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1.22.2009

Realtek HD vs the Medusa 5.1

I got the Medusa 5.1's hooked up. Sound is good, surround is fun. I'm not entirely happy with the rear channels. I know they're a smaller driver, but they sound completely tinny. Gunfire goes "crack crack" instead of "pow pow". I played around with the Realtek HD driver control panel and got a little more bass and a semi-satisfying sound out of them. I've read forum posts of X-fi users having the same problem and being able to fix it. I'm experimenting right now with a different audio card to see if it's just a problem with cheap integrated sound. My Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L has the Realtek HD audio built in. I went ahead and dug out my old Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit from the garage and hooked it up. I thinkt he sound quality already seems better. Maybe the SB just has hotter outputs, but I'm finding more bass. The back channels are still a little flatter than the front, but I'm not hearing the sharpness that bothered me before.

I'm going to try to get some Left 4 Dead multiplayer or BioShock on tonight to test the Sound Blaster.

If the better card does make a huge difference, I think I'm going to be shopping for a Xonar or X-Fi in the near future.

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