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Knell2
09-03-04, 08:02 PM
ASUS K8V SE Deluxe on board ADI AD1980 soundmax 6 channel audio codec
OR
Soundblaster live! value 4 channel audio PCI sound card

Which is better for gaming? Any thoughts?


My speakers: Logitech Z560 4 channel speakers.
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UPDATE!!

Back to my original question!!!

Despite the sound quality (cause I couldn't tell the difference), here is my test results:
A)Soundmax vs Soundblaster live! value

1)3dmark2003 1024x768 and it's sound test scores(last 3 tests)
score: 11790 vs 11778
no_sound: 53.5 vs 52.3
sound_test1:43.5 vs 45.9
sound_test2: 35.8 vs n/a

2)Farcry: SM3 1600x1200
research: 93.63 vs 96.52
regulator: 65.17 vs 70.12
trainning: 63.21 vs 67.43
Volcano: 88.23 vs 91.11

3) DOOM 3: 1600 x 1200 there is no sound while benchmarking,but I have no other audio benchmark program and this test is short and easy. All scores are taken from 2nd run. First run is for caching purpose.
79.0 VS 81.7

It seems in games soundblaster live value takes little less CUP cycles than on board soundMax.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
amd64 3200+
bfg 6800gt@ultra
512 x 2 DDR3200@2.5-3-3-6
Asus A8V SE Deluxe
WD 250GB ATA100
Antec Neopower 480 PSU + Superlanboy case

UDawg
09-03-04, 09:38 PM
get audigy 2zs. Between the two of those why pay for a add in card when it may only be slightly better. I say go for a good card or just stay with on board.

FearMeAll
09-03-04, 10:15 PM
stay with onboard audio unless you plan to upgrade to something really nice (audigy 2!!)
Soundblaster Live! Value still relies on the cpu a lot. Not worth the upgrade.

Rakeesh
09-03-04, 10:31 PM
No, do NOT get creative hardware. Creative cards suck ass, and I am not just being biased on this either, I speak entirely from experience (I've owned many creative cards.)

Read this if you don't believe me: http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=76742

Knell2, I have the exact same motherboard you do, and actually the audio quality of the soundmax is superior to my creative audigy 2 zs that I tried in it. The only advantage that the creative card offers is that it uses up only slightly less CPU power, but not enough for you to actually notice anything.

You want my advice for a good sound system? Nvidia soundstorm is the best hands down. The only problem is that the nvidia soundstorm is such a powerful soundcard that a PCI bus wont do it any justice, so they only come built in to motherboards. That might change with PCI express, and if I were you, I would use your soundmax until the soundstorm 2 is available, and maybe get you a new motherboard later on down the line so that you can use it. It might actually come in a PCI express format within the next year. (the word is that some Nforce-4 based motherboards will have it built in)

General word of advice for everybody though, if you have cheesy PC speakers or one of those cheezy analog "5.1" surround speakers (the kind where you have to plug two analog cables into the sound card, and they don't have an internal DAC with an spdif input,) then yeah I guess you probably don't care about the sound quality too much, and a cheezy creative card might be ok for you. But if you have a really nice truely dolby digital 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 system with a nice internal 24-bit DAC, then for gods sakes ditch the stupid creative cards, they will not do your sound system justice.

jAkUp
09-03-04, 10:49 PM
Go for the Audigy2zs... My reatice SB live sucked pretty hard, I had so many problems with drivers and what not, my audigy2zs is absolutely wonderful. No problems what so ever. And the drivers are just that, drivers, no bloatware... wonderful.

anzak
09-03-04, 11:57 PM
No, do NOT get creative hardware. Creative cards suck ass, and I am not just being biased on this either, I speak entirely from experience (I've owned many creative cards.)

I agree completely. Im also able to speak from experience with my "now sitting in a box" Live 5.1 Digital. I ordered this OEM card from newegg with the belief that it was like every other Live 5.1 accept it came in a white box. Well, I was wrong. The card is different from the boxed model and the drivers on creative's site do not work with the card! I was stuck with the crappy buggy drivers that came the card. I spent months looking for better 3rd party driver but to with no luck. I will never buy another creative product again.

