All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

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All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:59 pm

Hello everyone and Happy belated New Year,

I have been wanting a dedicated sound card and since I received a $50 gift card from Microcenter. Any sound card with optical audio in was on my list since I am hoping to get Set Tox Box sound from my Tv to go through my computers Advent SB750 powered partners and I was just wondering what you all though about the Sound Blaster Z PCI-e sound card.

The main reason I purchased this card was because Microcenter mispriced the card instead of $119.99 it was priced at$29.99. So since my gift card was only for $50 I quickly grabbed the card and headed to the checkout isle as fast as I could.

So I am wondering if anyone has this sound card and could give me some feedback before I install the card next to my new EVGA GTX 770 Classified video card with a EVGA GTX 560TI riding shotgun as a physics card.

Should I download the latest drivers from the creative site or is there another set of drivers I should be using.

Thank you very much ahead of time.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:32 pm

I don't have a Z, but an X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro that I bought in 2008, worked fine for me in Vista, 7, and 8 and from p45, p55, to x79. Latest drivers are good. I don't think you will have any problems. Just make sure to install their control panel to have access to the card's more advanced options (CMSS 3D, EAX, etc)
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:38 pm

Well I installed the super discounted Sound Blaster Z sound card and hooked up a optical cable from my Cable Set Top Box to the optical Digital in on the SBlaster Z card. It sounds Phenomenal compared to my Tv's speakers. I remember all the talk about having a delay in the sound from the TV to the computer then out the computers speakers. Luckily there is absolutely no sound delay from my cable box to the PC speakers. I could not be happier since I was expecting a sound delay of some kind for sure!

I have a ton more experimenting to do since my motherboard only has 16 lanes of PCI-e and I am currently using a GTX770 using 8 lanes and a GTX 560 ti Using 8 lanes as a dedicated physx's card along with this 1x sound card using up a lane.

Will I have problems with not enough PCIE lanes?? or will it be fine?? Does the cougar point Chipset have any PCI-e lanes that are not connected to the CPU directly.
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GAP67-UD4-B3 F-8 Bios
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:16 pm

I just wanted to add that my Logitec G-930 USB wireless headphones are working also for listening to my TV also.

This is a very welcome added bonus since I like to watch my shows a wee bit louder then the wife. On top of that it will be great when the wife is sleeping and I am watching the tube I will not disturb her.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:06 pm

Wow I received a ton of replies :)

Anyways I just wanted to update you all on the Sound Blaster Z's performance. It blows away my onboard realtek 889 soundchip by a huge margin. Unless you have some motherboard that comes with a built in super sound solution I highly recommend you get a dedicated sound blaster Z or a equivalent stand alone sound card. Plus since I picked up this sound card for $30 I can truly say it is the best bang for my buck I have ever bought

1. The Optical Audio input from my Cable Box to the sound card works great. I am getting no delay in my sound from the tv going through my PC's speakers and the lip sync is right on.....unless the delay is so small neither me or the wife can notice it.

2. Stereo sound quality is great also. My realtek 889 sound chip was doing a great job and I did not think I was missing any sound until I installed this new sound card. Now I am hearing everything I was missing. I tested a movie "The Last Samurai" and all I can say is WOW with all the subtle sounds that I was missing using my onboard 889 audio... like distant footsteps, the rattling of sabers in there scabbards, people breathing and jostling around. I can now honestly say I am hearing everything and it is good enough that I will be watching many more movies I have not seen in a little while to just listen to them.

3. I cannot give you a music review since I do not listen to much music on my PC at all.

4. As for gaming.....I will update you all on the gaming performance once I get around to playing something in the next few days.
Any suggestions on a game that will give me the most wow factor when it comes to sound let me know and I will get it looked at.
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:51 am

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has amazing sound.

Get mortared and tanked on Valparaiso and smile while you see and hear the whole world blow up around you.
I don't think BF3 and BF4 are as impressive, sound-wise.
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:23 am

I bought a Sound Blaster Z a few months back when newegg had it on sale. the onboard sound on my motherboard is actually not bad at all, the latest realtek chipset, but I figured why not take a gamble on the SB Z. I can honestly say the SB Z has more uumph than the onboard and the sound doesn't go out during the game when I have played Sim City. The sound playback definitely has more depth than the onboard sound. I didn't have an uncovered PCI-E x1 slots on my board so I had to install the card into a PCI-E x8 slot (video card) and it works perfectly fine. I used the latest drivers from Creative and I have some older Logitech 5.1 speakers to go with the card. I haven't had any issues with the SB Z at all so far. I really don't use my desktop PC for gaming as much as I used to lets say 5 years ago but ill listen to music once in a while on it. I don't watch streaming video, mkvs, or decrypted blu-rays on my desktop because I have a HTPC for that.
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Fri Jan 10, 2014 1:52 am

Micro center had a pricing error and no one mentioned it to me? I'm hurt!
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:03 am

Have you see seen the video about audio myths?

Apparently if you're into audio, you should look at audio devices outside of the machine. Check it out on youtube.

Purportedly a DAC and a amplifier would be the best solution.
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Re: All your thoughts on SoundBlaster Z sound card

Postposted on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:32 am

I bought two of these cards for my boxes and have been pleased with them. The drivers are pretty solid and a Windows 8.1 driver is scheduled for release this month.
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