Trying to decide on a sound card...

I'm going to be building my new rig soon and I'm now trying to nail down a sound card to buy.

My original pick was the Sounblaster Live! Platinum 5.1 but I've now decided against that after hearing about the many compatibility issues it has with the Via686B Southbridge.

I've heard good things about the TB Santa Cruz, is this a nice card with few or no compatibility issues? I'd like my first computer building experience to go off with as few problems as possible.

Are there any other quality, sub-$100 soundcards out there?
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More about trying decide sound card
  1. I have used the Diamond Moster Sound MX-300 & MX-400 cards on Win9x & Win2k with no problems. Both cards offer dual channel surround sound which I love, especially when I play my favorite action strategy/role playing games.

    Fisher of men
  2. Philips Acoustics Edge for around $60.

    See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A>!!!
  3. Philips Acoustic Edge always pops-up in these types of post
    = )
    The Seismic Edge isn't a bad choice either, if you don't want the extra features the AE has...same sound quality though
  4. Depends on if you're going 5.1 or 4-surround. The Santa Cruz or Acoustic Edge are awesome 5.1's. The Quadzilla or Seismic Edge are great 4s.

    Other than that, you can go with a sub-$20 Pine or something.....(whew!)

    :smile: <font color=red>Phear my l<font color=blue>33</font color=blue>t skillz, biznatch!</font color=red> :smile:
  5. I just traded in my SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 for the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. I couldn't believe it, on my 4.1 speaker system, the card actually sounded superior to the SoundBlaster Live!. Regular wave files had a bit of a bass cast (the sounded a bit lower than on the SoundBlaster Live!). In MP3s, I found no major difference between the two, although, they claim TB Santa Cruz accelerates MP3s through hardware. On my Athlon system, I found both use practically no CPU time during MP3 playback. The Santa Cruz seems to support superior microphone amplification. I can talk really far away from the MIC and it'll still get my voice. The Santa Cruz has a background noise cancellation feature that reduces unwanted noise from analog speakers.

    In Quake III, both cards sound about the same. In Unreal Tournament with the enhanced Creative EAX patch, the Santa Cruz sounded beautiful while the Live! didn't improve much. With the Santa Cruz, each gunshot echoed as it fired. Each scenario had it own distinct echo. The sound was absolutely amazing!

    That's all I can say for now. Indeed, the Santa Cruz is superior to the Live! CrashMan is not exaggerating when he states the Live! Is overrated and an underperformer compared to today's other cards.
  6. I bought a Soundblaster Live! 5.1 for my Athlon/A7M266 system and couldn't get the drivers to load. Even from a clean W98SE install, nothing would get the thing to work. Creative support said.."make sure there are no drivers from a previous sound card"? Obviously English isn't their first language.

    Anyway, I have now junked the card is favour of a Videologic SonicFury. Installed perfectly, sounds as good, if not better than the Live!. Go for one of these instead (or the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, it't the same)

  7. Thank you for the input everyone.

    The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz it is!
  8. Before you decide...

    I was looking for a good soundcard. Everybody says good things about the Philips cards, so I bought a seismic edge.

    It's been nothing but a disappointment.

    First issue: Extremely poor Win2k support. Although the card is listed as being compatabile with Win2k, I would say nearly half the features simply are not supported. Subsequent driver releases have not addressed this. Call me picky, but still not having decent win2k support (It's been out for what, a year and a half?) is un-f*cking acceptable.

    Second issue - Random pops and clicks. Under almost ANY CPU usage, the philips card *helpfully* puts random pops and clicks into mp3s. Note that my old card, the much maligned SBLive! value, did not do this.,

    Third issue: The card is randomly not recognized on boot. Last night: the card worked. I changed nothing. When I started computer this morning, I got "Windows has detected a new device: Multimedia controller...etc." Trying to reinstall the drivers failed. Sound card still doesn't work.

    My advice - stay away from the Philips Cards. I would recommend the TB card.

    <b>ßunn¥§troker 0wn§ j00!</b>
  9. For what it's worth, I have had EXACTLY the same problems with my Seismic, on a very differently configured system.

    <font color=blue>Quarter pounder inside</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Change the Sig of the Week!!!</font color=red>
  10. You OBVIOUSLY mistaken the crappy Seismic Edge for the <i>ACOUSTICS EDGE</i>!!!

    Just because both are made by Philips does not mean both are similar. Both uses different sound chips and drivers(which can make a world of a difference!!!) Sell that piece of crap on Ebay and buy the <b>ACOUSTICS EDGE</b>--all your problems will dissappear, if not, I'll pay you for your loss!!!

    See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A>!!!
    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Stick_e_Mouse on 09/05/01 04:13 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  11. Uh....

    No idea where to start with this one. Unless you can show me something more specific, this page on the Philips web-site strongly suggests that all three Philips cards use the same sound chip, the Thunderbird Avenger.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">Comparison page from Philips website</A>

    And after being burned like this, there's no way in hell I'll risk a Philips card any time again soon.

    <b>ßunn¥§troker 0wn§ j00!</b>
  12. I don't know if Philips just recently started using the <i>Thunderbird Avenger</i> sound-chip on ALL of their sound cards, because I remember that the Seismic Edge use to use the <i>Thunderbird Q3D</i>(DSP) sound chip. The Philips Semiconductors’ </i>Thunderbird Avenger</i>(DSP) - SAA7785 PCI audio chip powers the Acoustic Edge sound card. In addition, the Acoustic Edge use to be the only one in the line with EAX 2 support.

    Also, I am betting your problem due to the WDM drivers and Windowze 2000--you won't have that problem with the Acoustics Edge. (or maybe if you try your sound card with a different OS)

    See a real naked pic of Britney Spears <A HREF="" target="_new">here</A>!!!
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