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|MaguS|
03-18-05, 12:37 PM
Im looking to get a new sound card and really don't know which one to purchase. Im leaning to getting a Turtle Beach Catalina because I have used TB in the past and always loved them but they do not have DSP on the card. I don't know much about Creative except that when helping my friend with his pc, I noticed that its basically bloatware, tons of crap are installed along with the drivers...

So anyone know a good Gaming Sound Card? DSP is basically a must but if the card is top of the line without it, I might be able to overlook it.

keith33
03-18-05, 12:39 PM
There's just no substitute for an Audigy 2 ZS or Audigy 4 by Creative. No company even comes close in sound quality or features. As for the bloatware, don't use their install, just install the components YOU want off the cd, that's what I did and it runs great. Good luck.

ragejg
03-18-05, 12:41 PM
Creative's great if you DL the driver pack, uncompress it, and just run the CTZAPXX file, or something like that... it just installs the driver and the driver only, transparently....

I have a Santa Cruz right now, and can say it bested my audigy in music playback... but as far as gaming... well, I don't have 1337 speakers, so I can't really tell the difference, and haven't done any framerate tests...

Smokey
03-18-05, 01:26 PM
If you are after a gaming card, Audigy2 and up are your only options really. If music is more important, then you can get a much cheaper card that uses the Envy24 (HT-i think is the model of the chip). If you want the best of both worlds, get the Audigy4, but it is expensive, as I think it only comes in Pro, which means that you cant just buy the card by itself. Ive also read that the Turtle Beach Catalina is over priced for what it is, there are better cards that use the same chip out there.

Tr1cK
03-18-05, 01:29 PM
Santa Cruz for music playback. Audigy 2 ZS for gaming. I have found the 5.1 works much better with my Audigy 2 ZS than my old Santa Cruz also.

ragejg
03-18-05, 01:29 PM
If you are after a gaming card, Audigy2 and up are your only options really.

I must interject and mention that the genuine Audigy 1 does have very similar performance and sound quality... and the price (I think $40-50) really can't be beat.

ynnek
03-18-05, 01:32 PM
well for ultimate music playback, just do SPDIF out to your reciever,and let your reciever's dac's take care of it..

jAkUp
03-18-05, 02:22 PM
Audigy 2 ZS

Veger
03-18-05, 03:13 PM
Another new card coming to the states shortly does real Dolby Digital encoding 5.1, like the soundstorm. I am using it now and it replaced my Audigy 2 ZS. Sounds great for games, music and movies. I wanted to have a one connection digital to my Logitech® Z-5500 Digital. Sounds better than the Audigy 2 ZS it replaced.

Links:

Here is more information from Dolby Site:
http://www.dolby.com/consumer/technology/dolby_live.html

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3701&item=5170670510&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

http://www.cmedia.com.tw/faq/e_faq_PCI.htm

http://www.cmedia.com.tw/e_t_twp.htm

Smokey
03-18-05, 05:20 PM
I must interject and mention that the genuine Audigy 1 does have very similar performance and sound quality... and the price (I think $40-50) really can't be beat.

In terms of gaming sound quality maybe, though AFAIK, the Audigy1 doesnt support EAX4? The reason I said Audigy2 and up is due to the better DACs for music playback, regardless of what people say, these cards are still very good for music, and have read many a post stating that music quality is better than the old TB SC.

As to the DD encoding, I have yet to see or hear a side by side comparison vs EAX3/4 in terms of sound quality in games, the DD in games is not the same as the DD in movies, and I doubt that it will top EAX3/4. I would like to be proven wrong, as all I want is the best sound in games, I dont care which company makes the better product :)

Riptide
03-18-05, 05:54 PM
Get an adlib gold. :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdLib

saturnotaku
03-18-05, 06:31 PM
In terms of gaming sound quality maybe, though AFAIK, the Audigy1 doesnt support EAX4?

Actually it does. Go here (http://us.creative.com/support/downloads/download.asp) and select the original Audigy, drivers and Windows XP.

Shamrock
03-19-05, 12:35 AM
i cant stand my Audigy 2 Platinum. it sucks for drivers. PERIOD

I cant get 5.1 to work, I cant get my audio levels (like center, left/right, left/right rears) to even out. (BECAUSE it doesnt detect 5.1!) I heard that the Audigy 2 ZS drivers are better, but I cant get to any :mad:

I have looked and looked for the Audigy 2 ZS CD on the web, and cant download it :(

zoomy942
03-19-05, 12:35 AM
Audigy are definately the best you can get for gaming and such. but it all depends on that you are doing. i have an audigy 2 and i have toyed with the idea of removing i only cause my onbaord is okay, and i am just waiting for soemthing else to come out. Creative labs has never impressed me.

