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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by gamerk2 View Post
    People use dedicated soundcards over USB options because the DACs in even the worst discrete soundcards are simply better. And USB is incapable of driving powered amps, which more and more soundcards are offering standard for headphone users.
    Could you define "simply better" as I'm not seeing any difference between my Xonar u7 and internal sound cards.

    It also has a headphone amp.

    Leave a comment:


  • gamerk2
    replied
    Originally posted by Auzy View Post
    Serious question.

    Are their Sound cards still total trash? I used to own an Audigy2, which regularly blue screen of deathed, a vibra 128 (general trash) and an Awe64 (which in new versions of windows slowed down games significantly

    Why would anyone own these things over something like a USB audio interface these days?
    Creative makes crappy drivers. Pretty much simple as that. Other manufactures who use C-Media based chipsets (ASUS being the most well known) offer competing products with better (though arguably still not great) driver support.

    People use dedicated soundcards over USB options because the DACs in even the worst discrete soundcards are simply better. And USB is incapable of driving powered amps, which more and more soundcards are offering standard for headphone users.

    EDIT

    I have two soundcards installed; I run an ASUS Xonar Xense as my primary soundcard, but also have a Creative Soundblaser Z that I mainly use when running legacy (DOS) games as it supports Roland SC-55/SC-88 MIDI in HW, so I don't have to use the relatively crap PC synth most of us grew up with.
    Last edited by gamerk2; 20 September 2018, 09:40 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • boxie
    replied
    Originally posted by DrYak View Post

    Yup, If you pay attention, that's nothing more than the theoretical SNR that you could be encoding when using a 32bits DAC.
    ( ^- i.e.: they are trying hard to find bullet points to justify the DAC when in practice even 16bits covers most of the audible rande anyway).



    The hardware is actually decent. The drivers are crap.
    On Linux, use ALSA, it even supports the hardware mixiing of multiple audio.
    On Windows, search around for kx project, a community-made drivers that work better than creatives.
    Still my go-to hardware even nowadays (got it's E-Mu PCMCIA cousin on my laptop).



    Never owned one, but always hread that the Vibra variant were lower quality chips.



    Again, half decent-ish hardware (for the time released) but server by crappy drivers in NT.



    Hardware mixing : Emu10kn chips like SB Live! (Emu 10k1) and Audigy (Emu 10k2) can mix multiple hardware streams.

    - means that on old Linux crappy software (e.g.: Flash) that tries to get the ALSA device all for it self and never release it, you can still have sound in other normal well written open-source Linux application, as each gets their own device to stream to, and the card does the mixing.
    Basically, you eschew the need to use Alsa's DMix virtual device, or that peculiar function of Pulseaudio,
    and thus avoid any latency problem by having yet another layer of software in between. (Though modern Pulseaudio tries to balance the latency and CPU/power usage, having long buffers, but being ready to drop them and recompute them to quickly react to new events).

    - even less latency : the hardware was designed by E-mu, and can be put into extremely low-latency modes for ASIO, Jack, etc. which could be useful in some studio settings. (impossible to achieve when using software layers like PulseAudio, or whatever Direct-something is the equivalent on Windows land)

    Also:

    - half decent amp. nice good break out box (useful to take the analog stage out of a noisy computer case and/or for home-studio settings needing some connections) , combined with...

    - price. You can get a decent Audigy-derived hardware (including the E-mu cousin) for dead-cheap on second hand markets. Whereas there ARE very nice USB-Audio based solution with low noise, low latency, good amps, etc. but they are all sound at a premium because they target high-margin markets (artists who need to plug one into their apple crapbook). On the other hand, dead-chip USB-Audio, will usually give you some no-name asian thing on aliexpress which may or may not fulfill the criteria you need.

    So in other words : modern onboard audio on mother board, probably fulfills, the need of 90% users. Out of the remaining, probably 90% are happy with USB audio. Out of these remaing, most are just happy to have dead cheap 2nd-hand audigy boxes.




    Which by the way is also possible with an USB3 (-A or -C) connector, but these tend to by extremely noisy (cue in Apple Crapbook managing to kill their own Wifi due to crappy noise isolation), so to have decent sound you need a decent box with quality isolation in addition to quality amps.
    Something that big-name brands will be happy to sell you... for a hefty premium.





