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Getting a old sound card, will it be better than my on-board?

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February 27, 2011 1:08:27 PM

I'm getting an old sound card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS.
I have the Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 which has the Realtek ALC888 onboard audio chip. I've been thinking about getting a sound card but the prices kept me away from them, so i saw this really cheap old sound card and wanted to get it.
So guys please help me out here, do i really need this card?

More about : sound card board

February 27, 2011 1:37:11 PM

Yes the Audigy 2-ZS sounds better then the onboard chip.
Tested and used myself on GA-H55M-UDH2 with ALC889 onboard chip and with 2-ZS.
The 2-ZS stayed.
I used my 2-ZS from a previous XP build,i wouldn't pay more then $20 for it though.
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February 27, 2011 1:58:11 PM

@Davcon, ok, so it is still a pretty good sound card even though it's like more than 5 years old.
@Dadiggle, no i don't have a spdif or whatever, haha, i'm not so much a home theater guy yet, just sticking to my bad speaker, hoping to enhance the sound quality with 5 bucks.
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February 27, 2011 2:47:57 PM

novasix said:
@Davcon, ok, so it is still a pretty good sound card even though it's like more than 5 years old.
@Dadiggle, no i don't have a spdif or whatever, haha, i'm not so much a home theater guy yet, just sticking to my bad speaker, hoping to enhance the sound quality with 5 bucks.

Definitely worth the $5 upgrade!
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February 27, 2011 4:49:59 PM

pro tip

sound cards make ur entire pc faster.
they take the load off ur chipset and cpu freeing up calculations!

always worth the <60 bucks for a decent card
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February 28, 2011 1:19:37 PM

oh ok, thank you for you guys' opinion and help, i decided to buy the card anyways since it's just 5 bucks. But i still have one question, despite the sound quality, would the sound card take work load off of my cpu as gtx285fanboy said?
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February 28, 2011 1:21:29 PM

(i'm not using any optical ports, just headphone ports and line out ports)
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February 28, 2011 6:07:39 PM

Soundcards do not speed up games, period.

Aside from that, the ALC888 has a higher analog output quality then the Audigy, so the output will be less noisy with the onboard. That being said, you might prefer the way the audio is processed by the audigy over the onboard chipset.

IE: While hte onboard may have a clearer output, the Audigy might do other processing on the audio to make certain things sound better. Hence why audio is so subjective.
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March 6, 2011 12:12:55 PM

Quote:
Are you asking if you would get more fps in a game with it. No

Games get written to middelware like Dx. Features that's not supported by your device dx will emulate which means more cpu usage. Lot of sound manufacturers throw emulation software bundled with their software. Users enable thinking its a feature that the card can do but in fact it emulates which mean more cpu usage as well. virtual features are emulation which will use more cpu than the real deal.

Then pci cards hog the bus. They can hold the cpu up coz their slow when other devices needs it or it will request more cpu time than what the system will give them. Just make sure when you installed the card first thing to go into the bios and make sure its not sharing a IRQ with any device otherwise your going to get snap crackle and pop. Assign a IRQ manually to it so it doesn't share anything.


How do i assign IRQ thing? I have a Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3, and i didn't see such a thing like that.
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