Ok I've been reading reviews all day, but no-one actually compares the two cards that I've seen. I'm looking at the digifire 7.1 or the Audigy 2. I assume the Audigy 2 is better, b/c of the $130 price tag, but is it actually worth the extra $70?
** My System **
Epox 8k9a2+ running an AMD XP 1900+
256mb Corsair XMS PC3500 C2
Twin 120 GB Western Digital Special Edition
Radeon 8500 And Logitech Z-560's
I don't know a lot about the different sound cards, but I just picked up the Fortissimo III card and a set of Logitech Z-640 speakers and I have awesome sound on my games and DVD's. Got my OEM card at NewEgg.com for about $47. Great deal.
you can get the audigy 1 which is superior to about everything out there besides the audigy2, you still get firewire, the lowest cpu utilization rate of any sound card out there besides the audigy2, EAX1/2/3 (only audigy1/2 have eax3), it can be found for about $50 on pricewatch in OEM form, which is the one that i use.
EAX Advanced HD, is used in games like Hitman 2, Soldier of Fortune 2 and Unreal Tournament 2003.
I play alot of UT2002 and the sound is amazing with EAX3.
Basically, if you want your games sounding and running the best they possibly can, get one! I have had problems with my audigy but I speak from experience, the issues are cleared up and the card is simply the best deal on the market for $50.
The retail versions have gold plated outputs, which affects durability only, it will give you no better sound quality output.
Mine works great now that I did a format (much needed), with the newest via hyperion drivers and do not install anything off of creative's cd, just do the drivers from their website.
Check out the audigy 2 review here on toms to see them back up everything i've said.
Edit- just noticed you have the z560s, i do also and they are a perfect match for an audigy!
Athlon 1700+, Gigabyte 7VTXE (KT266A), 2x256mb Crucial PC2100, Geforce 3, Audigy, Z560s<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kinney on 12/16/02 01:45 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
first off, the digifire 7.1 is the same as the fortissimo III except with firewireports.. (tom's review: http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/20021023/index.html) i wouldnt even have the audigy 2 as an option..if you want those firewire ports, then go with the digifire..if you dont, then i would think about the fortissimo III for 40 bucks at newegg or the tb santa cruz for 60 bucks at newegg. (santa cruz review at http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/20010925/index.html)..the audigy 2 really isnt worth its price tag and people find these cards amazing sounding.. creative just isnt cutting it anymore with their price to performance\quality ratio. plus they install spyware in with your drivers so i wont even touch them...
I don't doubt that the Fortissimo III or TB SC are good cards but I have an Audigy in my system that sounds <guess what> amazing. Have you ever heard the sound of an Audigy through a decent amp/speaker setup? I've connected it to my Denon integrated amplifier and B&W loudspeakers and the sound coming out of this combination is impressive! Audigy sounds dynamic, warmish and sweet and my amp/speakers are on the rich, very crisp and transparent side so they compliment each other rather good. So yes I guess Audigy2 sounds even better if you consider that it can record and play 24-bit/96KHz quality audio in all its glory (e.g. DVD audio, recording old records to digital format, etc.). And FWIW, for ~$50, no card can beat the OEM Audigy in terms of features, performance in games and music reproduction.
If only they had better software bundled with their cards... I'm talking about all the bloatware Creative is attaching to their cards. BTW what part of the software is 'spyware'? I've never heard such a thing about their drivers or software bundles. Link? Proof?
Well i dont think the audigy lines sound bad at all..dont get me wrong.. but i really dont think they blow me away..especially at the price they come in at at 200 bucks.. maybe the audigy 1 is not a bad option at 50 bucks.
>So yes I guess Audigy2 sounds even better if you consider >that it can record and play 24-bit/96KHz quality audio in all >its glory
actually its not true 24 bit recording...its faked..its 16bit recording converted to 24bit which gives you worse than the original 16bit sampling..
>If only they had better software bundled with their >cards... I'm talking about all the bloatware Creative is >attaching to their cards. BTW what part of the software is >'spyware'? I've never heard such a thing about their >drivers or software bundles. Link? Proof?
well the bloatware is one thing..like i need or want a tenth of the crap creative thows on my machine.. but the spyware is found in NewsUpd.exe - "News Engine Update Application" - Creative Labs advertising software installed with SoundBlaster (tm) and perhaps other products."
No it was fake in the Audigy not Audigy 2. The Audigy has 24-bit/96KHz DAC and ADC while the chip itself (the Audigy chip or DSP by Creative) can only work at up to 16-bit/48KHz internally (The DAC/ADC by Philips BTW are the main reason the card sounds so good). Not the case with Audigy 2: If you check out the various articles written on it and/or go to the Creative website and read the features, it's capable of working with 24/96 audio files all the way through (the chip and the ADC/DAC). Actually the full 24/96 support IS the reason it can play DVD-Audio.
News Engine Update Application? Audigy drivers don't contain this. Maybe it was bundled with older Live! cards...
There is just one issue with CL that is actually getting me a bit on the wrong side with them (all my soundcards are SB Live! and I like them allright) is that they turn off the digital output when playing certain content (DVD, CD's etc) and that is done through the drivers
They certainly put a lot of Bloatware (I even saw in a reveiw of an audigy that 'suspiciously' the mp3's they were listening to sounded better in the creative labs player than in the others, but I couldn't test that out, since I dont have an audigy) and that is also kinda discouraging, considering their pricing...
Where can I find links on the Acoustic Edge sc? (never read a review 'bout them)
Some people can just hear this slight difference that others can't.
I've heard the Santa Cruz. I actually owned it for a very short while. It's a very Nice Card. Great price, and is dead on with just about any sound reproduction that you will need in games/dvd/music etc etc.
The audigy (1) is a really great card. It's depths are very noticeable (to this audiophile) and it producers better higher levels than the Santa Cruz (In my opinion). Whereas it likes to bleed out a bit with the higher levels.
The Audigy 2 didn't change all that much (other than the THX logo), but to tell the truth it does just sound a bit better. Yes there are changes, obviously, but does it warrant a new card?...hrmmm....that's hard to say. Seems like they coulda saved us a step in the card stepping stone and come out with a new Card line or something. I'm not dogging it. Hell, I own one : ) I'm just anal like that. I do hear the difference (or I need professional help for my audio addiction: )
I can't say that I've tried the Digifire or the Fortissimo. I've read the reviews, but my gut turned me away from those choices. I'm odd like that.
So I'm with one of the other guys that posted. An audigy (1) is a nice choice. You're obviously going to save extra bucks, and it truly (in my opinion) produces Unreal sound.
My $7800 home theater/sound system is jealous at times, even
Again, My opinion only, but hey, that's' what this place is for.
<b>If it aint broke, then hell, you aint looking at it in the right frame of mind!</b>