Best audio software for 5.1 speakers

gijoe50000

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May 27, 2013
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So, I have a z97 motherboard that came with the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi MB3 software, and I'm using Logitech z506 5.1 speakers.
Thing is, the MB3 software is kind of annoying. It regularly crashes, doesn't save sound profiles properly, and it's generally just 'clunky' all around.

Gigabyte seem to be fairly slack at updating the software, the creative update tool doesn't seem to work, and downloading the latest software direct from creative requires a key, which isn't supplied.

Just wonder what software other people are using? Is there a better alternative to the MB3? free or paid? Or am I better off just dumping the Creative software altogether and using the suite from the Realtek drivers?

I've been Googling around but I can't seem to find anything, or any comparisons..


 

Rogue Leader

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I hope you are right.

And no a cheap PCIe card is definitely not worth it. Even as a fan of sound cards I generally recommend against them unless you are looking for very specific features like positional sound (which TBH aren't very well supported by all games), or you are running a fairly high end set of speakers or sound system. For example in my case I run a pair of M-Audio studio monitors as my PC speakers, the card I have has gold plated high voltage analog outputs to those speakers.

For anything else the motherboard based sound is just as good as any card even up to nearly $100. And if your motherboard has an optical output that you connect to a good amplifier and speakers it can sound just as good as my fancy sound card and studio monitors. The only other time you may want a sound card is to run a high end pair of headphones as good sound cards have solid onboard headphone amps.
 

Rogue Leader

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You don't really have a choice when it comes to that software, because of the integrated audio chipset. Creative basically made software versions of many of its normal hardware features to work with the audio chipset of that motherboard. If you don't like that you can stick with the Realtek drivers, but you lose EAX and those other creative features.
 

gijoe50000

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May 27, 2013
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Ah right,
I was thinking something along those lines alright but I wasn't certain. It was probably a bad idea to buy 'Windows 8 era' hardware just when Windows 10 was coming out anyway. I find Gigabyte stop releasing drivers fairly quickly for older hardware. They done a similar thing with the last motherboard I had, they completely removed the DHT from the last sound drivers that they released, probably a licensing issue or something.
 

Rogue Leader

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Creative is no better. They tend to drop support from fairly expensive hardware quicker than you would expect. Theres very little breakthroughs in sound cards these days, so older cards as long as there is a slot for them aren't far off newer ones. I have 10 + year old cards that are as good and feature filled as anything you would buy today. However they just plain don't work in Win 10, and in some cases even Windows 8 or 7! Currently I run a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD, when Win 10 was released it took Creative nearly 6 months to release updated drivers, which is a ridiculous for a Sound card that cost $200 new, is PCIe, and is around 5 years old.
 

gijoe50000

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May 27, 2013
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That's handy to know, I'll keep it in mind.

Since Windows 10 is supposed to be the 'last' ongoing OS, the support might be a bit better from now on.
Do you think a cheap (€20-€30) pcie card would be better than the integrated acl 1150?
 

Rogue Leader

Honorable
Moderator


I hope you are right.

And no a cheap PCIe card is definitely not worth it. Even as a fan of sound cards I generally recommend against them unless you are looking for very specific features like positional sound (which TBH aren't very well supported by all games), or you are running a fairly high end set of speakers or sound system. For example in my case I run a pair of M-Audio studio monitors as my PC speakers, the card I have has gold plated high voltage analog outputs to those speakers.

For anything else the motherboard based sound is just as good as any card even up to nearly $100. And if your motherboard has an optical output that you connect to a good amplifier and speakers it can sound just as good as my fancy sound card and studio monitors. The only other time you may want a sound card is to run a high end pair of headphones as good sound cards have solid onboard headphone amps.
 

gijoe50000

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May 27, 2013
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Excellent stuff, nice one. It can be hard to get good info on sound just browsing around in Google. Think I'll just stick with the setup I have for the moment, it's not BAD by any means for everyday stuff. My motherboard does have an optical output alright, so I might look into that at some stage.. Thanks again.
 
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