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Cheap card, or X-fi?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have onboard sound right now (Realtek AC97) and my CPU is starting to show some aging, and I was thinking of buying a sound card to help. Now, I'm not the kind of person that goes crazy over quality, since I don't really notice it that much. I'm also on a limited budget. So anyway, here are my questions:

I was looking around for a cheap card and found the Audigy 2 Value, does anyone know if it's any good?

Does the X-Fi have any performance advantage or is it just quality and ports and stuff?

What would you recommend for a maximum budget of 60 US $?


Thanks!
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post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooky
I have onboard sound right now (Realtek AC97) and my CPU is starting to show some aging, and I was thinking of buying a sound card to help. Now, I'm not the kind of person that goes crazy over quality, since I don't really notice it that much. I'm also on a limited budget. So anyway, here are my questions:

I was looking around for a cheap card and found the Audigy 2 Value, does anyone know if it's any good?

Does the X-Fi have any performance advantage or is it just quality and ports and stuff?

What would you recommend for a maximum budget of 60 US $?


Thanks!
X-Fi is supior to any other card....it pretty much 3x better in each cartogory or more than the audigy 2

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/08/18/creative_x/

Get the X-Fi....
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post #3 of 10
Given your budget:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829118106

Turtle Beach Catalina.

If you could spend more USD, I'd say Bluegears XMystique.


***EDIT

Noticed Canada. http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...EACH%20SYSTEMS
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post #4 of 10
A sound card won't help performance unless it processes the sound on the ACTUAL card, I know the X-fi's and Audigy 2's do, not sure about that turtle beach though.
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post #5 of 10
An expansion card by it's very nature pulls the load off the CPU. The Turtle Beach is just an lesser known variant capable of 7.1 channels, 24bit, etc, etc.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmm from that Toms Hardware link, it appears that it's only got better quality, which I don't want to pay the extra money for. My headphones and speakers are just good, and I wouldn't notice the difference anyway. Thanks for the link.

Xavier - Does that mean the Turtle Beach is better than the Audigy 2? I'm mostly looking for performance here.

So does anyone know if the Audigy 2 Value is much worse than the ZS? I can't seem to find any reviews.
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post #7 of 10
The ZS has more features then the Value. You wont notice unless you have really good speakers.

As far as I can tell, the ZS is good if you have digital speakers (like me), because it can output 5.1 digital signal all the time, unlike the Value that can only have a 5.1 digital signal in DVDs that have a 5.1 stream
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post #8 of 10
If you can afford it, go with the X-Fi. It blows away any other card, especially cheap ones.
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post #9 of 10
if you are on a budget I would skip the Xi-Fi--it is really better suited for high-end virtual soundboard type applications, serious audiophiles, gamers that have apparently unlimited resources is search of the ultimate FRAPS and gear heads that must obsessively upgrade their machines.

I'm getting one (and I don't even game) for the next build--a SFF HTPC--it'll look choice below a Plextor Slot-Drive--something cool about knobs and jacks all over the front of a PC...
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmm, alright, well then what would you guys say about an OEM Audigy 2? The price for the OEM version is very interesting, but is there anything that wouldn't be included that I'd need?
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