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gisa
March 14th, 2008, 05:35 AM
Hi All,


I searched the threads for an answer to this question, but didn't come up with the answer I was looking for, so I decided to post my question here. :)

I am thinking about purchasing a soundcard for my system (my birthday is coming up) that would be affordable, deliver good quality and which would be able to be used again if when I upgrade my computer (sometime in the next year :D). I am content with the built in soundcard on my video card? (or is it on the motherboard) but I hear that it degrades perfomance and I think that a decent soundcard would help speed things up a bit while performing its job well. I don't need a mega expensive super high quality sound card, but at the same time I don't want something that isn't good either...

Could any of you kind trainzers recommend a card or two, keeping these things in mind?

Gisa ^^

collinsl
March 14th, 2008, 05:39 AM
I've personally found that the sound card on my motherboard (bearing in mind it is an 8.1 High Definition one) is better than an add-on one, even in trainz. If you are looking to upgrade your computer, then I would wait, as likely as not it will come with a great inbuilt card.

backyard
March 14th, 2008, 06:20 AM
8) I have a Creative Audigy, sound card, purchased from a practically global retailer...it cost less than US$50.

It plugged in nicely, to a HP motherboard, in a tiny slot.

Speakers, I have a woofer, but surround sound, may be soon!!

Thanks for your post gisa!

Stagefright
March 14th, 2008, 09:50 AM
I recently upgraded from a Creative Audigy budget card to an X-Fi ($100 card) because my wife (who hears better than I) noticed some distortion in some games. Even I can hear an enormous difference between the two.

Darrel

AMD 64x2 3800+, 4 gig DDR RAM, ATI XT1650GT 512, Creative Soundblaster X-Fi gamer, Windows Vista Home Premium

bnsf50
March 14th, 2008, 09:57 AM
Yep the sound blaster X-FI. It solves the drop outs and other sound problems that 06 comes with.

collinsl
March 14th, 2008, 10:28 AM
If that's proven then I may well get one myself, as the spare soundcard that I have presently makes trains sound like vacuum cleaners being put though some sound-distortion software.:hehe:

Thanks guys!

bnsf50
March 14th, 2008, 10:53 AM
I know it sure fixed mine, I bought it about 2 years ago. There have been many others on the forum that have reported the same. You'll want to get surround speakers to take full advantage of the sound, but you could run it in stereo too.

gisa
March 14th, 2008, 11:00 AM
I'll keep these recommendations in mind then. There used to be a walmart here, but yeah, I'd never order parts or a computer from a department store: it'd be like ordering sushi from a steakhouse. :D

For me, it's the lifespan, quality and price that concern me. As I'm most likely going deaf (stupid headphones :hehe: ) it's just about processing speed and something that will last. I am in *high-savings mode* at the moment and yet, deserve a treat for my birthday. Does anyone have any problems with the sound card drivers or what not? :) I might get Vista in a year or two and I hear strange things about that o.s...

:wave:

Gisa ^^

bnsf50
March 14th, 2008, 11:20 AM
I use price grabber to see which place is cheapest when looking for something like this. Just do a search for (sound blaster x-fi). I just checked and you're looking at around $125 to $135. If you get the X-FI Platinum which is what mine is called now you will have to have an open bay in your tower for the front panel. If you do not have an open bay then you can get the X-FI extreme which is just the card according to what I see, but check it out yourself to be sure. Any of them should work equally well as they are probably all using the same chip set but with a different arrangement.

gisa
March 14th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Thanks bnsf50! I will keep this in mind should I get a soundcard. :cool:

Does anyone notice an improvement in performance after getting such a card? I wouldn't expect anything significant, but I'm just curious...

:wave:

Gisa ^^

edion2
March 15th, 2008, 12:06 AM
I own a recording studio.

The only reason to upgrade your sound is IF you are going to do some high end audio editing/mixing . . . OR you need a surround sound output and you currently only have a stereo output.

More serious digital audio work is usually done with external digital converters and interfaces, where decent units are $500 and up for 8 to 16 channels . . . some high end AD converters cost $3000 to $8000 for just 2 channels . . . just the converters.

In the Pro-Audio industry no one uses "general consumer sound cards".