-=DVS=-
09-04-04, 12:25 AM
SB Live worked good
SB Audigy 1 was buggy

now i got OEM Audigy 2 for few years already and its best sound card i ever needed , drivers are superb never had any problem in games :bleh:

If its not good for audiofanatics don't use it , but for any other gamer its best Direct Sound / EAX card.

Rakeesh
09-04-04, 12:26 AM
Go for the Audigy2zs

That is the exact sound card I have, they are nothing special at all. Trust me you'll get better sound quality from a soundmax.

Knell2
09-04-04, 12:38 AM
I am sorry I wasn't clear about my question. :p
I used this soundblaster live! value card before in my previous system and had no problem with it. But currently I am using the on board soundmax in the new system I just built 2 weeks ago. SoundMax works okay so far. My speakers are only 4 channels (z560) and I am not planning to upgrade them until later.

So is it worth the trouble to put my old soundblaster live into the new system or should I just keep using soundMax? The main concern would be sound quality and also CPU usage during gaming. (COUGH........MUSTA.....GIVE....MORE...CPU......CL OCKCYCLES....TO......6800GT@ULTRA....COUGH) :)

UDawg
09-04-04, 01:22 AM
I say pop it in and run tests on it. Me, I'm just a geek so I would put it in just to see the difference. ;)

Smokey
09-04-04, 06:16 AM
Depends on what you are doing also. If its mainly just for gaming then the SBLive will be better IMO, I used one for about 3yrs without many problems, one or two driver probs thats all. But as UDawg said, its best to really try and compare both yourself, sound is very subject to the person listerning.

AlphaWolf_HK, I guess you are talking about the digital out on the Audigy2 ZS? If you are talking about the analogue on the Audigy2 ZS not being that great, maybe you should read up on what DACs the card uses :)

Rakeesh
09-05-04, 01:51 AM
AlphaWolf_HK, I guess you are talking about the digital out on the Audigy2 ZS? If you are talking about the analogue on the Audigy2 ZS not being that great, maybe you should read up on what DACs the card uses :)

Granted the DAC in creative cards is better than most, it's still not nearly what creative hypes it to be, see the page I mentioned earlier.

But yes, I was refering to the digital port. Honestly I don't know how the hell creative is screwing that one up, I have heard $30 ess maestro soundcards make better PCM bitstreams than the $110+ audigy2 zs.

ynnek
09-05-04, 11:50 PM
The more I read, the more it seems the creative labs stuff is overrated and overmarketed.

anyways, my original deciding factor was UT2k4 VoIP wouldn't work with EAX acceleration on the audigy's.. Then I started reading about other naggling issues about CL stuff and other games.. I decided instead to put the money towards more memory..

The most perf difference it can give is about 5%. Its on the bottom of the list of things to get.. I rather get a new printer before I'd get an Audigy.... ;)

Smokey
09-06-04, 05:29 AM
I think the confusion comes more from users reading good things about Creative stuff, not realising that people are talking about the analogue out rather than digital.

The other thing is, what do you use your soundacrd for?

There is not better soundcard for gaming than an Audigy2 ZS (using analogue), the ZS is also great for DVDs and music. Now for the price point, I am more than happy with my Creative Audigy2 ZS along with the Creative Gigaworks S750 7.1 700watts speakers. :)

UDawg
09-06-04, 05:49 AM
I am with Smokey on this one. It has been a great card for me. Not one problem.

Riptide
09-06-04, 10:42 AM
I've not had to many problems with my audigy 2 plat, and it sounds good to me. But I'd be a fool (as well as a liar) if I told you Creative had a stellar reputation. ;)

Drumphil
09-06-04, 12:54 PM
my audigy 1 and 2 cards run fine.. had a few problems with early SB live drivers, but my sblives all seem to work fine now too. I have also had many positive comments in the studio about the sound quality of the audigy 2.

Granted the DAC in creative cards is better than most, it's still not nearly what creative hypes it to be, see the page I mentioned earlier.

that was the Audigy 1. the audigy 2 audio quality is excelent by any standards, and thats not a guess, because these things can and have been measured. They're not the best money can buy, but for what they cost, they are excelent, and certainly have the best sound quality of any card with really strong 3d gaming sound support. (is nvidia ever going to release a stand-alone soundstorm (2?) chip to sound card makers??)

