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Thread: Asus Xonar DX vs Creative X-Fi

  1. #1
    Xtreme Enthusiast StAndrew's Avatar
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    Asus Xonar DX vs Creative X-Fi

    Im looking for a new sound card for casual gaming and music listening and am torn between the following:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102023 - Cheapest

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102034

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132006

    Ive always been a big fan of Creative until their driver fiasco with Vista. Im looking to go with Asus, but dont want to sacrifice quality (cant afford the next tier for Asus). Which would offer the best quality for the price and driver support?

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    Xtreme Enthusiast Salamndar's Avatar
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    I've always used creative Sound cards, but lately I found that they are a waste of money.

    I currently own an X-Fi titanium and I use it because the built in sound chip on the EVGA classified is also not so good, yet the audio on my old gigabyte and old ASUS x58 mobos were good enough for the casual gamer.
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  3. #3
    Xtreme Enthusiast Frag Maniac's Avatar
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    The Xonar over the Creative for sound quality, but be aware that Xonar you linked to requires a Floppy power connector. Odd they'd use a Pci-Ex socket, then require an outdated power connector. Also be aware that some have had issues with gaming performance on ASUS cards in general. Things like that usually come down to poor driver support, but the emulated EAX may have something to do with it as well. All part of the driver package really though.

    The one I'm leaning toward is the HT Omega Claro, which gets excellent reviews for sound quality from games to movies to music, and seems to have very good driver support as well. You can't touch them for less than $160 though. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-002-_-Product

  4. #4
    Xtreme Enthusiast StAndrew's Avatar
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    Thanks. Ill stick with Creative as it looks like these cards have their act together with drivers. Im sticking with Creative I think as Im familiar with them...
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  5. #5
    I am Xtreme BeepBeep2's Avatar
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    Xonar is definately going to beat the X-Fi in sound quality, but the X-Fi comes with the "ha, I own an X-Fi and you dont" factor.

    The XtremeAudio is crap, keep away. Titanium vs DX, on paper you are looking at 109db SNR to 116db SNR, and ASUS's connectors are gold plated it looks like while the X-Fi's aren't.

    OT-
    Did you ever get your motherboard issue straightened out, and how is the ram?
    Last edited by BeepBeep2; 02-07-2011 at 05:45 PM.
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    Xtreme Member evoted's Avatar
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    I was on the same boat just couple days ago and decided to go with the Xonar DX, i did plenty of reading about it and i could only hear good things about it. The card is about 3 years old so i figure the drivers are mature enough. Also i wanted to give another brand a try.

    EDIT: I also looked at the HT Omega Claro, but that was way too much $$$$ for a sound card IMO.

    I cant wait to get it and try it.
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    Xtreme Enthusiast StAndrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeepBeep2 View Post
    Xonar is definately going to beat the X-Fi in sound quality, but the X-Fi comes with the "ha, I own an X-Fi and you dont" factor.

    The XtremeAudio is crap, keep away. Titanium vs DX, on paper you are looking at 109db SNR to 116db SNR, and ASUS's connectors are gold plated it looks like while the X-Fi's aren't.

    OT-
    Did you ever get your motherboard issue straightened out, and how is the ram?
    Yup, they sent me a new one finally. The ram works great, thanks! I hope things are going better for you.

    I wouldnt mind the Xonar except for the power connector. I would have to add another cable to my PS (modular) just for the sound card.
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    Xtreme Member evoted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StAndrew View Post
    I wouldnt mind the Xonar except for the power connector. I would have to add another cable to my PS (modular) just for the sound card.
    then go for the D1, which is the PCI version of the DX
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    Xtreme Enthusiast StAndrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evoted View Post
    then go for the D1, which is the PCI version of the DX
    No PCI slot. Only have a PCI x1 slot.
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  10. #10
    I am Xtreme Donnie27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StAndrew View Post
    No PCI slot. Only have a PCI x1 slot.
    Update us on how it went?

    My experiences with X-Fi is that 85% of it features work with Realtek if you have both installed and or ATI's HD. The sound will NOT go through the X-FI so there's nothing to worry about there. Even if it could, it would stay digital and X-Fi would have zero affects on it.

    Honestly though, the best sound card is the one you like best for YOUR tastes be it Asus, Auzentech, Creative and whatever card.
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  11. #11
    Xtreme Guru JoeBar's Avatar
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    I'm on the same boat with the OP...

    I'm thinking of getting a sound card after so many years (since the original X-Fi). I always had Creative cards and the logical move was to go with X-Fi Titanium, but i've heard good words about Xonar DX and despite the 3.5" connector i'm leaning towards it. Maybe it's the fact that here the DX is actually 30€ cheaper than Titanium and half the price of Titamium Fatality and i'm not yet convinced that they actually deserve the price premium...

