View Full Version : Sound card upgrade

07-04-04, 07:35 PM
Right now I've got a SB Live Value. I looking at getting an A2 ZS from newegg. http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=29-102-162&depa=1 How much better is the ZS than the Live Value? Thanks!

07-04-04, 07:45 PM
Than the Live Value? Much better. If you're going Creative, I'd only advise against getting the Audigy (1). Anything Audigy 2 or 2ZS should be good. Don't get the Live Value unless you're on a real strict budget.

07-05-04, 11:26 AM
I am looking to upgrade my SB Live 5.1 and was wondering if the Audigy 2 ZS was worth it.

I read it had better sound and used less cpu cycles than the Live card, but I also read the Audigy chip is just a varient of the EM10 processor that the Live card has, and is not true 24 bit processor.

I think I'm still getting it, just heard good and bad things. Some people think its better to get a mobo with Nvidia Sound Storm than getting an Audigy 2.

07-05-04, 04:36 PM
Well, I'm not going to spout anything technical here, and surely you could find better information in a sound-specific forum somewhere. My understanding is that many people feel that the upgrade from Live series to Audigy 2 zs is worth it. It all depends on your setup/needs/wants, etc. I've owned Live, Audigy, and Audigy 2, and have considered the move from either Live or Audigy to the Audigy 2 to be worth it.

I also think that most tests comparing onboard sound to any of those cards will save you cpu cycles. The thing with the Audigy was, I believe, that it performed some internal processing at 24 bits, but did not fully output at 24 bits. This, I think, was resolved in the Audigy 2 series.

Most people that I know that use Sound Storm, have only done so becuase they can fully utilize the digital out (dd encoding).

07-05-04, 04:42 PM
what are the (to a gamer) the flat out bluntly put improvements from going to an audigy1 to an audigy2, or from a live 5.1 to an audigy2?

I use EAX only sometimes, and with newer drivers, I'm impressed even now with the live5.1 AND the Audigy1's performance and sound quality... ... heh, maybe I'm just now discriminating enough, or m4h sp33k3rz r2 ch3@p (crazy)

07-05-04, 06:14 PM
I had some sound issues like crackling sounds using EAX with my Audigy 1 card on my old PC that aren't there on my new PC that has a Audigy 2. Of course there may be other factors involved but the Audigy 2 hasn't never given me any problems yet where the first Audigy and my previous SBLive did.

07-06-04, 03:56 AM
To the original poster, you will notice a big jump in sound quality, the A2 is also a great card for movies and music also. I went from the SB Live Value to an Audigy2 then to the ZS for the native 7.1 once I got my new speakers :)

07-06-04, 07:10 PM
For the gamer, I think the most important changes from Live series to Audigy 2zs series are:

1. Improved general sound quality (everything really, not just games), better signal to noise and move from 16 to 24 bit. The DAC in Live is ac 97 codec. In Audigy 2 Zs, it's 24-bit/192kHz.
2. # of voices moved from 32 to 64
3. EAX in Live can process only 1 environment, in Audigy 2 zs it can be more than 1 simultaneously (not sure how many)
4. Max # of channels increased from 5.1 to 7.1

Of course, there are others. Sorry if I sound like a tool. That's just tfb. I've used soundblaster cards exclusively since 93, and have yet to run into any of the 'crazy' problems people frequently report. I think their compatability and quality for the average gamer/music listener/movie watcher is very good. Currently, I run an Audigy 2 and a Live value card. The Live value card has lasted me a long time. I bought it like the month it came out, and it's been fine since.

There's a helluva lot you can get into with audio on pcs. Since my needs are simple, I try to keep my setup simple. Creative fits that bill well for me. Kraigc - I wouldn't sell the farm for the new card, but if you want better sound and can afford the upgrade, I think it's a good call.

07-06-04, 11:47 PM
Sweet, thanks for the opinions!

07-07-04, 12:10 AM
If you gaming more than listen to music, Creative is your choice.
If you wanna listen more music than gaming(EAX stuffs), suggest you get M-Audio/Terratec/E-Mu