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Leo Woods

What is the best Sound card for a Hackintosh? (PCI)

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I need a PCI sound card as i can not get my RealTek AC'97 to work so i need a new PCI Sound card What is the best one to get?


I have looked at M-Audio but i can not seem to find one for my Price range (£0 - £100 [GBP])


Running Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard

2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 Celeron D

256MB nVidia FX 5500




Advent T9100



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Now this is disappointing, how many years have passed since the OP posted his query? I was hoping to find an answer to this query as i used my now dead MBP for multimedia production and was hoping to do the same with my mackintosh...


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It's important to consider a couple of things:


Forget PCI. Intel Mac Pro's don't have PCI slots, they have PCI-Express slots. Macs that aren't Mac Pro's (and the new "institutional ashtray" Mac Pro) don't have any slots at all.

This means that PCI-E sound cards for Mac will soon be completely obsolete and receive no more driver updates.

It also means that they are expensive because the target customer for a PCI-E sound card is a Mac Pro owner, which generally means "person with lots of cash to spend on a sound card". Most likely a professional, working at a recording studio.


In other words, the original poster's question made sense back in 2009 but in 2014 it doesn't.


I recommend looking at external USB or Firewire sound cards that support OS X - they will work with any type of Intel Mac (or Hack) and are not targeted solely at audio professionals (no, DJs don't count lol).


Focusrite makes some really nice, great sounding and affordable outboard gear, although they are a bit slow to get their drivers out the door: The Mavericks driver for my Saffire 6 interface was finally released in December - the first developer preview of Mavericks was released in June!


how many years have passed since the OP posted his query?


If you can't tell by looking at the post date you have bigger problems. :D

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if you want a pcie sound card there is the sound blaster audigy rx, you can find drivers here: 

Kx audio driver mod [sound blaster live!, audigy 1/2/4/RX emu edsp]


for more cheap options you can look for the cinese cmi8738 based sound cards with pcie interface, ask me if you need the drivers.


for the "old style" pci interface you can find a lot of working sound cards, for example a lot of the cards of the sound blaster live, audigy 1, audigy 2, audigy 2 zs, audigy 4, audigy 4 pro, audigy rx series cards will work with the kext i linked at the beginning of the post and also all the cards with the cmi8738 chipset and standard pci interface will work (if you need it ask me for the driver). there are also some few cards from the sound blaster x-fi series and other that will work with voodoo hda (i don't know the exact models).


but the bad think is that for a lot of those cards (propably cards supported by voodoo hda will not have that issue) will not have working inputs, i have already done a lot of tests on sierra, it's problem of the drivers that will not allocate the correct buffers for the sound cards, but i can confirm that every thing will work on sierra just fine, as long as the kext will be supported they will continue to work. another think is that i am the developer of the first driver i linked (i started from the old river that is no longer maintanied by it's original developer), so ask me if you need help with one of those cards.


an other solution is finding some very expensive professional pcie sound cards that have mac drivers, but they are too expensive for a normal user

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