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Old 02-01-04, 11:31 PM   #1
saturnotaku
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Default Audigy 2 ZS - wow!

I was feeling a bit impulsive today and I picked up an Audigy 2 ZS. It will be the sound card I use when I eventually replace my NF-7 with an Athlon 64 Socket 939 machine.

I'm amazed at how solid this sound card is. Great sound from my admittedly crappy $50 Creative 2.1 speakers. And my games are benchmarking better. Quake 3 at 1280x1024, 4xAA, 8x aniso went from 156 fps w/Soundstorm up to 171 with the Audigy 2.

Great sound card. Props are definitely in order for Creative on this one.
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Old 02-01-04, 11:43 PM   #2
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Noes! I want reasons not to order one!
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Old 02-02-04, 12:20 AM   #3
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I know. I wasn't all that impressed with my Audigy vs. my Live, and there was so little difference between the Audigy and Audigy2 that I took the 2 back.

But the ZS...damn! I noticed an immediate quality improvement in both music and games, and all my games seemed alot smoother as well.

I was so impressed I bought some new T5400s to replace my 5300s...
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Old 02-02-04, 12:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Audigy 2 ZS - wow!

Quote:
Originally posted by saturnotaku
I was feeling a bit impulsive today and I picked up an Audigy 2 ZS. It will be the sound card I use when I eventually replace my NF-7 with an Athlon 64 Socket 939 machine.

I'm amazed at how solid this sound card is. Great sound from my admittedly crappy $50 Creative 2.1 speakers. And my games are benchmarking better. Quake 3 at 1280x1024, 4xAA, 8x aniso went from 156 fps w/Soundstorm up to 171 with the Audigy 2.

Great sound card. Props are definitely in order for Creative on this one.
gaming benchmarks would have improved no matter what pci sound card you used v/s soundstorm

no cycles being dedicated to the onboard sound == more work being done on the benchmarks themselves == higher score...

if creative ever gets its drivers in order I might be more inclined to give them kudos... but that seems unlikely to happen...
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Old 02-02-04, 02:19 AM   #5
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The more good testomonials i hear about this thing, the better i feel about having bought it.. besdies the awesome sounbd quality of course
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Old 02-02-04, 08:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Re: Audigy 2 ZS - wow!

Quote:
Originally posted by Sazar
gaming benchmarks would have improved no matter what pci sound card you used v/s soundstorm

no cycles being dedicated to the onboard sound == more work being done on the benchmarks themselves == higher score...

if creative ever gets its drivers in order I might be more inclined to give them kudos... but that seems unlikely to happen...
Soundstorm is a hardware sound solution too, Sazar, at least if you make use of the DD5.1 / digital outputs and not the analog outputs. And the Soundstorm has fairly low CPU overhead, unlike most integrated software-based sound setups on other motherboards. (BTW, some PCI sound cards are still really software-based, just like some PCI WinModems are, so they'll use more CPU cycles to process the sounds.)

Anyway, as far as the ZS goes, that's probably the route I'll be taking next upgrade cycle too, especially reading your feedback saturnotaku. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-04, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Re: Re: Audigy 2 ZS - wow!

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Originally posted by SnakeEyes
Soundstorm is a hardware sound solution too, Sazar, at least if you make use of the DD5.1 / digital outputs and not the analog outputs. And the Soundstorm has fairly low CPU overhead, unlike most integrated software-based sound setups on other motherboards. (BTW, some PCI sound cards are still really software-based, just like some PCI WinModems are, so they'll use more CPU cycles to process the sounds.)

Anyway, as far as the ZS goes, that's probably the route I'll be taking next upgrade cycle too, especially reading your feedback saturnotaku. Thanks!
snake... it is expected integrated solutions consume more cycles than an addon card... which is shown by saturn's results..

not all sound card solutions will perform like that.. no doubt but I doubt any of the decent ones are going to consume more cycles than an integrated solution (ie tutle beach or other CL options)
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Old 02-02-04, 01:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Audigy 2 ZS - wow!

Quote:
Originally posted by Sazar
snake... it is expected integrated solutions consume more cycles than an addon card... which is shown by saturn's results..

not all sound card solutions will perform like that.. no doubt but I doubt any of the decent ones are going to consume more cycles than an integrated solution (ie tutle beach or other CL options)
If you use the digital out (which makes full use of SoundStorm) CPU usage will not be high. It's when the analog out, and thus the crappy onboard software DAC, are used that you eat up CPU cycles.
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Old 02-02-04, 01:52 PM   #9
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The sound storm has 800m/sec bandwith Vs the 133MB/sec.
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Old 02-02-04, 02:15 PM   #10
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just wish they had decent nforce3 integration

150 is a POS... 250 shoulda been out sooner...
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Old 02-02-04, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
$50 Creative 2.1 speakers.
How long have you had them? Reason I ask is about 18 months or so ago, I nabbed some Creative Inspire 4.1s for $55-60ish at Wal-Mart. Considering the sub in my existing Altec Lansings was blown (too much Yes ), I couldn't pass them up. They sound excellent on my Audigy1 so they probably sound 5x as good on that A2 ZS.

However, Creative recently released updated drivers for the Audigy1 that adds EAX 4.0 support ... and I despize them with a passion. First complaint? All the presets in the Surround Mixer were nerfed - if you use one, no sound whatsoever. I could only get sound by using "Custom" and then I added the "Heavy Metal" Preset EQ via the properties. That brought me to my second complaint - in terms of sound quality with my MP3s, they couldn't hold a candle to my trusty Compaq drivers CD I hacked and burned a while back. The only reason I tried the drivers in the first place was because I was curious about EAX 4 and hoped that it would solve my stuttering sound problems in BF1942 single player (it didn't )
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Old 02-02-04, 04:14 PM   #12
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as I said... creative labs holds teh crown for best hardware with worst driver support... the gap between the 2 is ridiculous...
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