Any experts on soundcards!!


I'm getting a new pc, the motherboard has INBUILT sound, the ac97 or whatever it's called... from what I've heard that's OK sound... but obviously it can't compete with $50+ dollar soundcards... I use my computer sound in alla games, i play mp3's and i watch movies on the computer... will this inbuilt sound do for that, for now? Maybe i can get a soundcard later on?

Pretty much what I want to know is REAL sound differences, that I can actually HEAR... like when I play quake3 or listen to 192kbps mp3's will i HEAR a big difference if I put a soundblaster 1028 value (or whatever it's called, the value/bulk one) ? compared to the inbuilt soundcard on the motherboard?

I understand for soundcards there's a lot of different features, dolby, 5:1, surround stuff etc but that's not for me, so I dont wanna pay for something im not gonna use... and then i heard lots of problems with sb products, crappy drivers etc.. im only interested in differences that applies to me (mp3s, movies, games) and real hearable differences, not stats...

My choice for now is -

1 - i stay with the inbuilt for now, it will do great in games, mp3s and movies.
2 - i put a soundblaster 1024 value/bulk card in it ($40-50 or so) but only if it will make big time hearable differences in these areas (games, mp3s and movies)

thanks for any help on this!!
18 answers Last reply
More about experts soundcards
  1. i too have this onboard sound hardware.
    from what i've been told,this puts a strain on your processor, whereas a sb live(the newish ones),have their own processor.

    Another post made by WIFFEN ENTERPRISES™
  2. AC97 sound can't compete with a standalone sound card. First of all they're purely software, so they are slower in games. Secondly, they use very poor codecs, so sound quality is poor. Thirdly, they don't support all the latest directional sound technologies. Get yourself an SB Live! or better yet, a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and you'll be happier.

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  3. Actually 4.1 sounds a lot better than 2.1.
  4. I agree 2.1 is a pretty flat sound experience. 4.1 is a whole new world of thumping sound

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  5. Don't EVER buy a Live.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  6. "dont buy a live"

    why not?
  7. ..because they are buggy and have relatively poor sound quality in comparison to some of the competition.

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  8. Don't understate it and throw in Creative's crooked business practices, and you've got quite the office Christmas party.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  9. Well, before investing in a new soundcard there are two things that needs to be answered, what would you like to achive regarding soundquality and what kind of system are you outputting the audiosignals to? If you dont have very high standards and if you only use a pair of computer speakers i dont see any point in getting a new soundcards. That the unaccelerated soundcards slow down the games is true but the matter of fact is taht we are only talking about a few percent. So its abselutely not worth 50 bucks.
    If your affraid of not hearing all the sounds you should rather worry about what you are outputting the signals to. To hear everything in a audiorecording or a movie is VERY costly, no amount a sane person is willing to spend. Well, except from me that is. ;)
    To be honest it doesent sound like correct soundreproduction is something u value very high so in your case I would spend my 50 or 100 bucks on something else.

    One more thing, someone mentioned something about 4 channels being better then 2. Thats completly invidual. Myself for one would never buy a multichannel preamp or for that matter a regular multichannel amp. Mainly because they cant achive what regular sterio amps and preamp can achive soundqualitywise.
    Besides, and this when I think about it is the strongest point, music recordings are not ment to be played in more then 2 channels. Well, there are a few good multichannel recordings in sacd and DVDaudio format... but they are not at all common.
  10. Well
    from 32783278 reviews of the Fortissimo II i have read, most of them say that the MP3's sound clearer and brighter on the fortissimo II compared to a SB Live!

    And Sensaura is good

    Why ATI R8500?
    Because there is an A in front of Ti, and a 8 in front of 500 ;)
  11. The best sounding amature cards I've heard are the Aureal Vortex 2's, but they are not compatable with some system configurations on certain VIA chipsets, and there are no good Win2k drivers. It's a good gamble if you can find one cheap, because when they work, they're sweet!

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  12. would the sb live work under windows xp?

    Another post made by WIFFEN ENTERPRISES™
  13. Depends on your definition of "work".

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  14. According to Creative it does. According to everyone else...

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  15. My SB Live work fine with the driver come with Windows XP.
  16. Worked for me.
  17. I have win2k I got rid of my SB live 5.1 it's [-peep-].

    I'm looking for another card now myself, Santa Cruz might be the way to go for me, maybe audigy but I hate creative now, so I'm not too sure.

    Don't extract the urine.
  18. I did not have any driver problem with Windows 2000 too. Which driver are you using?
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