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I'm ready to make some upgrades, but I'm really unsure what to do about sound. There are a lot of options for both sound cards and headsets and I can't decided what to choose. Here's what I'm considering.

Sound Card

Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio

Turtle Beach Montego 7.1 Dolby Digital Live Surround PCI Sound Card

Headsets

Turtle Beach X-52 Surround Sound Headphones

Tritton AXPC 5.1 USB Rumble Gaming Headphones

eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset

Considering that I'm currently using mobo onboard audio, a microphone that's integrated into this old Compaq CRT monitor that I'm about to trash, and some cheap Sony earclip-type headphones, anything will be an upgrade. All feed back and other suggestions are much appreciated.

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I have a Turtle Beach sound card after my Creative card died some time ago and it's working out quite well. Besides Creative and Turtle Beach, there aren't really any other big sound card manufacturers.

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there aren't really any other big sound card manufacturers.

M-Audio begs to differ, though they are more an audiophile/musician class sound card. I believe it's M-Audio sound cards that GRIN used for sound development for GRAW1/2.

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Thanks for the feedback so far guys, and I look forward to more!

Dannik has introduced me to some new companies - great, just what I need... more options! :lol:

@Ledanek - I would like the 5.1 speaker set up, but for gaming I better stick with a headset so as not to disturb the peace. If you know what I mean.

I would especially like to hear from anyone who uses a force-feedback headset. Is it worth it?

@GRIN (don't know if any of you visit this forum), did you guys use the M-Audio sound cards for development? If so, was that just for sound editing, or for in game as well?

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So many different headphones/headsets to choose, i have noticed a lot of serious gamers choose the 5.1 cans, but me personaly i always choose sennheiser, just a basic stereo headphone, remember you get what you pay, quality and a topnotch sound reproduction through headphones is a must no matter what i reckon. I use sennheiser HD555, comfortable for long periods, excellent quality, nice punchy bass and crystal clear imho. I'll pay £80 to £100 for a decent set of cans.

I use the SB X-Fi extreme music ..in one word "Excellent", but don't forget there are some excellent motherboard soundchips that will do 7.1 and High definition too.

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Love my Audigy ZS with my Logitech 5.1

I bought that logitech set on ebay about two months ago for $40 with shipping. Wowzer. I went from crappy little speakers to that and wow what a difference. That subwoofer makes all the diference when listening to music and explosions in game.

I bought an older model though. I think with the ones you linked you actually have a sepearate controller for bass and volume that you can put anywhere on your desk. If I want to turn the bass down I have to reach under my desk and turn the knob down on the subwoofer.

My wife is always yelling at me to turn it down. I use the integrated sound card from the mother board I bought. Thankfully it was 5.1. I think it sounds specatacular and have really found no reason to buy a sperate sound card. I will have to look into a 5.1 headset though.

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My wife is always yelling at me to turn it down.

My C.Labs 5,1 surround speakers have seen me through 2 or 3 PC builds, and they still hardly get used, it's a headphones environment here.

At the weekend nobody was in so I watched a movie on the computer, with the speakers on for a change, like, WOW, is sounded freaking awesome. I need a soundproofed gaming room :devil:

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There's a set of the new eDimensional Audio FX Pro headphones winging their way to me now, so if you hang off I can give you a direct compaison with my current speedlink 5.1 surround headphones.
Sweet, I look forward to your review, but I don't know how long I can wait. I'm getting giddy over the prospect of upgrading! :D

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At the weekend nobody was in so I watched a movie on the computer...

I didn't know pornos were that big into their sound development. Interesting. :P

I watch almost all my movies now on my computer because of the surround sound. This weekend it was 300, hot fuzz, and a couple other movies. Speaking of which, what in the heck does V *rasberry* jog on mean??

Edited by dporter

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I'm ready to make some upgrades, but I'm really unsure what to do about sound. There are a lot of options for both sound cards and headsets and I can't decided what to choose. Here's what I'm considering.

Sound Card

Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio

Turtle Beach Montego 7.1 Dolby Digital Live Surround PCI Sound Card

Headsets

Turtle Beach X-52 Surround Sound Headphones

Tritton AXPC 5.1 USB Rumble Gaming Headphones

eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset

Considering that I'm currently using mobo onboard audio, a microphone that's integrated into this old Compaq CRT monitor that I'm about to trash, and some cheap Sony earclip-type headphones, anything will be an upgrade. All feed back and other suggestions are much appreciated.

Hi mate a lot of this will depend really on, are you going to stay with windows xp or move to vista and dx10???

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Sound Card

Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio

Turtle Beach Montego 7.1 Dolby Digital Live Surround PCI Sound Card

You won't go wrong with an X-Fi card. In fact, you can get the ExtremeMusic one <$100.

What will make the difference is how good your speakers/headphones are. I.e. if you spend $200 on a sound card, there's no point pairing it up with cheapo desktop stereo speakers - just use your onboard sound.

BTW, do you have onboard sound?

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I've had several headsets.

Last year I switched to Sennheiser headphones and a Logitech USB mic.

For testing, I've moved the mic around 180 degrees from left of my keyboard, behind it and to the right and never had any problems that my buddies could not hear me.

Combined with the lightweight headphones, I find this the best option.

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There's a set of the new eDimensional Audio FX Pro headphones winging their way to me now, so if you hang off I can give you a direct compaison with my current speedlink 5.1 surround headphones.
Sweet, I look forward to your review, but I don't know how long I can wait. I'm getting giddy over the prospect of upgrading! :D

You might ot have to wait much longer, Edimensional don't hang about, I have my new set of Audio FX Pro Gaming headphones right here!

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Basic question... How does an add on soundcard reduce audio processing load on the CPU or does it? If the mobo has integrated audio, is the CPU involed with the audio processing at all? With my current system, see below, I usually see a definite lag or frame rate decrease when there's a burst of gun fire. Is this related to my system, my internet connection (DSL), or something else?

MSI K8 Neo Platinum (on board Realtek audio (forget the exact Realtek version))

Athlon 64 3500+

1 GB Corsair TWINX (2x512MB)

Radeon 9800 Pro

Win XP Pro SP2

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I'm ready to make some upgrades, but I'm really unsure what to do about sound. There are a lot of options for both sound cards and headsets and I can't decided what to choose. Here's what I'm considering.

Sound Card

Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio

Turtle Beach Montego 7.1 Dolby Digital Live Surround PCI Sound Card

Headsets

Turtle Beach X-52 Surround Sound Headphones

Tritton AXPC 5.1 USB Rumble Gaming Headphones

eDimensional AudioFX Force Feedback Gaming Headset

Considering that I'm currently using mobo onboard audio, a microphone that's integrated into this old Compaq CRT monitor that I'm about to trash, and some cheap Sony earclip-type headphones, anything will be an upgrade. All feed back and other suggestions are much appreciated.

Hi mate a lot of this will depend really on, are you going to stay with windows xp or move to vista and dx10???

Why do you say that, because of drivers?

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