I've searched these forums, but can't find a lot of info on what people are using for a USB sound card solution. I'm putting together a carpc that will run without a head unit, and wanted something other than the onboard sound off of the motherboard. I've looked at the Griffin Imic, GWC AA1500 and the Soundblaster variants, but don't know much about the sound quality that comes out of any of them. Any advice is greatly appreciated...
not doubting your searching, but i'm surprised you didn't see anything. Check the for sale threads sometimes when in doubt on equipment. If you see a repeat name, like griffin powermate, its a popular product.
As DP said, Creative's SB cards, both USB and PCMICA, are considered to be the best of the bunch. Audigy 2 NX is a popular USB card. I use solely usb audio cards right now(i like the ability to quickly switch between 5.1 surround sound and headphones and since the jack is right there to the steeo, my PPC has a hi fi go too ). Overall, hey perform wonderfully and i wouldn't hestiate getting one of them for the hell of it- esp since the NX comes with a remote control!
You can alter the bandwith used in your settings. Also, it only takes up 10%, via processor, trasnmeta, below 300mhz pentium, i'd worry, anythign else shoudl be fine
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I was using the Audigy 2 NX for a while, but eventually gave up on it. The problem with the NX is that it doesn't have 44.1 khz D/As, so everything needs to be resampled to 48 khz, in software, by your main CPU. Furthermore, the SB drivers that handle it do a rather poor job. If you are only using two chanels of audio output, you are better off with the $30 Turtle Beach Advantage Micro.