If you are going to just use for gaming, any "surround sound" card should do. But compared to external professional audio interface, computer sound cards lack clarity, depth and air . . . but you can only hear it through good studio set up in an acoustically engineered control room. My reference monitors are $5000 a pair.

If you don't need surround . . . the money would be better spent on more RAM or that "Train driver" controller looks like fun.

gisa
March 15th, 2008, 03:40 AM
As I don't use 06 or TC very much, I guess that makes a lot of sense.

I recently downloaded a neat program called dosbox which lets you play older games on more modern o.s.' and while the sound is alright, it's not perfect so I thought this might be another reason to get a better soundcard.

Nevertheless, I think edion raised a good point here...and since I'm not made of money, I'll hold onto that and invest it in the eventual upgrade I'll get around to someday. :D

:wave:

Gisa ^^

bnsf50
March 15th, 2008, 09:25 AM
I own a recording studio.

The only reason to upgrade your sound is IF you are going to do some high end audio editing/mixing . . . OR you need a surround sound output and you currently only have a stereo output.

More serious digital audio work is usually done with external digital converters and interfaces, where decent units are $500 and up for 8 to 16 channels . . . some high end AD converters cost $3000 to $8000 for just 2 channels . . . just the converters.

In the Pro-Audio industry no one uses "general consumer sound cards".

If you are going to just use for gaming, any "surround sound" card should do. But compared to external professional audio interface, computer sound cards lack clarity, depth and air . . . but you can only hear it through good studio set up in an acoustically engineered control room. My reference monitors are $5000 a pair.

If you don't need surround . . . the money would be better spent on more RAM or that "Train driver" controller looks like fun.

Hello Edion2
I completely and respectfully disagree with what you just said about only needing a high end sound card if you were going to do some mixing/editing.

You may own a recording studio which is fine but that has nothing to do with what we are talking about here. We are talking about fixing the messed up and missing sound that comes out of TRS2006 if you have a on board sound chip, namely the Ac97 which comes built in on most boards. It can not pull the sounds out of 06 properly thus you get drop outs on the engine throttle sounds and if you turn your head in the cab the sound drops out, hearing sounds from some crossings and industries from the other end of the route, inconsistent volume along with a lot of other sound problems to numerous to list here. Well guess what, the Sound Blaster X-FI sound card fixes all of the sound problems in 06 and that's the only reason that I suggested that card. Not so he/she can do some high end mixing/editing, even though it's true that you can do a lot with this card in that department, but I sure not what you can do in your recording studio of course. That's not what we are trying to do here.
As to more ram or a train driver controller, that would be nice too but will not fix the sound problem.
This card is cheap now compared to what it was 2 years ago. It listed for $300.00 back then. I got it in sale for $150.00. Now you can get it for $135.00. Not a bad deal for what it does for Trainz.
If you don't believe what I have said just do a search on the forum for sound problems. There are a lot of other members that have used the same fix. If the old forum was still here you would have a post that was 40 pages or more long on the sound problem, I believe by Alex.
I know that this sound problem is not the fault of the AC97. Its in the Trainz game code. Something got broke when they made 06, but Auran has already told us, when they made SP1, that they were not going to do any thing about the sound problem because it would require a complete rewrite of the code. That's when I bought the Sound Blaster X-FI card to fix the sound.
If you're running 06 and are not having any sound problems then maybe you could share with everybody which sound card you have in your computer. I know that lots of members would love to know.

edion2
March 15th, 2008, 07:31 PM
bnsf50,

Ahaaaaaa . . . now i understand. I hear that "sound problem" too. I didn't realize that there is a FIX for that . . . I just assumed thats just the way Trainz sounds like . . . My quick solution was turn the audio out to a mono so its less annoying.

I apologize . . . I'm pretty new to Trainz so I'm not aware of all the "on-going" issues with 2006.

I do phone consult for a local music store, and every other question is "which sound card to use" with audio workstation . . . I have to give the usual speech that all-in-one audio cards can't do the job required for critical audio work at a pro level even for a modest set up.

But for general audio on computers, sound cards are fine.

I've gotten use to the "mono" sound . . . but now that I know there is a solution, I'll have to add that card to my future purchase list.

Thanks for clearing things up. :)

bnsf50
March 16th, 2008, 09:06 AM
Ah no problem man I figured you weren't aware of what was going on with 06 after looking at you join date.