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HiFi sound but also low power consumption?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:42 am
by Vicotnik
I like music and I have a decent audio setup. Right now the only source is my SB Audigy2 ZS which sends FLACs and high quality mp3s to my Rega Mira 3 and a pair of Jamo D590. I also have a Musical Fidelity X-Can v2 and a pair of AKG K240 Studio.

I have a little money to spend and was thinking about maybe getting a new sound card, but I need a little help. Priorities are good sound quality, low power consuption (while idle) and Linux support.

I play games in WinXP sometimes but EAX support and such are a low priority. I only use two channels and won't be getting a surround reciever anytime soon, so digital output is not required.

The alternatives right now:
  • Realtek ALC889A
    Onboard on my mobo. Low power consuption but crappy sound?
  • SB Audigy2 ZS
    What I use now. Good compromise between sound quality and power consumption?
  • Asus Xonar D2X
    Great sound but consumes way to much power..
  • Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1
    Great sound but consumes way to much power like the Xonar D2X? Besides, I don't need an X-Fi with Crystalizer and crap like that.
  • M-Audio Audiophile 192
    Pure HiFi but what about Linux support? Also, isn't this more of a producer card? I won't be doing any recording.
What do you guys think? Any other interesting cards that I'm missing?

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 9:00 am
by ntavlas
I think the audiophile 192 has hands down the best analog output for music playback.
It probably consumes less power then the others too, since it doesn`t feature complex dsp`s required for positional audio.

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:13 pm
by valnar
I had my eye on the Asus Xonar D2X. Can you reference where you got the information about power consumption on all those cards?

Robert

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:13 pm
by Michael Sandstrom
The M-Audio Revolution 5.1 is a great card for two channel analogue. The analogue output features supports native ASIO and sound quality is very good. The Revo 5.1 is also relatively inexpensive.

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:00 pm
by croddie
You could try an external USB card. Then no heat is generated in the case. Some have external power so heat is not generated in the PSU either; or you can use a powered hub. And some give acceptable headphone out: you can compare with your amp to see if you need it.

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:11 pm
by Shemale
Some power consumption are here: http://techreport.com/articles.x/14500/5 , indeed D2X is hungry.

I see a problem with M-audio cards, they are lazy making drivers, Audiophile 192 have beta drivers on XP/Vista x64 , and i see 4GB ram in your signature, and i assume you have x64 flavor OS.

Also is a PCI version of Asus Xonar D2x, who don't have the PCI-PCIE bridge adaptor (PEX8111). This means less power consumption. http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=25 ... odelmenu=1

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:06 am
by Vicotnik
Thanks for all the replies guys!

I got a M-Audio Audiophile 192 like ntavlas suggested and I'm very pleased with it. Idle power consumption went from ~77W to ~73W AC and the audio quality seems to be a lot better than with my Audigy2 ZS. That could be mostly placebo though. :)