I'm planning to get a sound card to replace the onboard AC97 on my MSI KT3 Ultra. Would an Audigy (with hacked Audigy 2 drivers) or a Fortissimo III be a better choice? I have the Logitech Z-540 4.1 speakers and use them for extensive gaming and mp3s.
Tech-report in their 2 sound card comparisons said that, subjectively, Audigy is a better sounding solution in music playback than almost any other card out there (obviously besides real 24-bit cards like Terratec DMX-6Fire, MAudio Audiophile2496 or Creative's own Audigy 2). While I haven't heard the sound of Fortissimo3, I've got an Audigy and it sounds 'great' in music. Also, Audigy and Audigy2 are the only cards (yet?) that support EAX AdvancedHD (or EAX 3) which may or may not be important to you. I must say that Creative's demo of these new effects was impressive but then I'm not a hardcore gamer myself. Finally the F3 is available for ~$15 less than the Audigy.
And, what's the deal with hacked Audigy2 drivers??
How can drivers (and those of another card with different capabilities for that sake) improve sound quality of a sound card? I mean I can see how new drivers add functionality or fix some problems with different games, etc. but aren't the DSP and specially the DAC (in this case the Audigy chip and the Philips 24/96 DAC) the most important elements in the chain? And more so when you take into account that Audigy2 uses a different DSP and a different DAC chip (24/192 for the front ouputs, 24/96 for others)...How can software improve something that 'isn't there' in hardware?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by r2k on 02/01/03 00:28 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
I uninstalled all the audigy software, but when I try to install the audigy 2 software, it stops halfway through and says no audigy 2 detected on your system.
I ran that patch program, but I must be missing something.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mattburklund on 02/07/03 10:28 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Read the link he posted earlier and check out the plethora of problems even after succesfully installing the Audigy2 drivers (the most ridiculous of which is Surround Mixer not opening). I'd say just don't bother.
Ah, and IMMHO the added sound quality is pure hype, nothing more (see my reasoning above, although I welcome anyone having a reasonable, scientific explanation for this and if not, I'll believe it only when done in proper A/B or double-blind tests).
I'm in much the same boat, I've got an SBLive Value I want to replace for better DVD audio output, and I'm thinking about getting the Fortissimo III over the Audigy1/2. The main thing swinging it at the moment is Creative's pointless pro-DRM attitude that to me really stinks, so out of principle really.