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Creative Audigy 2 Value 7.1 Sound Card VS. Onboard Sound

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February 2, 2006 2:07:42 AM

I'm going to buy the DFI UT NF4 SLI-DR motherboard that comes with onboard sound Realtek ALC850 8-channel audio CODEC. I was wondering if I should invest 52 CAD into buying a Creative Audigy 2 Value 7.1 Sound Card : http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd...
Will I hear any difference in sound quality? I'm just gonna be using a old stereo speaker setup for now, maybe a 7.1 sound system later.
I don't blast my music or anything, but if there's a big difference I just might have to :twisted:

Or will this be better? Creative Sound Blaster Live 24 Bit External 5.1 Sound System : http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd...

Are these speakers any good?
Logitech (970102-0403) Z-5300e 5.1 Speaker System - 280W RMS - THX-Certified : http://canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd...

More about : creative audigy sound card onboard sound

February 2, 2006 12:27:44 PM

There is a very noticable difference between the onboard sound and a good sound card.. at least on my system.

Using the same 2.1 Logitech speakers.. When I plugged into the onboard sound, all i got was poor, very tinny sounding music. When I plugged my old sb 128 in, it improved dramatically.. even better if you're thinking about going Audigy 2.

my 2c at least. =)
February 2, 2006 1:11:44 PM

Quote:
There is a very noticable difference between the onboard sound and a good sound card.. at least on my system.

Using the same 2.1 Logitech speakers.. When I plugged into the onboard sound, all i got was poor, very tinny sounding music. When I plugged my old sb 128 in, it improved dramatically.. even better if you're thinking about going Audigy 2.

my 2c at least. =)


That used to be true. At this point in time the diffrence between an onboard 7.1 and a Audigy ZS is not as noticable. If you do not plan on "jamming out" (lol) then I would say you do not need to spend the extra money.

I helped a friend build a budget rig (about $900) and he basicly ended up using the same onboard sound card you are getting and to me it sounds fine. You might miss subtle nuances (damn lack of spell check lol) but unless your an audiophile or obsessed with perfecly sounding music then the sound diffrence probably will not matter.

It all depends on your usage.
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February 2, 2006 1:40:03 PM

Quote:
unless your an audiophile or obsessed with perfecly sounding music then the sound diffrence probably will not matter.

It all depends on your usage.
[/b]

*snickers*
Perhaps I am too demanding, but hearing staticy pops, hisses and crackling that I got with the on-board sound just drove me crazy. Even the sb 128 did a way better job. Then again, it also might have been that my sound chip was just messed to begin with :lol: 
February 2, 2006 2:19:53 PM

The only way to know for sure is to build the rig and use the onboard sound for awhile. Since your current speakers arent that great from what your said I would invest in a good set of surround speakers first. Then if you dont like the sound from the onboard you can get you a sound card.

I have been using onboard sound with a set of logitech z530 5.1s and the sound is great. no pops no stuttering, and can play it as load as my speakers will take it.

Your own ears are your only way to be sure. People can say blah blah blah blah crap all day about onboard. Your the one that is listening to it.
You diecide for yourself.
February 2, 2006 2:26:45 PM

One thing to be aware of; you take a 15% hit in CPU utilization from on-board sound vs. 5% for a good SB/Audigy sound card.
February 2, 2006 2:41:01 PM

Maybe with older cpus and onboard sound chips. Sound doesnt even phase cpus now adays. I have seen test ran, will try to find again, that showed only a 1 to maybe 3 FPS increase by going to a sound card.
February 2, 2006 2:53:36 PM

Does the difference between X-fi cards and Audigys where 3D sound quality is concerned really pay off?
February 2, 2006 5:38:33 PM

awesome thanx for your replies...i'm definitely not an audiophile altho i enjoy music, but i usually listen to music on my sony ericsson w800 phone even if i'm at home. when i'm on my comp i just play games and the occasional background study music :) 
i'm considering investing in a sound system to watch movies n whatnot.
my onboard sound on the DFI lanparty UT NF4 SLI-DR can play surround sound right? cuz those speakers on the top are surrounrd sound, so I hope my mobo can utilize them.
February 2, 2006 7:30:25 PM

I would go for either the MSI K8N Neo Platinum SLI (comes with SB Live! 24bit) or the MSI K8N Diamond which comes with an AUdigy 2ZS. I have the Platinum and the sonud quality and level blows the AC850 out of the water. It also takes A LOT LESS CPU than the boards with onboard sound.

You might also consider the Crossfire boards which have HD audio.
February 2, 2006 7:52:25 PM

lol interesting...i JUST checked my suppliers available mobos, the MSI diamond plus is one of them. i was looking for one last week but it wasn't there. awesome for me :) 
does this board outperform the asus a8n32-sli deluxe or the dfi lp ut nf4 sli-dr?
February 4, 2006 8:16:44 AM

I used onboard sound off an Asus A8N-E for about a month (between paydays) and then got an Audigy 2 Value, I would say there is a clear difference between the two. For example you cant adjust the bass or treble in the windows sound options, which if you could then perhaps the on board wouldnt be such a problem. But without it the sound is tinny and loses bass the higher you push it. With the Audigy you can adjust the bass and treble in the options, but you dont need to, because its good enough already! And dont forget with games, you got the EAX HD sound which the realtek crap on the Asus boards doesnt support. For the sake of 40 quid in the uk or $2200 Taiwan Dollars (sorry its just where i live right now) you can get an Audigy 2 Value, and you wont be disappointed, I wasnt.

Hope that helps!
!