View Full Version : Sound card recommendations?

1st January 2006, 06:49 AM
As it looks like I'm not going to have my onboard sound working any time soon (http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=90111) can anyone recommend a decent soundcard that pretty much 'just works' with the current versions of ALSA? I'm after a PCI card, rather than USB, with optical/coax S/PDIF output.

2nd January 2006, 05:54 AM
my Audigy 2 ZS works well with FC4

2nd January 2006, 06:27 AM
The specs claim S/PDIF out for connection to 'Creative digital speakers', but looking at the images it seems to be using an non-standard connector (mini-jack instead of RCA or toslink). Have you used the digital output? If it's a proprietary interface I'd have to buy something like this http://www.hdaudiovisual.com.au/mcpc/hda_x510.htm which would take up a second expansion slot, not an option for my Silverstone HTPC case.

Creative seem to have a annoying reluctance to put standard optical or coax S/PDIF output on all but their extremely expensive top of the range cards. This is made doubly annoying by their total domination of the market, as there aren't many alternatives out there.

The M_Audio Revolution cards might do the job, a full set of connectors and in theory great linux support due to the Envy24HT chipset used. Anyone got experience with these, or other Envy24HT based cards?

An even better card might be the HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 GOLD, though I'm not 100% confident of trouble free use with ALSA. It's based on an evolution of the C-Media CMI8768 (which is supported by ALSA), the CMI8768+, which adds Dolby Digital Live (real time digital encoding). Anyone know whether this card currently works with ALSA?

2nd January 2006, 06:41 AM
If it's a proprietary interface I'd have to buy something like this http://www.hdaudiovisual.com.au/mcpc/hda_x510.htm

HOORAH! This is exactly what I have been looking for! Thanks.

From what I have read is is possible to bodgy up coax spdif I/O directly from the Audigy 2 ZS card, but apparently it supplies 5 volts rather than whatever the standard for spdif is so you run the risk of damaging the equipment you connect to it.

My vote goes to the Audigy 2 ZX as well.

2nd January 2006, 07:07 AM
The idea of bodging a cable together doesnt put me off, but the idea of feeding excessive volts into my lovely new speakers does... That interface board I found would do the job for me, but I've only got three expension slots total in my PC case (Silverstone LC11M), and I'm going to want to fit a wireless NIC in there, and maybe a DVB-T TV tuner card too, so the Audigy 2 ZS isn't looking ideal.

PS A bit warm yesterday, wasn't it?

3rd January 2006, 02:09 AM
I have just ordered the spdif i/f board. I'll let you know how it works out anyway.

Yes, was a little warm.... especially in our northerly facing, large windowed, airconless unit.

7th January 2006, 12:49 PM
I have only tried the optical in so far, but it does work well.

Will let you know more once I have finished moving/editing the ~100 hours of music I have on minidisc to my pc...