Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Niztrator, Dec 23, 2005.
Could someone recommend me a good sound card, I'm willing to spend $50-100
Best one out there (generally speaking): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102163
Chaintech AV-710...Best value for money EVER!
Are you kidding me?! The Audigy 2 ZS is barely even worth $30. Not only does the AV-710 offer superior audio clarity and quality, but the old Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, which cost $40 before it was discontinued this summer AFTER A SIX YEAR PRODUCTION RUN, matched it's audio quality bit for bit.
All you get with an Audigy 2ZS is an overpriced, overrated card that can perform newer EAX standards, which still suck. Older games like CS 1.6 support Aureal 3D (A3D), which every sound card, including integrated cards, support. Creative DOESN'T.
Before my Santa Cruz finally died, I was kicking everyone's ass at a six person LAN because of the Aureal 3D support my card had...their cards lacked it. I could pinpoint everyone's position and kill them before they could see my location...BECAUSE I COULD HEAR THEIRS.
Can't beat Aureal? Buy them out, like Creative did.
The A2ZS chipset falls far behind the Via Envy/24 HT-S chipset in the Chaintech AV-710.
There's a reason the audigy cards cost more: They do real offboard mixing of soundstreams. Envy24 does not. Neither do any of the santacruz cards, nor does the AV710 (envy based). They're all based on the same solutions mobo vendors use for onboard sound. They're simple mixer/IO chips, nothing more. All the 'hard' work is done in software on the host cpu, whether it be 3dsound fields, synth playback, or ac3/dts decode (note: the creative cards don't do the latter in hw either AFAIK).
As far as sound quality goes, I would not take anyone's recommendations for that over the net. Go listen to them yourself, with media you're very familiar with. I'll bet 99% would fail a simple doubleblind test between an audigy2 and any other modern sound chip..and again, only with a pair of $200+ headphones and a set of nearly perfect ears.
To be honest, there's usually very little reason to spend a lot of money on a soundcard nowadays if you're just casually gaming with it. However, newer games do use more channels of sound simultaneously, and that can impact performance especially if you use 3d sound rendering. Even if you hate EAX and switch it off, the a2 is still rendering the dsound3d streams in place of the cpu. This can help performance noticably over onboard audio solutions like the Envy.. Also, if you want the added features/inputs/breakoutboxes or perhaps want to get into casual electronic music creation, creative's cards are worth considering as they're the only consumer cards left with built-in hardware sampler synths.
You get what you pay for. Does that mean creative's products aren't full of a lot of hype? no way. Marketing ploys like the 'crystalizer' are a complete waste of time, but the aformentioned hw benefits are definitely real and are the only reasons left to consider their products.