1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Integrated Sound versus seperate sound card

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by Elmer, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Elmer

    Elmer
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    I'm looking at getting a medusa 5.1 headset (the non usb version), and whilst reading through opinions on various forums, such as overclockers there seemed to be a general opinion that to get the best out of sound in games such as counterstrike it was worth paying for a separate sound card such as a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2.

    At the moment my soundcard is inbuilt (see below for details). Is it worth paying the extra for a sound card? At the time I built my system people said it wasn't worth getting a separate card as the ones built into modern motherboards were just as good for gaming.

    If its worth getting a seperate what is the difference between the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value 7.1 PCI Sound Card - OEM (SC-027-CL) and the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS 7.1 THX Sound Card - OEM (SC-023-CL) at this link. http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/creative_soundcards.html



    MSI K8T Neo-FIS2R
    Integrated Hardware Sound Blaster/Direct Sound AC97 audio 5.1
    - 6 channels software audio codec RealTek ALC655
    - Compliance with AC97 v2.3 Spec.
    - Meet PC2001 audio performance requirement.
     
  2. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,776
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,192
    I think it speaks for itself! A 'value' Audigy has been stripped down from the full monty version and as result is more CPU intensive. It lacks the onboard processing power of the full version, and as such is less detailed in both music and games. The THX version should, in theory, be able to reproduce THX standard surround sound. However, that's still dependent on your speakers.

    Onboard sound has never been as good for games as a decent riser card. Frankly whoever was saying that needs a cotton bud............

    I would go for the full oem card. The EAX effects are well worth the money in the top games. In FSP's the difference is quite amazing at times! :)
     
  3. Munkey Boy

    Munkey Boy
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2003
    Messages:
    16,516
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +4,313
    I just bought a new soundcard the other day - in fact its the OEM Audigy 2 ZS 7.1 you mention (not value) as my on-board sound (nForce 2) was proving unreliable. It's an advantage to have EAX for improved quality and the card can apparently take some of the strain of the CPU when running games, so for me it's been a good purchase. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Elmer

    Elmer
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    Thanks for the reply, I don't use pc speakers at all. I'll be using it with the medusa 5.1 headset and wanted to get the best out of it, especially in the ability to tell what direction sounds are comming from in fps such as CSs
     
  5. Hawklord

    Hawklord
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    3,424
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Aldershot, Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +257
    I currently use headphones all of the time for gaming via my onboard sound (Realtek alc850 ac '97). I'm using a pair of beyer dt234 pro's which do sound very good imo but would there be any benefit in upgrading to a designated sound card? Since I'll only be requiring two channels effectively for gaming could anyone recomend me a suitable two channel sound card that has a digital output for connection to my av receiver too should I need dd or dts (looking at getting a projector possibly and my pc would be used probably) in the future.
     
  6. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    4,302
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Liverpool: European Capital of Football 2005/2006
    Ratings:
    +76
    hawlord for you id so there is no real point in upgrading. you may see a slight improvment but not justifying the money for a decent card. maybe it would be a different decision if you needed it at present for multiple jobs. original poster id say its worthwhile doing it for the upgrade of EAX alone. sounds amazing in games really helps with your playing as well. nothing like in SC hearing a noisey Spy the otherside the room in a vent ;) just got myself a Mystic card for on the fly DD decoding and its far better than the Audigy i had in. why o why Nvidia didnt think there was a market for soundstorm i never know :rolleyes:
     
  7. Hawklord

    Hawklord
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    3,424
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Aldershot, Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +257
    Thought as much :cool:
     
  8. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    4,302
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Liverpool: European Capital of Football 2005/2006
    Ratings:
    +76
    if and when you do use your PC hooked up to a PJ id totally be telling you to Do it. but it aint justified for 2ch as you know. little things like this just makes the upgraditis fuel up, im a big casualty of it :rolleyes: :devil:
     
  9. Elmer

    Elmer
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    After a bit more web browsing I've come across the following opinions on the mystique and audigy cards

    The HDA X-mystique 5.1 DDL is the card recommended for things like watching films, but the audigy 2 zs seems to be thought of as slightly better for gaming due to better EAX.
    Any views on whether this is correct?

    I dont watch films or listen to music on my pc, I'm only interested in how well the card will work with the medusa 5.1s for first person shooters.?

