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About Blastfrog

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  1. Currently, I'm stuck with a computer that's just okayish as a gaming and media (sound, graphics, etc.) production computer, and that's by 2008 standards. Now, it's pretty meh. So, I was thinking of putting together a new computer, and I've got a parts list assembled. It's probably overkill, but I want something that will last me a bit longer while still being pretty good for gaming and especially music and 2D/3D graphics production than how long my current system has.

    So, what do you think of this current parts list?

    Case - $130: CoolerMaster HAF XM RC-922XM-KKN1
    Motherboard - $120: Asus P8Z77-V LK
    PSU - $150: Cooler Master RS850-AMBAJ3-US
    CPU - $240: Intel Core i5-3570K
    CPU Cooler - $90: Phanteks PH-TC14PE
    SSD 1 - $200: Samsung MZ-7PC256B
    SSD 2 - $200: Samsung MZ-7PC256B
    RAM - $110: Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B
    Video Card - $280: GTX 560 Ti 2GB

    1. Show previous comments  13 more
    2. Maes


      Nowadays the only advantage of an "expensive" dedicated soundcard (those around the $100 mark) is that they might have higher quality DACs/ADCs (higher-end Burr Brown or Cirrus Logic) compared to onboard, but that's not something you can put your hand over fire about.

      But to be really honest, most people are not able to tell the difference between 96 kbps and standard CD quality, and their speaker setups do not help much, either, so there's no point in investing in an expensive sound card if all you're gonna watch are artifact-laden videos of people burping on YT. If using digital speakers, then the soundcard has nearly no role in how the final result will sound.

      And most soundcards do NOTHING in hardware anymore: sound mixing/EAX/Dolby decoding/positioning is all done in software anyway, except for the highly problematic Creative cards (and then, not even all of them), so there's no point in investing in a "gaming" card anymore. It made little sense with single-core CPUs by 2005, and it makes no sense now with so many CPU cores to spare.

    3. DoomUK


      If dedicated sound cards are so superfluous, why did I hear a noticeable decrease in audio quality when switching to onboard audio (using the same speakers)?

      Personally I would say the only reason to stay away from Creative products is that their software caused me so much trouble that I eventually switched to onboard audio because I got sick of reinstalling everything periodically. Not the first person to complain about this either.

      But things might have improved since the Audigy 2. Also, my motherboard is nearing 7 years old and onboard sound might also have improved since I bought it.

    4. Maes


      DoomUK said:

      If dedicated sound cards are so superfluous, why did I hear a noticeable decrease in audio quality when switching to onboard audio (using the same speakers)?

      Read my comment above. It's entirely possible that a dedicated sound card might have better DACs and analog circuitry but it's not something you can put your hand on fire about. A 1999 Ensoniq is dedicated, but I doubt it has a better DAC than a CMedia-based onboard. Similarly, there are dedicated soundcards that use exactly the same codecs as onboards, and many low cost ones, at that.

      Audio perception is a highly subjective matter, as any audio forum dweller can tell you, however there are a few hard constants: a card with a high-end DAC will probably sound better than a lesser one unless they fuck up the analog part.

      The difference between onboard/dedicated might also be another: most onboard audio doesn't have a true "line out" audio output, but a do-it-all line-out/speaker/headphone output, which is quite not the same as a controlled line-level output. If the speakers expect a line-level input with proper impedance etc. of course they will sound different with a half-baked affair.