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michael_d
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Audio - Aorus X299 Gaming 9 vs. Creative AE5

Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:02 pm

Can anyone tell how integrated audio from Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 9 would fare against Creative AE 5?

Creative AE 5

Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 9
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synthtel2
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Re: Audio - Aorus X299 Gaming 9 vs. Creative AE5

Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:58 pm

The Gigabyte looks like an ALC1220 and one of these. My ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac with an ALC1220 has issues, but when it's working right, it sounds pretty good aside from a terrible damping factor. That op-amp looks fine and should be able to manage much better damping factors.

The Creative hardware had better be better for that price, but the Gigabyte probably doesn't suck.
 
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Re: Audio - Aorus X299 Gaming 9 vs. Creative AE5

Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:51 pm

synthtel2 wrote:
The Gigabyte looks like an ALC1220 and one of these.

Holy cow, that OPA1622 looks incredible on paper. Ruler-flat response out to 200 kHz with impressive noise, distortion, and output drive specs as well. Probably puts a lot of discrete headphone amps to shame; I think we can safely assume that the analog output components aren't the limiting factor here. Gigabyte could still mess up the layout though (e.g. induced noise or dirty power), and it's still being driven by a Realtek codec. But given that the main issue I've had with Realtek in the past decade or so has been the analog drive capability, the overkill op amp should help quite a bit.

Creative claims to have a "custom-designed discrete headphone amp" on that card. I'm skeptical that they'd beat the on-paper specs of the OPA1622, but they do have the advantage of being off the motherboard, so in theory they could provide cleaner power and better shielding of the sensitive analog circuits.
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Re: Audio - Aorus X299 Gaming 9 vs. Creative AE5

Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:07 pm

I can't speak from experience with those exact models, but I'll say that contemporary mobo audio in general is far better than it has any right to be. The presence of those components would make think that onboard audio is just as good if not better than the Creative stuff.

Plus, there's the bonus of not having to deal with Creative s***t drivers.
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Re: Audio - Aorus X299 Gaming 9 vs. Creative AE5

Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:08 pm

morphine wrote:
I can't speak from experience with those exact models, but I'll say that contemporary mobo audio in general is far better than it has any right to be.

Seconded. Aside from the wimpy output drive, and the fact that Realtek's reference designs tend to spec too low a value for the DC blocking caps to drive headphones (-3dB at 50 Hz into 32 ohms), I'm amazed that most current mobos from top-tier vendors manage to get the level of audio quality we're seeing these days. A motherboard is a pretty horrific environment in which to be doing high-quality analog signal handling -- power spikes/dips and and EMI galore.

Feed it through a headphone amp (or powered speakers), and onboard should be good enough for 99%+ of use cases these days.

morphine wrote:
The presence of those components would make think that onboard audio is just as good if not better than the Creative stuff.

Well, based on some (admittedly cursory) research, it appears that the OPA1622 is a $3 part in quantity. Given the highly cost-sensitive nature of the motherboard market, I don't think they would've used it if they didn't think it gave them a competitive advantage, when many other "good enough" op amps are available for significantly less.

No idea what Creative's "custom" solution looks like.

So who knows...

morphine wrote:
Plus, there's the bonus of not having to deal with Creative s***t drivers.

Yes, there's that! :lol:
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