    It will be interesting to see if the X-Fi cards when they finally arive really give better 3d positioning or whether its just hype.

    http://hardware.gamespot.com/Story-ST-17602-1999-x-x-x
     
  10. Synchronicity

    Synchronicity
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,815
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +214
    I use the Medussa headphones and use the onboard sound with my pc.Its the Nvidia soundstorm though which apparently is supposed to be very comparable to a decent standalone card so havent bothered upgrading yet,and until now have seen no reason to even consider it.......but,theres always a but...whilst playing BF2 I experience jittery/laggy sound every now and then,usually when theres lots going on or that woman anounces that shes got a busted hymen or something :rolleyes:

    I think this is more to do with the drain on my CPU rather than the inadequacy of my onboard sound,but its very annoying just the same so I have been contemplating a new card as I think ,although not a huge improvement I will definatley see the difference.

    Only problem I have now is do I wait for this to come down in price a little:
    http://www.soundblaster.com/products/x-fi/technology/

    ...as far as I can tell,anyone who is considering a sound upgrade should look at one of those,the only downside is the expected hefty price tag :rolleyes:

    oh,and Elmer,the Medussa's are excellent for gaming but are bit heavy/hot when using for long periods.
     
  11. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,776
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,192
    They are. And that's coming from someone who isn't a big fan of Creative. I use the Audigy2 primarily for gaming but also for music copying (legal) from poor quality CD's (re-mixing) or from analogue to digital (the wifes LP's!). The Audigy isn't as good as the Yam cards on the latter score but still does a good job.

    As for Movies the Creative cards do an adequate job, but again this depends on the speakers. The X-mystique cards are based on similiar chipsets to the 'soundstorm' which quite frankly I was not blown away by. I used the Creative instead of it.
     
  12. Elmer

    Elmer
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +37
    I'm visiting a friend who's got the Medusa 5.1s next weekend, so I'll have a play with his and all being well will get them ordered. On the soundcard front I think I'll wait till the x-fi card finally makes an appearance and we see if its just all hype or if the 3d positioning really is as good as its claimed to be.

    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  13. Synchronicity

    Synchronicity
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,815
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +214
  14. Dfour

    Dfour
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,992
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Bracknell
    Ratings:
    +85
    Im waiting for the new X-fi cards to upgrade from my soundstorm onboard sound as long as it isnt to expensive
     
  15. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    Well TBH mate if you dont have experiance of both you can't say "They are".

    If you want an honest opinion from somebody who's used both an a2 ZS and teh x-mystique then here's one:

    * the x-mystique is BETTER for everything eax2. Believe me, it is ausome and better than a ZS.
    For music, again its better than a zs in either analouge or PCM digital.
    * For movies, the analogue 5.1 performance is very close the straight pass-thru. However it does loose some detail in parts, mostly in with very quite audio - background stuff. I wouldnt say its any worse than an A2, but straight passthru is always best.

    The xmystique's SPU is nothing like anychip the soundstorm is based on. For a start it can do bit perfect 44.1khz which puts it leagues ahead of the ZS;)
     
  16. Kopite4Ever

    Kopite4Ever
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    4,302
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Liverpool: European Capital of Football 2005/2006
    Ratings:
    +76
    agree with james miller having owned both in the past year i wouldnt leave my mystique now ever. honestly i dont use it for music at all but games/movies ive not heard a better card yet. the price they can be had for as well is decent in my opinion there is only one winner :thumbsup:
     
  17. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,776
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,192
    I have, 'mate'. My brother had the xmystique. He now has the Audigy 2.

    Erm, according to the manufacturer it's exactly the same.

    Believe me I can't stand Creative, and if I thought even for a second the Xmystique was better, the Audigy would be on the way to the dump. For what I need it for it isn't.
     
  18. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    show me where then? where does it say they are both similar? if your talking about the ac97 standard then the audigy is more like the soundstorm than the x-mystique is because as i said, it doesnt do bit-perfect......

    It's better in every way. I'm sorry you and your brother are the only two people on the planet who disagree. Funny that.

    Oh and if your going to be a wise arse about it 'mate' dont bother replying. 'mate'.
     
  19. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,776
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,192
    As you posted with a "you obviously know jack" attitude what do you expect?

    Only me, my brother and plenty of reviewers. Funny that! :rolleyes:

    If you can't discuss hardware, games, etc, without being partisan then don't bother. This is a forum for advice not "I like it, and so does everybody else so there!" If you had just said 'in my opinion' (as did koppite) then nothing more would have been said.

