappointed.

                      The snd-oxygen module in alsa is very good, on par with the CMI8738, 8768+, and 8770 cmipci module.

                      If going for a 8770 based board the X-plosion does offer better analogue output because if it custom designed board and higher end components. It achieves better crosstalk and noise levels then the Striker. As well the X-Plosion has upgadable opamps.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                        The snd-oxygen module in alsa is very good, on par with the CMI8738, 8768+, and 8770 cmipci module.

                        If going for a 8770 based board the X-plosion does offer better analogue output because if it custom designed board and higher end components. It achieves better crosstalk and noise levels then the Striker. As well the X-Plosion has upgadable opamps.
                        I also have a B-Gears B-Inspirer, and that card uses the 8788 chip, and I'm just not impressed. The mixer controls suck, and I'm just not all that interested in designing my own asoundrc. Also it still pops and skips even after the new code base. I've since replaced it with a Striker, and it is worlds better.

                        The reason why I chose the Striker over the X-Plosion was that it had a front panel audio connector. Now I can plug in my headphones (easier then reaching around back) and have real good sound when my wife is sleeping. On the other hand upgrading the opamps was an enticing offer until I read up on the opamps that it uses. I'd have to pull the card out to see what they are, but when I was researching it, all the audiophiles seemed to love them.
                        Last edited by duby229; 07-08-2008, 12:32 AM.

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                        • #13
                          i've got the ASUS Xonar DX and it has a front panel connector, it works natively in 64bit

                          according to the ALSA sound matrix it's well supported: [PCIE] [ANALOGio] [TOSo] [24bit] [192kHz] [7.1]

                          the only gripe is that you need to compile your own ALSA until version 1.0.17 is released, since the card just got added in the drivers in April: http://www.alsa-project.org/main/ind...ClemensLadisch

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Licaon View Post
                            i've got the ASUS Xonar DX and it has a front panel connector, it works natively in 64bit

                            according to the ALSA sound matrix it's well supported: [PCIE] [ANALOGio] [TOSo] [24bit] [192kHz] [7.1]

                            the only gripe is that you need to compile your own ALSA until version 1.0.17 is released, since the card just got added in the drivers in April: http://www.alsa-project.org/main/ind...ClemensLadisch

                            snd-oxygen was included in 1.0.16

                            http://www.alsa-project.org/main/ind...ygen.29_driver

                            [EDIT] I just realized that you were talking about specifically the DX.
                            Last edited by deanjo; 07-08-2008, 10:09 AM.

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                            • #15
                              it's snd-virtuoso for Xonar DX

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