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Is Audigy worth the trouble?

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February 28, 2011 2:49:55 PM

Hi! I currently am running a Realtek HD onboard sound specs as follows...AMD 925 no OC, 8Gb DDR2 800MHz, HD4830, Win 7 X64. My question is this...a friend recently gave me a Creative Audigy SE card since he ran out of PCI slots and wanted to add a capture card. Now I'm not having any trouble with the onboard but I do like to game so would it be worth adding the Audigy? Is the sound quality on these high enough to make a difference? Will it help with framerate?

I'm afraid I haven't messed with soundcards since the days of Win9x and SoundBlaster so I have no clue about modern sound cards and whether they are worth the effort anymore or not. If it'll make a noticeable difference in sound quality or gaming I'll stick it in in a heartbeat, but I'd hate to go to all the trouble of tearing into the machine if in the end I can't tell the difference.

So has anybody here had any experience with the Audigy SE? is it better or worse than Realtek HD? And the thing I'm most afraid of is the drivers, as I heard some horror stories about Creative and Vista, has it gotten better with Windows 7? Is the Creative 64bit drivers stable? Thanks for any advice in advance...Kev

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February 28, 2011 3:59:17 PM

An Audigy SE is really outdated and isn't something i'd refer to as modern.
I can't see any advantage to using one over an onboard chip.
It isn't hardware based so fps is a non-factor.
The SE was and is a low budget soundcard that doesn't bring any advantages to a modern system with onboard audio.
The SE is a 1st gen Audigy with an inferior dsp chip.
"The Audigy SE and Audigy Value are stripped down models, with a less expensive CA-0106 audio-controller in place of the EMU10k2. With the CA-0106, the SE/Value are limited to software-based EAX 3.0 (upgraded to software-based EAX 4.0 with a driver update), no advanced resolution DVD-Audio Playback, and no Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital EX 6.1 playback. With these cards only one of the mic, line in, or AUX sources may be unmuted at a time."
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_Audigy
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February 28, 2011 4:08:42 PM

The Audigy SE still uses the cpu like onboard sound because its a software card, this was valid in 2002 i believe and since onboard sound has improved quite a lot its not worth using anything else unless you buy something pricey.
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February 28, 2011 6:08:57 PM

Don't bother. Your onboard has a clearer signal output then the Audigy.

And no, Creatives drivers stink, regardless of OS.
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March 1, 2011 10:35:21 PM

Best answer selected by bassbeast.
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March 1, 2011 10:45:05 PM

Thanks for the info. It is less than 6 months old and is this card...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

which is still being sold by the local Best Buy, but after reading your post I'll be putting it and the driver disc into my "useless junk" box in the back of the shop which I keep just in case. What really worried me and what got me away from discrete sound was the driver issue, after getting burned with a SoundBlaster and lousy XP drivers I have pretty much stuck with onboard.

Anyway I figured it was free, if it would actually improve anything I'd give it a shot, but it isn't the end of the world and is better to know its junk that to risk instability. The Realtek HD onboard has 7.1 surround so it isn't like I'm hurting here and my quad plays games just fine so it is good to know discrete is pretty much a "don't bother" nowadays. Heck even for recording most of the studios I've been in bypass the sound and just use firewire from a mixing board to lay tracks.

Anyway thanks for the info, I was conflicted since it was supposed to be 24 bit sound (at least according to Newegg) but from the looks of your link that was just marketing hokum. Thanks..kev


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