Blacklash
03-19-05, 01:08 AM
I concur with others here, audigy and just use the driver and its updates.

Another good thing to do is kill the driver helper that likes to load with windows via msconfig.exe. I believe it shows as CThelper. Why? It can be a resource hog and I have heard of it spiking systems up to 100% CPU use and hanging it there.

wildman92
03-19-05, 07:00 AM
Hey Shamrock, try this link, modded drivers for your audigy. ;)
http://www.driverheaven.net/forumdisplay.php?f=33

Classic_leon be the man for modded audigy drivers.

|MaguS|
03-19-05, 07:31 AM
I guess I will have to go Audigy, I personal HATE Creative, most of the products I have owned from them in the past have died early unknown deaths and thier drivers/software are usually horrible or just bloatware...

zoomy942
03-19-05, 09:43 AM
you could always use onboard audio.

Shamrock
03-19-05, 11:13 PM
Hey Shamrock, try this link, modded drivers for your audigy. ;)
http://www.driverheaven.net/forumdisplay.php?f=33

Classic_leon be the man for modded audigy drivers.

thanks mang! hey, how is PAX drivers anyway?

zoomy942
03-27-05, 06:41 PM
i have yanked my audigy 2 value, and i am using onboard. the quality really isnt too different. and sure i lose a few cpu cycles, but with the speed of cpu's these days, it's not too big a deal

besdies, games like doom 3 and BIA and HL2 use thier own sound engine, so an addin card isnt going to make things any faster

Smokey
03-27-05, 07:53 PM
i have yanked my audigy 2 value, and i am using onboard. the quality really isnt too different. and sure i lose a few cpu cycles, but with the speed of cpu's these days, it's not too big a deal

besdies, games like doom 3 and BIA and HL2 use thier own sound engine, so an addin card isnt going to make things any faster

If you dont notice much of a differnce in sound quality that great for you as it will end up cheaper :), but there is a big difference in sound quality, also the Audigy2/ZS are better than the TBSC for music due to the higher quality DACs.

Ive been using the PAXs drivers for a few days now, and I like them alot, and have no problems with any games, that inlcuded Max Payne2, RavenShield, Painkiller and Half Life.

zoomy942
03-27-05, 09:47 PM
If you dont notice much of a differnce in sound quality that great for you as it will end up cheaper :), but there is a big difference in sound quality, also the Audigy2/ZS are better than the TBSC for music due to the higher quality DACs.

Ive been using the PAXs drivers for a few days now, and I like them alot, and have no problems with any games, that inlcuded Max Payne2, RavenShield, Painkiller and Half Life.


agreed. for music anyhting other than onboard is good. but i dont have a single mp3 on my machine (amazingly enough). i use it for games only, so the onboard gets the job done very well

shaker718
03-27-05, 09:56 PM
does anyone have extensive (relatively) experience with different brands of soundcards? I game on my machine but I also do video editing and audio, and would want something good enough to get the best results as far as recording and editing. so what would you recommend if gaming was second (or third) on the list? with out of course spending 500+ on a card

MustangSVT
03-27-05, 10:03 PM
I've got an Audigy 2 ZS as other people here do, and I just got some new good headphones yesterday and was wondering if there's anything I can do to improve music quality? It's always been excellent, when I had my SB Live! before and still been excellent for the past 4 months or so since I've gotten my Audigy 2 ZS, but if I can improve it for free, then I'd like to :D .

I tried using those modded PAX drivers, but ended up unninstalling them and back to regular EAX drivers because I didn't like them at all. I didn't notice any improvement with them and whenever I started the control panel everything was in chinese or some unknown font.. I couldn't read anything even though I chose english language when I installed them.

Anyway, I game a lot too. Is there some other modded driver I can use that's better? Just curious. Oh yea btw, the speakers I got are some crappy Creative Inspire 5.1 T5300 (or T5400 not sure). I also have Logitech Z-5500's hooked up coax digital, but I only use those for music sometimes (they're mainly for use by my dad).

bkswaney
03-27-05, 11:01 PM
I trashed my Audigy 1 after it crashed my system
every hour or two.
Creative drivers just suck a huge D***.

I wish someone would come out with a
good soundcard with stable drivers.
I would buy it in a second.
I play a crap load of music on my rig.
But right now this built in ACL655 sound is
all I have. It just sucks. Sounds like crap.
It is stable though.