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Which soundcard would YOU recommend?

By LTO ยท 20 replies
May 19, 2003
  1. Hi, i'm currently looking to buy a soundcard for it is a major bottleneck in my system...i wanted to know from the gamers which soundcard gives them the best overall performance.....money is not an issue, please if you could give detail information about the specific card...or just say it runs bad *** etc. thanks for helping ok bye
  2. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    screw soundcards

    just get a DECENT motherboard that gives you all the bells and whistles, INCL state of the art sound...........FOR about what you'd spend for that CARD
  3. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    huh... um running onboard sound is going to be a bottleneck so don't do it if the whole point is NOT running a bottleneck.
  4. negroplasty

    negroplasty TS Guru Posts: 509   +12

    I would recommend an Audigy 2 card, they aren't insanely "bad ***", but I think it would do well for you :grinthumb . Another point would be that I have never heard anything bad about them, aside from Creative's poor driver support, but they seem to be doing better at the moment; at least for Audigy cards :D .

    If you don't mind my asking, what sound card do you actually have at the moment?

    More info : Creative
  5. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    a bottleneck?

    onboard sound is a bottleneck?.....please explain.......all those creative driver issues....and for what?..........
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

  7. LTO

    LTO TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah, i just picked up and audigy 2 platinum, its pretty awesome :)
  8. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,310

    coming from the link that Mictlantecuhtli provided:

    For some years now, most motherboards have had an integrated audio driver. There are several brands and models, and they all seem to claim different levels of performance. Some of them handle sound via the CPU, which obviously has an impact on overall performance, especially in games. For the rest, the bulk of sound processing is done by the audio driver, leaving the CPU free to do its job of processing the program itself, and thereby improving performance.
  9. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    I have an Asus A7V8x, and when im running music my CPU load is ~50% :eek: :blackeye:
  10. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,488

    agissi> 50%?!? I get a 5% usage every other second when playing music (doesn't seem to matter if it's cd or mp3) on the same board...

    As for what is best, you'll get best performance from a solution that is hardware based (be it a codec hardwire in a chip, or a stand alone soundcard), but a software codec shouldn't give you too much of a performance drop...
    At least I've never noticed any difference between the msi KT7-R, A7V8x and my SB Live! (original)...
  11. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    I just realized that when Im playing the music over the network (listening to the music on my PC, when its on another PC) the load is 50% and below. When playing it directly off my hard drive its ~4% ;)
  12. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 896

    Hehe....occasionally i tried to play mp3s over the network, my amd duron 800mhz jsut freezes at times, what to do, i can't afford extra storage for my duron rig!
  13. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    Hercules Fortissimo - 7.1 surround and superb sound quality, affordable price.

    Santa Cruz - Great drivers and even better sound. :)

    Audigy 2 - Everything Creative touches falls apart, their drivers get updated... oh.. say... every year and their expensive cards are plagued with problems. NEVER buy Creative. :)
  14. Hamsterball_Z

    Hamsterball_Z TS Rookie

    I just picked up the M-Audio Revolution. I've only had a few hours to try it out so I can't say that it's the greatest card ever. I know for sure that it's far better than the Soundblaster Live it replaced. The sound is much clearer, no big surprise since it's 24/192 and it has a better codec than anything else under $100, including the Audigy 2.

    There is a downside though, the Via ENVY-HT chip doesn't have hardware audio acceleration which means more CPU usage and a small drop in framerates. BUT, I used to have stuttering audio and video in Battlefield 1942 and GTA3 with the SB Live. That's completely gone now and everything plays so much smoother. Whatever hit there is from lack of acceleration is far less than what I had with the SB Live.

    I'm running an AthlonXP 1700+ on a ECS K7S5A motherboard and Radeon 8500LE. Not exactly a high end system. If your specs are in this range or better then you'd have no problem running this card. Might be worth considering if you don't want to go with an Audigy 2.

  15. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,244   +507

    I think you should take a look at your NIC agissi - there is no reason that playing music over a network should take 50% cpu time. I have a dedicated file server for all my MP3 and Video files and when I play MP3s my cpu time is around 1% most of the time unless I'm usuing a visualization plugin. Even via wireless on my laptop I only hit about 10% CPU time playing my 320kbit MP3s.

  16. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I'd strongly recommend the Audigy 2. Once you get used to the great audio quality, it'll be hard to listen to even a SB Live (trust me).
  17. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    so no bottleneck

    well there you go.........there are other directions your money could go
  18. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,318

    If gamings you're thing then the Audigy 2 would be your best bet.
  19. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    OK OK

    i'll try audigy 2.......but, i'm the kind that will line up my surround sound staring straight at me, with the sub under my feet.........with the constant sound of bullet rounds.....what's the point..........
  20. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 564

    OR nforce2's

    soundstorm packs......i here are even better than audigy 2...and it's onboard..w/no lag.....buy the asus board
  21. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,318

    Re: OR nforce2's

    The analog output quality from nForce's is worse than the Audigy 2. There's lag inherent in all Soundcards, regardless of integrated or not so that's a moot point :) (& besides there's latency when using the DICE). If you get a nForce then you'd pretty much *have* to have a Dolby Digital decoder to connect to, to get a benefit from it.
    In which case it would be a better choice than the Audigy 2 should your receiver not feature 6 channel analog inputs. If it di have 6 chanenl analog inputs though the Audigy 2 is still better.
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