    Maybe is there anyone who has tried both?
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  12. #12
    Xtreme Guru JoeBar's Avatar
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    Finally went with Asus Xonar DX. Really happy with my choice...
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    Xtreme Enthusiast Klarko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBar View Post
    Finally went with Asus Xonar DX. Really happy with my choice...
    Did yours plug in fine with the power connector?

    Mine was a pain in the a$$ for sure, and when I had to put it in my new case it broke. Crappy design but whatever.
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    Xtreme Enthusiast Erklat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frag Maniac View Post
    Odd they'd use a Pci-Ex socket, then require an outdated power connector.]
    Xonar is not a native PCIe card, but uses PLX bridge chip which requires that extra power. The onboard communication is still per PCI specs.

    In the terms of the sound quality Xonar will easily outperform anything built by Creative, a simple glance at pcb could tell you that. If you are casual gamer, go for it, you get better sound quality and still be able to play somewhat along the way
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    Xtreme Enthusiast Frag Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erklat View Post
    Xonar is not a native PCIe card, but uses PLX bridge chip which requires that extra power. The onboard communication is still per PCI specs.
    I was only referring to the socket it uses, not it's native design. I still find it a fumbly way of making a sound card. I didn't care for any of the GPUs with Pci-Ex bridge chips either. They just ran hotter and resulted in more problems. Some didn't have reference bolt patterns too so they were a pain to use aftermarket coolers on.

    I can see some buying Pci-Ex converted product over the several month span after Pci-Ex came out, but my God it's been yrs now since, and yet some manufacturers are still lazily pushing this conversion crap or PCI cards vs adapting with true native Pci-Ex product. I wish the Claro were made in Pci-Ex, if it were I'd have already bought one.
    Last edited by Frag Maniac; 03-01-2011 at 10:55 AM.

  16. #16
    Xtreme Guru JoeBar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klarko View Post
    Did yours plug in fine with the power connector?

    Mine was a pain in the a$$ for sure, and when I had to put it in my new case it broke. Crappy design but whatever.
    Yes, really fine. It's a bit flimsy, but so do nearly all floppy connectors...
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  17. #17
    Xtreme Enthusiast Erklat's Avatar
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    I don't find an issue in this, the connector is located closer to the mobo, so if you hid your cables behind the mobo tray, once connected it does not get in the way. At least it didn't for me, though I could understand the hassle if you have a modular psu.
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  18. #18
    Xtreme Guru JoeBar's Avatar
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    Oddly the DX's power connector is located farthest from mb, at least it's narrower than D2X and it's not a big deal...


    BTW for those using Asus Xonar cards, i suggest that you try out Asus Xonar Unified Drivers...
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    You might not want to hear this.. but I think you should spend a little bit more than what you've listed. The C-media CMI8788 is the most powerful audio processor ever. It can take any audio input (stereo, mono, DTS, AC3, etc) and convert it to 5.1 surroundsound out using any of the available outputs on the card. I first bought it for my HTPC because I was tired of having Youtube, my MP3s and CDs, and my SNES Emulation be "limited" to stereo or mono. I wanted to hear the sound on all of my speakers. The CMI8788 attempts to produce a virtual 5.1 from sources that are less than 5.1 via sound analysis. Normally, you could set up the satellite speakers to duplicate the front 2 speakers, but the CMI8788 provides a better "surroundsound" feeling because of the analysis. Last week I bought another card for my gaming machine. It's great because I now get 5.1 sound regardless of what I'm watching or listening to.

    Go here for a list of all cards that have the CMI8788 chip. I personally own 2 of the PCI Express cards and I love them. This was the first audio card I have purchased since my last Creative Labs card around 2005. I jumped ship on Creative Labs when audio was available onboard. I was sick of the games they play with their customers. I'm thrilled with this new card and it was so nice to hear all of my speakers work all of the time on all sources. I recommend the PCI Express card because PCI might not be around much longer. For the $184.99 I think you get more for your buck than the sound cards you have listed above.
    Last edited by josh1980; 03-06-2011 at 05:04 PM.

  20. #20
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    i would hunt down a forte, not sure were to get one though.
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    I am Xtreme Donnie27's Avatar
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    Hugs Prelude in HTPC and Smiles
    Quote Originally Posted by Movieman
    With the two approaches to "how" to design a processor WE are the lucky ones as we get to choose what is important to us as individuals.
    For that we should thank BOTH (AMD and Intel) companies!


    Posted by duploxxx
    I am sure JF is relaxed and smiling these days with there intended launch schedule. SNB Xeon servers on the other hand....
    Posted by gallag
    there yo go bringing intel into a amd thread again lol, if that was someone droping a dig at amd you would be crying like a girl.
    qft!

  22. #22
    Xtreme Enthusiast Frag Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh1980 View Post
    The C-media CMI8788 is the most powerful audio processor ever. It can take any audio input (stereo, mono, DTS, AC3, etc) and convert it to 5.1 surroundsound out using any of the available outputs on the card.
    Oh if only that were true, but far from the case according to the manufacturers of several cards I've spoken to.