    Sounds like you know what you are talking about! (pun intended)

    I am sad that I can no longer use my pci audigy card.. Might have to get something like it again, the sound quality out of it was always much nicer than on board

    Leave a comment:


  • DrYak
    replied
    Originally posted by boxie View Post
    I am sure if you look at it in a very certain way, with a very long scope you can possibly get that number for marketing purposes
    Yup, If you pay attention, that's nothing more than the theoretical SNR that you could be encoding when using a 32bits DAC.
    ( ^- i.e.: they are trying hard to find bullet points to justify the DAC when in practice even 16bits covers most of the audible rande anyway).

    Originally posted by Auzy View Post
    I used to own an Audigy2, which regularly blue screen of deathed,
    The hardware is actually decent. The drivers are crap.
    On Linux, use ALSA, it even supports the hardware mixiing of multiple audio.
    On Windows, search around for kx project, a community-made drivers that work better than creatives.
    Still my go-to hardware even nowadays (got it's E-Mu PCMCIA cousin on my laptop).

    Originally posted by Auzy View Post
    a vibra 128 (general trash)
    Never owned one, but always hread that the Vibra variant were lower quality chips.

    Originally posted by Auzy View Post
    and an Awe64 (which in new versions of windows slowed down games significantly
    Again, half decent-ish hardware (for the time released) but server by crappy drivers in NT.

    Originally posted by Auzy View Post
    Why would anyone own these things over something like a USB audio interface these days?
    Hardware mixing : Emu10kn chips like SB Live! (Emu 10k1) and Audigy (Emu 10k2) can mix multiple hardware streams.

    - means that on old Linux crappy software (e.g.: Flash) that tries to get the ALSA device all for it self and never release it, you can still have sound in other normal well written open-source Linux application, as each gets their own device to stream to, and the card does the mixing.
    Basically, you eschew the need to use Alsa's DMix virtual device, or that peculiar function of Pulseaudio,
    and thus avoid any latency problem by having yet another layer of software in between. (Though modern Pulseaudio tries to balance the latency and CPU/power usage, having long buffers, but being ready to drop them and recompute them to quickly react to new events).

    - even less latency : the hardware was designed by E-mu, and can be put into extremely low-latency modes for ASIO, Jack, etc. which could be useful in some studio settings. (impossible to achieve when using software layers like PulseAudio, or whatever Direct-something is the equivalent on Windows land)

    Also:

    - half decent amp. nice good break out box (useful to take the analog stage out of a noisy computer case and/or for home-studio settings needing some connections) , combined with...

    - price. You can get a decent Audigy-derived hardware (including the E-mu cousin) for dead-cheap on second hand markets. Whereas there ARE very nice USB-Audio based solution with low noise, low latency, good amps, etc. but they are all sound at a premium because they target high-margin markets (artists who need to plug one into their apple crapbook). On the other hand, dead-chip USB-Audio, will usually give you some no-name asian thing on aliexpress which may or may not fulfill the criteria you need.

    So in other words : modern onboard audio on mother board, probably fulfills, the need of 90% users. Out of the remaining, probably 90% are happy with USB audio. Out of these remaing, most are just happy to have dead cheap 2nd-hand audigy boxes.


    Originally posted by Djhg2000 View Post
    I think it's more about using the 12V rail rather than the bandwidth.
    Which by the way is also possible with an USB3 (-A or -C) connector, but these tend to by extremely noisy (cue in Apple Crapbook managing to kill their own Wifi due to crappy noise isolation), so to have decent sound you need a decent box with quality isolation in addition to quality amps.
    Something that big-name brands will be happy to sell you... for a hefty premium.






    Leave a comment:


  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by Djhg2000 View Post
    What I meant was that the 12V rail is probably cleaner than the 5V USB rail.
    That's what the marketing department said.

    Any self-respecting audio component will have its own power regulators and filtering anyway.

