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Hardware Thread, Are USB sound 'cards' any good in Technical; Reason being, I have just fried my onboard sound. The fan (fixed that now) on the chipset died and it ...
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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Are USB sound 'cards' any good

    Reason being, I have just fried my onboard sound. The fan (fixed that now) on the chipset died and it seems to of melted the AC97 audio. With it enabled I get crackly sound then a blue screen. If I disable my onboard sound everything is fine.

    So obvious option is to get a PCI sound card. But I did wonder if USB is any good?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I have a Creative X-Fi which I can highly recommend. It's 32bit PCI and I believe they do a PCI Express and also USB/PCMCIA versions.

    Unless you're running out of PCI slots, then I would always recommend a PCI sound card for a desktop.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Can be. The only problem can be that USB bandwidth is shared between devices. So if you have usb keyboard, mouse etc etc then the sound can start glitching.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    IME - not really.
    Had a plantronics DA55 for use with a softphone, and it never seemed particularly effective.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Ive got a firewire external sound card. Its the business. I cant remember the name of it off hand, but its probably overkill for what you're after.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    So obvious option is to get a PCI sound card. But I did wonder if USB is any good?
    I've had a Creative Labs external USB soundcard for several years now - I spent a fair bit to get it from a specialist supplier, only to find that Argos have them for under £30. My main issue with internal soundcards was quality of sound from the microphone input - laptops, especially, tend to get lots of interference on the microphone input. My external card doesn't have this issue and supports various in/out options, including optical. I've never had data rate issues, either, and my sound card is plugged in to a 7-port hub.

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    ahuxham's Avatar
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    Our Music Tech suite all have external USB sound cards, stops interferences and the likes, and to be honest they do the job well.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    I prefer firewire (saffire are nice).

    I'd never buy any creative card ever again, 3 days use and then my x-fi fatality spent the rest of it's life in it's box. Extigy was utterly useless too.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    The nforce 4 chipset suffers from really poor latency issues on it's PCI bus. Resulting in some serious cracklyness for PCI/PCIe soundcards. That's the only reason I'm considering USB.

    I don't need anything more complex than a line out and mic in.

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    Its like anything, buy cheap and it will be crap. Ive got a USB soundcard and its amazing, did cost £400 mind but it is for DJing and music production.

    I can garrenty you you will not have a problem with bandwidth. My soundcard has lots of inputs and outputs and its fine.
    One of our laptops line outs has gone so we are going to try the creative one for around £35. See how that goes, but i dont really rate creative so thats not a recommendation.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 21st November 2008 at 10:10 AM.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    I can garrenty you you will not have a problem with bandwidth. My soundcard has lots of inputs and outputs and its fine.
    YMMV, but I fail to see how you can "guaranty" anything based on your one instance. I used to use a semi-pro Tascam device and have had to abandon it in favor of Firewire.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    Can't remember the name but it was nothing more than a little dongle at the end of a short USB cable.
    I've got a couple of very cheap USB sound dongles turning up from Hong Kong shortly to see just how well they work. This is for machines that just need mic in, headphones out, nothing fancy. I'll let people know how they turn out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    YMMV, but I fail to see how you can "guaranty" anything based on your one instance. I used to use a semi-pro Tascam device and have had to abandon it in favor of Firewire.
    Because all he wants it to do is replace his onboard.

    So i repeat "I can GUARANTEE you Geoff, you will not have a problem with bandwidth"
    Last edited by witch; 21st November 2008 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Unnecessary rudeness

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Because all he wants it to do is replace his onboard.

    So i repeat "I can GARRENTY you Geoff, you will not have a problem with bandwidth"


    On a side note, why are there so many prats on here lately? If you dont know what you are talking about or cant be bothered reading people posts just dont bother posting yourself, idiot. And please stop making assumption on what i do and dont know and what my experiances are as i quite obviously know far more than you do
    That was not readilly apparent from Geoff's first post. We did not know what he used his sound for. Obviously nothing too taxing, but we did not KNOW.
    Last edited by witch; 21st November 2008 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Oh come on you lot!

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