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Best sound card--Philips Acoustic Edge or Hercules Game Theater XP?


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I know many of you will say Hercules simply because of the hype lately but I find that a huge reason many people buy this card is because of the cool external rack it comes with. It's a thoughtful and useful addition, but let's just compare the bare cards here. Which produces better quality sound and is more compatible?

I read reviews of both on www.gamersdepot.como and the Acoustic Edge got a 5 1/2 while the HGTXP got a 5. Both look like truly kickass cards but I want the one that will give me better quality sound. What are the ups and downs of each? The Herc XP seems to support more API's but the Acoustic Edge has plenty to brag about too.

Philips Acoustic Edge

What can I say? This is the best consumer-level sound card Ive run into, knocking the SoundBlaster Live! from the lofty perch its sat on for years now. The technology used in this card to simulate and to enhance surround sound is revolutionary, and other card manufacturers will be hard-pressed to come up with something this good.

Hercules Game Theater XP

Where the XP really shines is in gaming. Thanks to its support of all the major APIs, and the addition of Sensaura audio enhancements, the XPs surround effects were spectacular and very well done. Using our reference Klipsch 4.1 gaming system, we heard sound placements done with very good precision and accuracy.

Its rather apparent that Hercules took the time to listen to the needs of gamers and deliver a product that makes a very good choice for both the hardcore and casual gamer who are looking to add a new level of ease-of-use, and great sound quality to their existing system and want excellent game compatibility. With so many choices hitting the market, begging for your hard-earned dollar, the Game Theater does a nice job of separating itself from the competition by offering a very robust hardware and software package that makes for an incredible value at under $150.00.

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oh well, can o' worms is open now. agh! worms!!! watch out, they're eating thru my signature!!!! he he... I have the AE and i love it, but it does involve a bit of tweaking to get going, so that's one downer and the driver update is still auto web update, which is a pain. with that aside, i think it rocks with the pro's. i haven't tried the herc, so i can't comment. of course, ymmv.

J

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forgot to add, www.3dsoundsurge.com is a great source on sound cards and mark (the resident tech) gave a good review to the AE (and i think the herc, but i can't remember and i'm just too lazy to go look here at 2:25 in the am).

J

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JOIN THE "AMY FOR PRESIDENT" CAMPAIGN. OUR PLATFORM:

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US, MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

PIII @ 1.08GHZ

SuperMicro PIIISCD I820 Mobo

512mb pc133 Viking

Maxtor 40GB 7200rpm ata66

Maxtor 40GB 7200rpm ata100

Generic DVD 4X

Creative 8x4x32x Burner

GeForce256 32mb DDR (orig)

3Com 905B-TX Lan

Netgear RT314 Gateway/Router

Philips Acoustic Edge

425w Power Supply

Triple Boot Me/2K/Whistler Build 2416

Klipsch Pro-Media 4.1's

umm... a floppy.

thats it, for now

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

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You might want to also consider the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. Personally, for the money, I beleive this is your best option. It clearly has superior sound quality to the sb live, and though it lacks all the advanced ins and outs, it still can run 6 speakers, has s/pdif input and output, and has a some cool features in the control panel. I got mine for 70 bucks. Thats fine if you want to pay more for the accesories like the external drive and all the advanced features, but just consider what you are actually going to be doing with this card. I was first considering the sb live platinum 5.1, but I thought about it...I dont need dd decoding on board, i dont need midi ins and outs and the other stuff, and the remote has pretty limited use. I saved myself 100 bucks and got a higher quality sound card.

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Well, I've only listen to the SB Live 5.1 on a HT setup like mine (the speakers in that case were better than mine), but I gotta say, my Acoustic Edge sounds SO much better, and made a HUGE difference and allowed my system to sound better than the higher end speakers my buddy had.

Never heard the Game Theatre XP, but from the reviews, it seems to be pretty good, but from my experience with the AE, running a home theatre system, it is EXTREMELY good.

Take that for what it's worth...

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*boingy*

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CPU: AMD Thunderbird 1.33 GHz 266fsb AXIA / Mobo: Iwill KK266-R / Memory: 256MB Crucial PC133 CAS2 / Video: Elsa Gladiac 32MB GeForce 2 GTS / Hard Drives: Twin 30.0 GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP 7200rpm ATA100 (not running RAID at the moment) / CDRW: Plextor PlexWriter 16x/10x/40x, Plextor PlexWriter 8x/4x/32x / Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer / Monitor: Sony G400 19" Trinitron / Speakers: Klipsch ProMedia v.2-400's (400w of THX-certified goodness) / Printer: Lexmark Z52 Professional Printer / NIC: Linksys 10/100 NIC / Modem: Viking 56k external (They keep telling me "DSL will be here in a few months...") / Mouse: Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical (the new, 33% faster one) / Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro (w/2 additional USB ports)

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Hey.. nice system Iam.. Looks familiar. Good choice on teh CPU.. AXIA.. mmm.. wish i had one.. I got screwed on mine. You should be able to get some nice clock speeds out of it. I might end up upgrading sometime to a good AXIA if I can get a fair amount of money for mine. It isnt too bad.. will post at fairly high speeds but it is not exactly what I was hoping for. oh well .. I just got this one.. I'll wait till a 2GHz comes out.

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Thanks Paragon. smile.gif

Yeah, I saw somewhere on a site where AMD might make the Thunderbirds all the way up until 1.533 GHz, and start the new Palomino core at either 1.4 or 1.5 GHz. My next system will almost certainly be a Palomino if there are no problems with them, as they should run MUCH cooler than Thunderbirds. I have even heard that they can run with just a heatsink and no fan is required. That would truly rule because these 7k Delta fans sound like small hairdryers! I see you have the FOP38 also. wink.gif

I'll probably put the Palomino on a DDR board. I would have gone DDR for this new system but I wanted to wait and see which of the 3 major DDR chipsets came out on top. The AMD 760, the ALi MAGiK chipset, and the VIA KT266 chipset all seem to have their ups and downs, but one major downside is they don't overclock very well at all (the KT133a's are the champs) and are still fairly buggy. So I'll wait it out until the DDR stuff matures. smile.gif

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CPU: AMD Thunderbird 1.33 GHz 266fsb AXIA / Mobo: Iwill KK266-R / Memory: 256MB Crucial PC133 CAS2 / Video: Elsa Gladiac 32MB GeForce 2 GTS / Hard Drives: Twin 30.0 GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP 7200rpm ATA100 (not running RAID at the moment) / CDRW: Plextor PlexWriter 16x/10x/40x, Plextor PlexWriter 8x/4x/32x / Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer / Monitor: Sony G400 19" Trinitron / Speakers: Klipsch ProMedia v.2-400's (400w of THX-certified goodness) / Printer: Lexmark Z52 Professional Printer / NIC: Linksys 10/100 NIC / Modem: Viking 56k external (They keep telling me "DSL will be here in a few months...") / Mouse: Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical (the new, 33% faster one) / Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro (w/2 additional USB ports)

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