I am considering getting this $189.99 PCIe Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus PCIe x1 sound card.
I was told that it will fit PCIe x4 slot and is electrically compatible. Anyone here actually has this sound card installed in XPS 8950?
Since this sound card comes with a plastic enclosure and has to be installed near the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphic card, will this impede the graphics card air flow through its fans and heat sink?
You may want to install the sound card in slot #17 so it would not block hot air rising from video card in slot #16. If you video card is blower style, the sound card would not affect its air flow. If the video card is open air style, there will be some small reduction of air flow near the bottom of case. Exactly how much gpu temperature difference it makes? You can experiment it. I suspect not much in practice as 8950 has a big chassis space, and sound card in slot #17 is very close to the floor not blocking much air.
I am not sure that the card will fit in the lower slot. I have a SoundBlaster "ZX" series installed and it works fine. I have mine installed in the slot above the video card (RTX3060Ti) and I don't have any thermal problems. It did take a minute to get the PC to recognize it but that was back in December. (2021). There have been lots of updates to Windows 11 since then and the install may go much smoother now.
If you plan to leave 8950 on floor without a riser then practically speaking the lowest PCIe slot should not be used due to physical inconvenience to plug in its ports. Agree that practical temperature difference may be negligible whether or not you install a second card and where you install it. The concerns may be more theoretical.
I really wish I could have installed my sound card in the bottom slot but it would not physically fit. The video card does not leave enough room. Installing it in the top slot made for a tight fit of my NVMe drive with a heatsink.
My graphics card has two fans (one on left and one on right of the card) facing downwards (towards the power supply at the bottom) , there is no opening on the top left-side of the card case but there is opening on the top-right ( I can see the fins of the heat sink) . I hope they are sucking air from the bottom and pass out to the top (as I have not seen the fans turned on yet since my applications are light , temperature isn't high).
I was choosing betweem the ZX and Soundblaster X AE-5 plus . I am not a gamer but need the soundcard for movies and some light audio recording, so how is the sound quality from ZX ? I have 2 sets of surround sound speakers which I use as quadraphonic speakers with two subwoofers.
The sound quality is good but I have heard of people complain about interference noise. I am using the optical out to hook it to my A/V receiver so interference is not an issue for me.