    Oh, and as you know all, doubtless you knew that they are both based on the C-Media CMI8768 chipset?
     
  20. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    http://www.cmedia.com.tw/doc/CMI8768 Datasheet Rev 0.9.pdf
    * The 8768+ wasn't even available when the soundstorm was released, and it's also a 7.1 solution, soundstorm is 5.1.
    * The soundstorm encodes DD (then called DICE - Dolby Interactive Contect Encoder) @ 384kbps, and the x-mystique encodes 'DDLIVE' @ 640kbps. I say 'DDlive' because the DD encoding process was renamed to DDLIVE before the x-mystique was relased, and long AFTER the soundstorm had finished it's production run.
    * The x-mystique is based on the latest addition of the 8768, the 8768+. Only the 8768+ has DDLive encoding capabilities.

    Please tell me where it says anything you have claimed.

    edit:What IS your problem exactly? you come across like a teenager. Show me some evidence - back up your claims. Where are these review you speak of? where does it say they are both based on the same audio SPU?


    some facts:

    the soundstorm isnt based on any c-media spu, nor is it based on any realtek spu, it was built and designed by NVIDIA from the ground up as part of the MCP-T southbridge on their nforce2 'ultra' motherboards. The 'soundstorm' is only the audio hardware engine. All it handles are the hardware mixing and sound effects (EAX ect) and obviously DD encoding.

    Now, it does not handle the analogue outputs. For that NVIDIA licenced 3 chips - the realtek ALC650 (most widely used. Used on the nf7-s), another realtek that i cant remember the part of and a c-media device which i will find the no. for in a second. These chips do nothing more than output analogue - the parts of the chips that generate audio (like EAX ect) are not used. The 44.1khz > 48khz resample happens on the soundstorm itself as it was ac97 compliant. From there the audio is passes on to those chips.

    http://www.littlewhitedog.com/article4313.html
    I think that sums it all up. That's a small insight into how the 'soundstorm' solution handle audio. Yes, i do know a thing or two about it and i will back it all up if you want me to. I have no attitude with you, but you seriously need to wise up a little. You're unamusing retorts do nothing to hide your lack of knowledge.
     
  21. Synchronicity

    Synchronicity
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,815
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +214
    Yup,I think Im definatley going to wait to see if this new XFI chip lives up to the hype......... :hiya:
     
  22. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,776
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,192
    Gulp! Has to swallow humble pie here! :D Found out the reviewer (from a US website) was talking ********! He compared (erroneously) the two solutions as they used DDlive and claimed the chips were the same. So, you are correct sir! The C-media chipset was implemented after the Soundstorm was defunct! Whoops!

    As before, if you patronise from the off expect a negative response - even if you are right! ;)

    Goes off to hang head in shame...........
     
  23. james.miller

    james.miller
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,616
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +143
    That wasn't patronising? :confused:. It was simply an assumption on my part based on two things i could see:
    1) you assumed they were both bassed on the same chip.
    2) you outright stated that the audigy 2 was better becuase of that, when as i said you are the only person on the 100's of reviews of read that has said they prefer the a2 for anything at all.

    That wasn't me being smart with a "we're all right and your wrong' attitude, i was simple stating a fact. I'm sorry if you got the wrong impression:)
     
  24. overkill

    overkill
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,776
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Murkeyside
    Ratings:
    +1,192
    No probs. And next time I'll base what I'm saying on more than one idiots review....... ;)

    Out of interest, I e-mailed my bro about the Xmystique, and it was later found to be faulty, RMA'd and replaced by him with the Audigy 2. Hence it probably wasn't at its best. :blush:

    Oh well, if you're going to be wrong might as well go all the way......... :D
     
  25. Synchronicity

    Synchronicity
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,815
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +214
    ......and they all lived happily ever after :clap:
     
  26. Dfour

    Dfour
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,992
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Bracknell
    Ratings:
    +85
    Pheww I was about to get my asbestos jacket to view this thread :eek:

    I started using the soundstorm in favour of the audigy 1 that i won. I like creative stuff but there software sucks big time. I did find a web site that rewrote the audigy drivers and dumped all the 'lard' out of it but by that time I was with the soundstorm and not willing to change it when it worked (for a change).

    I will wait for some testd from some reputable web sites before splashing the cash on the new card.

    Im glad were all friends again :smashin:
     

Share This Page

Loading...