Should I upgrade my Sound Card?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Tsutsui, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

    Feb 1, 2002
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    Currently I have a SB PCI512 sound card which has the following stats:

    Max. Playback Depth 16-bit

    Max. Playback Rate 48 KHz

    Signal-to-Noise Ratio >96 dB

    I've been looking at the following choices:

    Sound blaster Audigy:

    Max. Playback Depth 24-bit

    Max. Playback Rate 96kHz

    Signal-to-Noise Ratio 100dB

    Turtle beach santa cruz:

    Digital Playback (D-A):

    Frequency Response: (-3dB) @ Fs = 48kHz: 10Hz to 20kHz

    SNR: 90dB FS A-weighted

    THD+N: (-3dB FS): < -87dB FS (0.004%)

    Hercules GT XP:

    Audio Converters · 18-bit ADC/20-bit DAC For high audio quality at sampling rates of up to 48kHz

    This is about the only info I've gathered for deciding if or what card I should get. I will be connecting a rotel 2 channel amp to the sound card. The source is being changed from a DVD player to my PC and I'd like the quality to stay the same for music CDs and dvds.

    I would like to keep my budget under $100 which is why I'm excluding a few other choices. I would appreciate if anyone would explain if those stats mean anything and if my plan to upgrade is wise in the first place.

    Will the Hercules Game theater be the best since I can use a standard (RCA to RCA) interconnect instead of a mini plug to rca IC? Or does a stereo mini plug carry a signal just as well as 2 separate RCAs?

  2. Matt DeVillier

    Matt DeVillier Supporting Actor

    Sep 3, 1999
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    the numbers are pretty meaningless taken by themselves. All three of those cards will sound significantly better than your current PCI512. I'm not a big fan of Creative Labs, but the Audigy is a decent card. There are still driver issues, but if you are only using it for "standard" 2-channel output (not for 3d games or anything) then you should be ok. The GameTheaterXP and the Santa Cruz both use the same Crystal Fusion sound chip. The Santa Cruz has slight higher quality DACs and is generally considered (very) slightly above the GTXP for sound quality. There's nothing better about using straight RCA plus versus the 1/8"-->RCA cable. Generally the GTXP and SC are considered slightly better than the Audigy for music playback, and the audigy slightly better for games. All 3 are far superior to what you have now, so you can make your decision based on price and connectivity options.

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