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Barry M.'s Profile > 
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HT | OMEGA FENIX 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Clarity
Separation
EQ
The audio is noticeable better than integrated.
Price.

Cons: None.

Other Thoughts: I bought the Claro here on newegg in 2008.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271002
I remember how much of an improvement it was back then over on board audio.

Well, a couple months ago I bought a new graphics card, Zotac GTX 970, and started experiencing coil whine when using a mic. I tried a few work arounds to no avail. Rather than return the video card I began researching a new sound card. I kinda wanted to get away from using PCI anyway.

I have read in recent years that on board audio has improved and that there really is no difference between integrated and discrete. I disagree.

I own the ASRock Z87 PRO4, also purchased here on newegg, 2014:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157381
When my claro and video card started having the coil whine issue I started using the on board Realtek ALC892.
There was a noticeable degradation in audio quality in every way.
Whether games or music or even voice in teamspeak or vent.
The audio quality was just not nearly as good as my claro.
Everything sounded muddy, there was no separation in audio objects. It all just blended together. The clarity I was used to disappeared completely.
I have specifically read articles on major review sites stating the ALC892 was virtual indistinguishable from discrete audio.
You can easily search and find the same articles.

So, I did a lot of research, weeks worth, scouring forums, manufacturer and review sites looking for the best sound card to suit my purposes.
My use for a sound card is primarily quality audio in games but also music.
When it came down to it I was between an ASUS Xonar Essence STX and the HT Omega Fenix.
Looking closely at the details I discovered the ASUS actually uses the same cmedia chip that my claro used which I purchased in 2008.

The Fenix uses a newer cmedia chip. Specs are essentially the same with a few slight differences. From what I can tell anyway.

The only card out that has a newer chip is the ASUS ROG which isn't even for sale new anywhere I can find and is extremely expensive used.

Bottom line is that the Fenix offers a newer chip and a much lower price than competitors.

I know from previous experience as a customer that their quality is excellent.

I am soo glad that I bought this card. It really sounds amazing.

All of my music sounds as good or better than when I was using my Claro and way better than the on board audio.

I can hear the slightest sounds in games which can really make a difference in competition.

I am just really glad that HT Omega made this card, it is amazing.

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CM Storm Devastator - LED Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Combo (Blue LED Model)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Best Budget LED Keyboard 01/23/2015

This review is from: CM Storm Devastator - LED Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Combo (Blue LED Model)

Pros: Inexpensive.
Mouse & Keyboard.
Well Lit.
Unique Attractive Design.
Feels well built.

Cons: LED Toggle bound to scroll lock.

Other Thoughts: I think the LED toggle should have a dedicated key. Even if it added a couple dollars to the price. Other than that I have purchased 2 of these in blue and 1 in red for various builds. Both the mouse and keyboard work great and are durable in my experience.

If you intend to use this with Ubuntu Linux know that the Scroll Lock key will not toggle the LED unless you configure a shortcut to execute a toggle script. There are numerous forum discussions specific to this keyboard and this issue available. I can verify one solution that worked fine in Ubuntu 14.04 and is relatively easy to configure. Just search for "ubuntu 14.04 cm storm scroll lock". There is an ubuntuforums link with details.

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TRENDnet TEW-726EC N600 Wireless Dual Band Adapter IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n PCI Express 1.0
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Detected during Ubuntu 14.04 Install.
Small.
Good Signal from other side of house.
Fairly inexpensive.

Cons: No Linux management software.

Other Thoughts: I was able to install this in my PC and install Ubuntu easily. It detected and was configurable immediately which allowed me to install updates during install. Only thing I don't like is that without installing 3rd party software I have no access to advanced features like switching 2.4 to 5 Ghz.

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Barry M.'s Profile

Display Name: Barry M.

Date Joined: 03/09/01

  • Reviews: 16
  • Helpfulness: 12
  • First Review: 06/12/08
  • Last Review: 02/20/15
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