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Thread: Audigy 2 vs Onboard?     submit to reddit submit to twitter

  1. #1

    Audigy 2 vs Onboard?

    All right, so I have this old old old Soundblaster Audigy 2 card that I salvaged from an old desktop just chilling in my drawer. I have no idea if it is worth putting it into my system, I can't really find any comparisons between it and today's onboard sound. Anyone know if it is better then onboard? (For reference, I have an EVGA 750i ftw board which produces my sound atm). This is a picture of the card:

    http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/3...teraudigy2.jpg

    I'm sure someone here knows something about this! :D

  2. #2
    Pandemonium
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    Sound cards are really only needed if you do a lot of audio mixing or if you have an audiophile setup. Otherwise, there's really no reason for it. Onboard sound works just fine.

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    A. Body
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    It certainly wouldn't be a downgrade, but if you aren't planning to use EAX or something it's probably not necessary. Back in the day the CPU use n' stuff alone was enough to warrant an actual card - these days it's negligible. Sound quality from built-in is decent.

    That being said, if you've got it just sitting there, may as well install it and try it out for yourself =P

  4. #4

    Thanks Ceph, I understand that, but I already own this sound card. Is it any improvement whatsoever over onboard or is it a waste of power? Keep in mind the card is from '02-'03, and the motherboard is from '07~'08.

    Edit: All right, I'll hook it up later today and see if i can notice any difference!

  5. #5
    Pandemonium
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    It's not really a waste I guess, other than using a PCI slot and maybe disrupting the airflow around your video cards... minor stuff.

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    /lick
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    Even the old Audigy 2s (I use one myself, for the same reason, lol) have an onboard DSP, which modern onboard sound codecs do not.

    While the new codecs sound much better than they used to, and put less strain on the CPU, discrete sound still sounds better and has no performance hit.

    The difference, though, is extremely minor. I use mine as much for keeping the front panel as anything. Quarter inch jacks in easy reach = sex.

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    Resident Moogle
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    Only bother if you got the original drivers for it, and only if they work on your operating system, which I hope is Windows XP, since Creative butchered a lot of sound card features come Vista on purpose to try and force people to upgrade their cards.

    The latest drivers for the card (which are still old) are damn slow compared to the ones on the included CD I found, particularly in EAX use.

    No 64-bit drivers for it also, one of the reason I ain't bothering to upgrade to 7 yet. (64-bit only for me if I upgrade my OS)

    My Audigy2 ZS has served me well these past years, never seen a reason to use onboard over it, particularly since I do make use of EAX support in games that utilize it.

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    Drunken Red Mage
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaisha View Post
    My Audigy2 ZS has served me well these past years, never seen a reason to use onboard over it, particularly since I do make use of EAX support in games that utilize it.
    2nd'd; I fucking love my A2ZS. I got the platinum one with the drive bay shit on it too but I stopped hooking all of it a few builds ago.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaisha View Post
    Only bother if you got the original drivers for it, and only if they work on your operating system, which I hope is Windows XP, since Creative butchered a lot of sound card features come Vista on purpose to try and force people to upgrade their cards.

    The latest drivers for the card (which are still old) are damn slow compared to the ones on the included CD I found, particularly in EAX use.

    No 64-bit drivers for it also, one of the reason I ain't bothering to upgrade to 7 yet. (64-bit only for me if I upgrade my OS)

    My Audigy2 ZS has served me well these past years, never seen a reason to use onboard over it, particularly since I do make use of EAX support in games that utilize it.
    Ah fantastic, glad I saw this before i installed it, im using x64 Windows 7 haha. Oh well, BACK TO THE DRAWER WITH YOU MR. SOUNDCARD!

  10. #10
    Not Killing Ganon
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    id have said use it, but i have an audiophileish setup =/ my current card is a xonar d2, and it is LEAGUES beyond my audigy 2 i used to have and that is sitting over on my end table ._.

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    E. Body
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mala View Post
    Ah fantastic, glad I saw this before i installed it, im using x64 Windows 7 haha. Oh well, BACK TO THE DRAWER WITH YOU MR. SOUNDCARD!
    I have the exact same card (I think) back from 2002ish time. Windows 7 x64 does auto detect it, and there were drivers released from Creative. However, installing those royally screwed up my system. For some reason, the auto-updater for the drivers would knock out my onboard NIC. Other than that, the drivers included with win7 seemed to work perfectly fine, the firewire port would receive video from my old digital video camera. I'm not sure if surround sound actually works since the win7 software for testing it kinda sucks.

  12. #12
    Resident Moogle
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    Well fuck me, they did actually release 64-bit drivers here. I guess I never should have listened to the Windows 7 verifier program saying there wasn't any. Sorry about the misinformation.
    (well, that's one less thing I thought I had to upgrade now if I were to update my OS)


    Regarding sound cards in general, EAX is a Creative-only thing right? I never see other sound cards toting its functionality. I've been out of the loop so I've no idea what's considered a good sound card these days. Sound Blaster used to always be the name if you wanted good sound way back in the days. (good ol' Sound Blaster Pro 2 on my 486....)

    Can someone throw me some brands and names to look at?

  13. #13
    A. Body
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaisha View Post
    Regarding sound cards in general, EAX is a Creative-only thing right? I never see other sound cards toting its functionality. I've been out of the loop so I've no idea what's considered a good sound card these days. Sound Blaster used to always be the name if you wanted good sound way back in the days. (good ol' Sound Blaster Pro 2 on my 486....)

    Can someone throw me some brands and names to look at?
    Other companies, namely ASUS, have EAX compatibility - albeit without Creative's permission.

    Vista and 7 have replaced core audio stuff anyway - XAudio 2 is the MS way, though OpenAL is also used for 3D sound. In fact, even Creative had to write a workaround using that to get EAX cards working under those OSes.

    There's a lot of "intercept calls to x protocol and feed to card via y protocol" goin' on ATM regardless of brand.

    On the plus side, they got rid of KMixer >_>b

    Provided that drivers are workin' for ya, Creative cards are fine - the DSP on the X-Fi cards sound pretty good. Auzentech and ASUS are the brands that many enthusiasts are picking over Creative, though they're not generally cheaper. As I mentioned in another thread, if you're looking purely at fidelity, then an external USB DAC is also something to look at.

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