I am having trouble choosing between CREATIVE SOUNDBLASTER AUDIGY MP3+ and the Fortissimo III or Digi Fire sound card. I play alot of music through my pc but I don't do any mixing. I do play a lot of games as well as watch dvd's on my system. I am looking to get excellent sound quality out of my card and not wanting to spend a lot of money as well. I know the Creative has 24bit but I am not sure what the Fortissimo III or Digifire has. I was told the creative says 24bit but only has 16 like the Fortissimo and the Digifire. Any adive and clarity to help me choose is greatly appreciated. I have also heard about driver nightmares concerning the soundblaster. I run an AMD 1.2gig, 40gig HD, XP, 512DDR.
Even Creative is 24bit but looking at the price, you can purchase 2 Digi-Fire/Fortissimo III. And Hercules offers 7.1ch sound and backward compatible to 2.1ch, 4.1ch, 5.1ch and 6.1ch. And since you don't do mixing or music thingy, you don't need the 24bit encoding. Save money to buy better speaker (Gee... I always make this recommendation). And most of all, if you are running on VIA chipset, never touch Creative!!!
We're talking about the original Audigy here. No, it's not a 24-bit card although it's got 24-bit/96KHz DAC and ADC (the DSP works at 16-bit/48KHz internally). It also sounds very well in music (at the price) and has the best sounding 3D effects (EAX AdvancedHD) of the bunch.
DigiFire adds Firewire ports to the Fortissimo3 for almost double the price. They're identical otherwise. IMO as Audigy (that has a Firewire port) is just a few dollars more expensive than F3, it's not worth it to get the Digifire unless you really need the additional port. And at or around that price, there's Audigy2 (again with Firewire), a real 24-bit solution. Plus there are other options like the Terratec Aureon 5.1 Sky and M-Audio Revolution 7.1.