Rakeesh
09-06-04, 07:59 PM
There is not better soundcard for gaming than an Audigy2 ZS (using analogue), the ZS is also great for DVDs and music. Now for the price point, I am more than happy with my Creative Audigy2 ZS along with the Creative Gigaworks S750 7.1 700watts speakers. :)

The nvidia soundstorm is superior to creative soundcards in every way, both analog and digital. Trust me, no matter what angle you approach it from, the soundstorm has the creative cards beat by a long shot. And I mean one very big long shot. I mean if you think your creative card is neato, you haven't compared it to a soundstorm.

EDIT: Have a look here:

http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=article&dId=695&dPage=2

(yeah I know it's mostly refering to digital, but still have a read)

And with regard to DACs, m-audio makes better quality DACs than creative.

UclaBob
09-06-04, 08:25 PM
EDIT: Have a look here:

http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=article&dId=695&dPage=2

Wow what an interesting benchmark! Interesting that the soundstorm produces higher FPS in both D3 and the HL2 engine.

saturnotaku
09-06-04, 09:22 PM
I've been using the onboard Realtek audio on my K8N Neo2 and I've been very impressed so far. It does have a bit higher CPU utilization than my Audigy2 ZS, but it's not enough to be terribly intrusive. The quality is pretty good, though I'm only using a 2.1 speaker setup.

Smokey
09-06-04, 09:26 PM
And with regard to DACs, m-audio makes better quality DACs than creative.

If I'm not mistaken, the DAC's used by both Creative and M-Audio on their soundcards are made by Crystal?

Smokey
09-06-04, 09:27 PM
Wow what an interesting benchmark! Interesting that the soundstorm produces higher FPS in both D3 and the HL2 engine.

Isn't the SS the only one processing the sound in hardware?

Knell2
09-06-04, 09:49 PM
UPDATE!!

Back to my original question!!!

Despite the sound quality (cause I couldn't tell the difference), here is my test results:
A)Soundmax vs Soundblaster live! value

1)3dmark2003 1024x768 and it's sound test scores(last 3 tests)
score: 11790 vs 11778
no_sound: 53.5 vs 52.3
sound_test1:43.5 vs 45.9
sound_test2: 35.8 vs n/a

2)Farcry: SM3 1600x1200
research: 93.63 vs 96.52
regulator: 65.17 vs 70.12
trainning: 63.21 vs 67.43
Volcano: 88.23 vs 91.11

3) DOOM 3: 1600 x 1200 there is no sound while benchmarking,but I have no other audio benchmark program and this test is short and easy. All scores are taken from 2nd run. First run is for caching purpose.
79.0 VS 81.7

It seems in games soundblaster live value takes little less CUP cycles than on board soundMax.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
amd64 3200+
bfg 6800gt@ultra
512 x 2 DDR3200@2.5-3-3-6
Asus A8V SE Deluxe
WD 250GB ATA100
Antec Neopower 480 PSU + Superlanboy case

Knell2
09-06-04, 10:05 PM
EDIT: Have a look here:

http://www.tweaktown.com/document.php?dType=article&dId=695&dPage=2



Nice Benchmarks.

From these it's obvious Adigy2 ZS and Soundstorm both came out on the top 2.
Soundstorm does an amazing job as an on-board sound device!!!! Very impressive.

Rakeesh
09-07-04, 12:12 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the DAC's used by both Creative and M-Audio on their soundcards are made by Crystal?

Dunno who they are made by, just know that an m-audio that my friend has (I think it was one of the audiophile series) sounds better than the audigy 2zs I have.

It seems in games soundblaster live value takes little less CUP cycles than on board soundMax.

The proper question is whether or not 3 or 4 frames per second is worth $100.

Nice Benchmarks.

From these it's obvious Adigy2 ZS and Soundstorm both came out on the top 2.
Soundstorm does an amazing job as an on-board sound device!!!! Very impressive.

Although onboard sound devices are generally ****ty, the soundstorm is not by any means. The whole reason it isn't available in a PCI flavor is because the PCI bus doesn't have enough bandwidth for it. Thus they have to build it onboard.