    If you so much as want to take the optical audio out from an HDTV and go in through the optical audio in on any given card that has it, there is only ONE card (or model series of cards I should say) that will take that signal then upmix it to 5.1 analog out. This is important to note because A) modern HDTVs pretty much all dropped analog stereo audio outputs, and B) a lot of people merely combining a TV to their PCs don't want to have to buy a receiver just to get 5.1 from TV broadcasts.

    That aforementioned model series of sound card is the HT Omega Claro. AFAIK all PCI versions of it support optical in to analog out 5.1 upmixing. If you should find a Pci-Ex card that does such a thing, PLEASE let me know because I really don't want to have to mount the 2nd GPU in the bottom Pci-Ex slot and mod a vent in my case for it. It WOULD however result in ample space between the GPUs for ventilation, so it's not all bad.

    And for the record, as far as I've gleaned, it is not the CMI8788 chip itself that makes stereo to 5.1 upmixing in general possible, it's the supporting software suite with features like DDL and Neo. Add to that the fact that MOST cards do that upmixing only internally vs via optical in/analog out, and what you have is the need to buy an HT receiver in many cases because of it. I want to avoid that preferably.
    Last edited by Frag Maniac; 03-10-2011 at 11:53 AM.

  23. #23
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    Honestly, I never considered that someone would want to output from their TV to their soundcard on the computer, then to a sound system. Everyone I know goes from their computer straight to the soundsystem and their TV has no control of the audio or even outputs audio through its built-in speakers.

    When I said it could take any input I meant any data stream you could throw at it.

    I have 2 of the HT Omega eClaro myself. I don't think I'd ever expect to have an input to my computer from another source that isn't something I'm playing my on the computer was a little beyond what I'd expect most people to use it for. But I will admit your point is well taken. If I did have a need for optical into the computer, the HT Omega Claro is superior to its PCI-Express counterpart. Good catch mate!

  24. #24
    I am Xtreme Donnie27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh1980 View Post

    The C-media CMI8788 is the most powerful audio processor ever. It can take any audio input (stereo, mono, DTS, AC3, etc) and convert it to 5.1 surroundsound out using any of the available outputs on the card.
    Honestly, I never considered that someone would want to output from their TV to their soundcard on the computer, then to a sound system. Everyone I know goes from their computer straight to the soundsystem and their TV has no control of the audio or even outputs audio through its built-in speakers.

    When I said it could take any input I meant any data stream you could throw at it.

    I have 2 of the HT Omega eClaro myself. I don't think I'd ever expect to have an input to my computer from another source that isn't something I'm playing my on the computer was a little beyond what I'd expect most people to use it for. But I will admit your point is well taken. If I did have a need for optical into the computer, the HT Omega Claro is superior to its PCI-Express counterpart. Good catch mate!
    First, it's not, no and not even to the first 3 statements.
    This is the most powerful one out there.

    The CMI-8788 versatile but is Host Based and isn't a real DSP=P CMI-8788 is not much different than the Realtec's options on most motherboards and Creative Xtreme Audio Fake X-Fi. The surrounding hardware like Op-Amps, DACs and etc.... is the only real reason that makes them worth having. The computer's processor does most of the real processing work. That's like trying to compare a Realtec software NIC to an Intel Hardware NIC. That said, most of the time Host Based Software solutions are ALL that's needed for 96% of the computer users out there.

    Then you guys must have older TV's. My almost two year old Toshiba has PCM out (via 1/8" mono jack to COAX RCA) that passes through any broad cast audio signal it receives. It also has Analog RCA Left and Right out. These signals are normally limited to Dolby Digital that my receiver can then process. Then if it can't, any receiver less than 20 years old can up-mix RCA Left and Right or matrix surround going all the way back to Pro Logic 1 from the late 80's Yes, Sound Card up-mixing is almost a useless feature, yeah, LOL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Movieman
    With the two approaches to "how" to design a processor WE are the lucky ones as we get to choose what is important to us as individuals.
    For that we should thank BOTH (AMD and Intel) companies!


    Posted by duploxxx
    I am sure JF is relaxed and smiling these days with there intended launch schedule. SNB Xeon servers on the other hand....
    Posted by gallag
    there yo go bringing intel into a amd thread again lol, if that was someone droping a dig at amd you would be crying like a girl.
    qft!

  25. #25
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    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    805
    I'm not convinced that the CPU does the processing. I just checked using a 5.1 stream and a 2.1 stream converted to 5.1 and CPU utilization excluding VLC Player didn't exceed 3%. I guess I'm going to do a little more homework and get back to this thread with the info I find....

    I guess I should reiterate that that I don't watch anything using my TV tuner. Everything is sourced from my computer. Be it an AVI, game, Blu-Ray disk, DVD, etc.

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