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Thread: Audio noise issues: New card or use an old one?

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    Default Audio noise issues: New card or use an old one?

    Simple question (though I have no idea if the answer is simple too):

    I was happy with my onboard audio (my ASUS Sabertooth P67 has a Realtek ALC892) until I needed to use my microphone for Mumble. Yikes! So. Much. Noise! So now I'm thinking, do I need to buy a new dedicated card or is my old Creative Audigy 2 ZS worth digging out from.. somewhere even though I get a bad feeling just thinking about Creatives drivers?

    Wouldn't it be possible to get a much better card for $100-150 with these requirements instead:

    Must:
    * Available outside the US
    * Optical and headphone out
    * Mic in
    * Good protection from outside noise, compared to the onboard and maybe the Audigy(?) (I'm not recording music with it but I do need to use a microphone for talking when gaming)

    Not needed:
    * Surround sound
    * Hiss, pop, crackle
    * Creative driver issues...

    I've heard good things about ASUS' Xonar cards, but only looking at my local shop there are a ton of them: D-KARA, DS/A, Phoebus Solo, D2/PM and a D2X/XDT. Of those only D-KARA and DS/A has any optical output though. Those are both ~$50 cards. They can't possible be much better than the much newer onboard or the old Audigy, can they?

    What should I look at?

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    Default

    Asus drivers aren't as twitchy as Creative's but they're not great either. However, there are 3rd party drivers out there for the Xonar cards.

    I'm not sure the old Audigy cards will work on a modern rig, Creative killed off driver support for those things years ago. However, if you can make it work, that should do the job.

    The question really is: Where is the noise coming from? It may be the mic itself. Poorly shielded cables that go too close to other cables will suck in the noise like a sponge.

    Try a new microphone first, and see if that solves the issue, and make sure you keep the cable well away from as many others as you can. Use the front ports if your case has them.
    Intel i7-2600k with an XSPC Raystorm water block, 4x4GB Corsair Dominator, SLi Evga-GTX560Ti-448 FTWs, Asrock Extreme4 Gen3, Crucial M4 256GB SSD, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, powered by a Silverstone Strider+ 850 PSU in a Silverstone TJ-07BW case.
    I'm not buying EK GPU blocks ever again. (One GPU killed)

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    Default

    Thank you for the reply. I should have said that I had tested my microphone. There are no noise if I use all digital but as soon as my soundcard is in use the noise level goes crazy.

    My headset supports both digital in (USB), analog in (tried both the front and back jacks), digital out (optical, USB) and analog out (jack).

    Doing something like this works fine:
    Audio in digital, audio out digital

    But this does not:
    Audio in (analog)
    Audio out (analog)
    Audio in (analog or digital), sound processing in software, audio out (analog or digital)

    Anything that touch my card gets lots of noise added.

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    Sounds to me like there's a dodgy filter cap somewhere in the analogue audio circuits on the board. A soundcard would obviously bypass that, and would be an easy solution.

    I have a Xonar STX, and aside from occasional driver complaints about the power being unplugged when it isn't, I've had no issues with it at all.
    Intel i7-2600k with an XSPC Raystorm water block, 4x4GB Corsair Dominator, SLi Evga-GTX560Ti-448 FTWs, Asrock Extreme4 Gen3, Crucial M4 256GB SSD, Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, powered by a Silverstone Strider+ 850 PSU in a Silverstone TJ-07BW case.
    I'm not buying EK GPU blocks ever again. (One GPU killed)

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