Santa Cruz or Audigy?

I have to retire my Aureal Vortex 2. It is one of my favourtie sound card. Too bad Aureal went out of business and no more support. And it just suck in XP now. RIP

After my researching, I am down to 2 choices. Turtle Beach Santa Curz and Creative Sound Blaster Audigy. Can anyone give me some advice? I mainly using my computer for games. So good quality 3D sound is a must. (for 4 speakers with sufwoofer) Santa Cruz supports many APIs but Audigy EAX Advance HDs seems like the next big thing. (no game support it yet but Soldier of Fortune 2 will be the 1st) Second thing need to consider is it must work good on VIA chipset. (my next upgrade will be Athlon XP with KT266A chipset motherboard) Anyone know are there any issue with any chipset on both cards?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Avus
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  1. I hate Creative (and I would think you would to). You might want to add a 3rd card to your choices, the Hercules Game Theater XP. Pretty much the same thing as the Santa Cruz, but it has a great external rack. Around $100 at <A HREF="http://http:/www.newegg.com" target="_new">Newegg</A>. It's the card I have, and I love it.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  2. The Santa Cruz is the most stable card out of the two, especially with VIA chipsets, and as far as sound quality is concerned, they are almost on par, but the Santa Cruz has better bass, and has much better virtual surround support for 2 speakers/headphones. I think it also has an MP3 accelerator, a feature that was ignored in the GTXP (some people say rightly so - with processors these days as fast as they are who needs it?).

    What the Audigy's got going for it is that it's a lot more stable than the older SB live used to be, has better sound effects (reverb etc.) and can support them on up to four sound sources concurrently (I think that's part of Advanced HD?). EAX Advanced HD may be the next big thing but I can't see support for EAX 1 and 2 being phased out too soon.

    I guess if you've got the money, the patience and a really good sub woofer then go the Audigy. Otherwise the Santa Cruz will definately get you where you want to go.
  3. Does Audigy still have PCI bandwidth problem? I think it will be a good card if Creative solve the PCI bandwidth problem. Audigy have some new feature that will be supported by game manufacturer in the future.
  4. There haven't been enough people using the Audigy for long enough to know for sure, but responses on a few forums are showing that there are less issues with this.
  5. Go with the santa cruz. Great sound quality!

    My system: <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=8946" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=8946</A>
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