Currently i'm running onboard (realtek) sound on my Abit IC7-G motherboard. In getting back to gaming more recently (playing BF2) i've been experiencing noticable lag and audio distortion that i'm fearing is perhaps related to using the onboard audio vs a dedicated sound card.
I've read through a number of posts here with concerns of the SB Live 24bit vs Audigy 2 ZS but so far haven't seen a mention of the Audigy 2 Value. Going by the Soundblaster webpage, I have to say I don't see a lot of difference between the Value and base ZS cards. Though in the ZS's favor it has THX certification. It is worth the extra dollars to go up to the ZS over the value? It's about $63 vs about $99. Am I going to hear where that extra money went?
I do have to say that I have the logitec 4.1 THX speaker set so i'm betting the ZS's THX support will be noticable.
If you watch a lot of dvd movies go for the ZS, if not just get the value. The ZS has THX, DD EX, and DTS capability for movies. The value just has DD EX, which is good enough in most cases. Both have EAX 4 support for games.
You would need a rediculous sound system to really make use of THX and DTS. I've got the Klipsch promedia 5.1 system with 4 bookshelf speakers and the difference between DTS and DD EX is not to noticeable.
Folken summed it up pretty well. i have the Audigy 2 Value and i use it more for music and games. although i watch the ocassional movie, it doesn't justify the price of the ZS for me. the THX setup isn't really necessary for me since i work in a small L-shaped desk area, so i just use Logitech X-530 5.1s (excellent 5.1s for the price, btw).
it doesnt have 1394, but i'm not missing it. the Value is doing great for me.