Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Will old Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS work in new computer?

Last response: in Components
Share
August 13, 2012 6:42:15 PM

I have a 7 year old Dell with the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS card, and I am using a 5.1 speaker system with which I have been happy.
I'm getting a new computer, and I'm wondering if onboard audio has improved enough that I will be satisfied with it. (I'm looking at systems like Dell's with its "Waves MAXX 7.1" or HP's "Beats" audio.)
If not, will I be able to take that old Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS and put it in a Win 7/8 machine for better sound?
Or do you have a recommendation for a cheaper ($50 or so?) sound card that would be a better option.
Thanks for any help!
August 13, 2012 7:26:12 PM

Hi :) 

My company has had problems finding drivers that WORK with that card and 7...8 i dont know about though...

All the best Brett :) 
August 13, 2012 7:32:16 PM

I don't think Creative has W7 drivers out for the Audigy 2. You can check their website.
Related resources
August 13, 2012 8:34:14 PM

Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic.

No way will 7 year old card beat new technology.
August 13, 2012 8:53:05 PM

chaosgs said:
Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic.

No way will 7 year old card beat new technology.


Why not? Feature wise, the Audigy 2 wins. Quality wise, it will be a lot closer. Depends really where the Audigy focused its sound signature...
August 13, 2012 10:58:18 PM

Thank you, all... though I'm not sure I'm too much clearer on the situation! I had found the driver that should work under Win7 here: http://bit.ly/O3sAHv (Just to fix hairystuff's link)
I guess I'll just see how the integrated sound works and then decide whether it's worth the work to try out the old card or worth the cost to get something new.
August 14, 2012 8:06:16 AM

Sorry about that I think Toms made a bit of a mess of that link, although it still works when clicked on.
August 14, 2012 9:54:04 PM

One of my rigs is running a Creative SB Live! card that's even older than in the OP and Daniel K drivers are awesome!
August 15, 2012 8:02:02 AM

@batuchka thanks for the Danial K drivers, didn't know about them, I've still got 2 Emu10k soundcards (SB1024 & Live!) in x2 PCs and x2 Audigy 2 ZS, these soundcards were great it's a pity Creative stopped supporting them.
August 15, 2012 8:41:19 AM

Yep u are welcomed and cheers ^^
August 18, 2012 11:03:21 PM

chaosgs said:
Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic.

No way will 7 year old card beat new technology.



I disagree as well, 7 years in audio technology is not that long. I dont see any reason these cards should not still sound great, especially compared to onboard which is only slightly better than no sound.

The audigy series, especially the audigy 2 and better, dont seem that far behind the newer X-fi cards in terms of audio quality and signal to noise. Audigy 2 will do 24bit/96k. They are only missing support for "up to 128 positioned 3D voices" though this seems largely useless?

" The X-Fi uses EAX 5.0 which supports up to 128 3D-positioned voices with up to four effects applied to each. This release also included the 24-bit crystallizer, which is intended to pronounce percussion elements by placing some emphasis on low and high pitched parts of the sound. The X-Fi, at its release, offered some of the most powerful mixing capabilities available, making it a powerful entry-level card for home musicians." -from wikipedia
August 19, 2012 4:20:06 AM

and talking about old audio equipment, I have got some old audio equipment, mainly amplifiers that are 25+ years old (harmon kardon and kenwood) and there isn't much top end equipment availiable on the market that can compair to them in terms of fidelity. So my point is the age of a product doesn't mean it's quality is crap by default.
August 19, 2012 4:21:41 AM

hairystuff said:
and talking about old audio equipment, I have got some old audio equipment, mainly amplifiers that are 25+ years old (harmon kardon and kenwood) and there isn't much top end equipment availiable on the market that can compair to them in terms of fidelity. So my point is the age of a product doesn't mean it's quality is crap by default.