    For example, the Xonar U7 has https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/t...review.209326/
    TPS77601 fast transient response regulator in PG (power good) mode which does exactly what the name suggests http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tps775.pdf

    Now that I think about it though there's probably some gains to be had in terms of not having the USB cable act as an antenna.
    Completely irrelevant as the USB is a digital signal talking to the digital side of the DAC circuit. As long as power ripple is filtered out there is really nothing a USB can inject.

    Not that having it jammed in next to the 200A DC/DC of a high end graphics card would do it any favors, but still.
    If it is too close to the analog part of the circuit and the circuit isn't properly shielded then yeah it will add hums and whines to the sound.

    To be fair I only experienced that with integrated audio, never with dedicated PCI or PCIe sound cards.

    I'm not shitting on dedicated sound card quality, I'm just saying that there is no real reason to have them require a PCIe slot.

    Leave a comment:


  • Djhg2000
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    I think it's more of a legacy thing that never went away. Audio market is full of misconceptions, smoke and mirrors.

    The requirement for 12v is imho not really a thing. None in his right mind drives a half-serious audio setup with a PC soundcard's amp anwyay, you want something external and actually designed to drive room/studio speakers.

    PC audio has to drive headphones, any self-respecting PC speaker has its own amp anwyay. I have Logitech Z333 (2.1 setup), which isn't particularly powerful but it's still 40w (80w peak) and a non-GPU PCIe slot can only draw 25w.

    Which is why the Xonar U7 (USB audio) is sending audio through the dedicated speaker RCA connection, which isn't amplified (as it assumes the speakers will have their own amp, and yes they do). And it's pretty damn good already for a PC setup, most gamers just have headphones.

    The same Xonar U7 has a pretty decent headphone amp connected to the headphone jack, so it can actually drive good headphones. But an headphone amp will stay within a USB 2.0 power budget.
    What I meant was that the 12V rail is probably cleaner than the 5V USB rail. Both rails are overkill in terms of power unless you're trying to drive a massive headphone amp, but if you're trying to do that over USB without an external power supply then you probably have other issues as well.

    Now that I think about it though there's probably some gains to be had in terms of not having the USB cable act as an antenna. Not that having it jammed in next to the 200A DC/DC of a high end graphics card would do it any favors, but still.

    Leave a comment:


  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by Djhg2000 View Post
    I think it's more about using the 12V rail rather than the bandwidth.
    I think it's more of a legacy thing that never went away. Audio market is full of misconceptions, smoke and mirrors.

    The requirement for 12v is imho not really a thing. None in his right mind drives a half-serious audio setup with a PC soundcard's amp anwyay, you want something external and actually designed to drive room/studio speakers.

    PC audio has to drive headphones, any self-respecting PC speaker has its own amp anwyay. I have Logitech Z333 (2.1 setup), which isn't particularly powerful but it's still 40w (80w peak) and a non-GPU PCIe slot can only draw 25w.

    Which is why the Xonar U7 (USB audio) is sending audio through the dedicated speaker RCA connection, which isn't amplified (as it assumes the speakers will have their own amp, and yes they do). And it's pretty damn good already for a PC setup, most gamers just have headphones.

    The same Xonar U7 has a pretty decent headphone amp connected to the headphone jack, so it can actually drive good headphones. But an headphone amp will stay within a USB 2.0 power budget.

    Leave a comment:


  • caligula
    replied
    Originally posted by Djhg2000 View Post

    I think it's more about using the 12V rail rather than the bandwidth.
    Unless you install a power amplifier onboard, the cards work just fine with +5V. S/PDIF leds require < 2.5V. Analog line out require 3,5V peak to peak voltage for pro audio use and 0,9V for consumer audio. USB3 can deliver 4,5W. Sure it's nicer to have 12V. More capable designs, but there are pro audio gear that work just fine with USB power.

    Leave a comment:


  • Weasel
    replied
    Originally posted by moilami View Post
    In marketing 101 you are taught that people are idiots, and that is why anything can be sold to them.
    Teaching facts is good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Djhg2000
    replied
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    Also +1 for USB sound cards. What kind of ultra-high-bandwith audio interface needs a pcie slot anyway?
    I think it's more about using the 12V rail rather than the bandwidth.

    Leave a comment:

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