Amen to that. I have some vintage stuff, as well, that's just amazing and can rival anything made today.
August 19, 2012 4:59:42 AM

rio747 said:
I dont see any reason these cards should not still sound great, especially compared to onboard which is only slightly better than no sound.

The quality of on-board sound depends a lot on the quality of the HDA chip and PCB layout.

Some board layouts put hte HDA chip far from analog outputs and let analog traces cross heaps of other stuff along the way which makes them pick up tons of EMI and crosstalk noise along the way. Better designs put the HDA chip closer to outputs sometimes with metal shield and route analog traces over a dedicated analog ground strip. Those better designs have a reasonable shot at approaching the HDA chip's specs.

Since my current board's HDA sounds good enough, I have not bothered transplanting my Audigy2... but I should probably give it a shot one of these days to see whether or not the differences I think I noticed were real or imaginary.
November 25, 2012 6:57:31 AM

All the drivers for Audigy cards on Windows 7 and Windows 8 can be downloaded there:

http://www.lecuistre.net/pages/WN5fnG/

I tried them on my Audigy 2 ZS and everything work like never before ! :D 
July 25, 2013 8:24:10 PM

Thought I would post my answer since I just battled with installing an A2 ZS on Windows 8 64-bit. Others may be able to use this solution.

Danial K - partly known for his custom audio drivers - made a custom driver package for the A2, which is verified by myself and others to work on Windows 8. He made an update to his original package to accommodate for Windows 8. You will have full access to the applications Creative bundled with the drivers!

Here is his blog with the post: http://danielkawakami.blogspot.ca/2012/10/sb-audigy-ser...

Here is the forum post you should refer to for download, instructions, and information: http://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=698949

Cheers!

PS For Windows 8 especially, he has specific and important installation instructions.
July 25, 2013 11:10:34 PM

Thanks for the update!
January 17, 2014 12:53:53 AM

chaosgs said:
Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic.

No way will 7 year old card beat new technology.


the "old" card will do much better sound if you get it to work!
January 17, 2014 8:19:28 AM

scheffkuh said:
chaosgs said:
Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic.

No way will 7 year old card beat new technology.


the "old" card will do much better sound if you get it to work!


In my experience, "old" has not much to do with quality. Sometimes, old is way better! As a speaker builder, I've often found that "new technology" is just a rehash of old technology, albeit with better design in terms of the manufacturers process. This is to say that the cost of production goes down for the manufacturer and they still charge a killing for something that doesn't sound any (or much) different.

Now I don't know a lot about sound cards and I do know a lot about how computer equipment generally improves over the years, but my experience with amplifiers and recording equipment is that old stuff can be amazing for many years.

I've got a new Z77 mobo and the old Audigy I have blows away the onboard audio. I'm quite impressed. I would like a 'newer' card with some more bells and whistles, but I don't have $100-$200 to blow on an expansion card :p .

You don't have to take my word for it, but older can rock if you're willing to give it a chance. I know that sounds contrary to the typical performance curve we perceive computer technology to offer over time.

June 5, 2014 7:27:58 AM

Hi, yes I know I am 2 years late but have only just seen forum. As I have an Audigy 2zs and am looking at whether to purchase a replacement card. My card with its breakout box worked on Vista 64 ultimate despite warnings to the contrary from the system.
The quality was superb far and away beating the built-in audio on some PC's I have built for non audio nuts.
I have been considering ASUS Xonar for a new PC I am building but if there are drivers still available for the SB then I am more than happy to continue with the superb SB.

August 30, 2014 9:01:29 AM

I also have an Audigy2 ZS. I'm planning to install it in my newer Win 7 pc, but must use an adapter for the motherboard, as new comp does not have PCI slot. Regarding the features in the platinum pro, there is an external box with multiple analog plug ins that no new computer has that I am aware of. I am planning to digitize old cassette and real to real sound recordings. This cannot be done well with new computers from what I've found.

I, too, have found that some very old equipment has excellent sound.
!