View Full Version : upgrading soundcard
06-29-2007, 11:51 AM
Hello, with my limited experience and knowledge, i'd like to ask you help me decide whether to upgrade my soundcard (SB live 5.1) to something new like xfi or something similar to that.
Does it improve sound quality by far? how about FPS for games?
I am hardcore classical music fan so I listen to music often with my computer.
Is it worth the money to go to xfi from my SB live 5.1??
Thanks for your answers, in advace...
06-29-2007, 03:39 PM
Vista or Xp? Are you building a whole new system?
If not, I'd wait...
From what I read, xfi isn't much of a leap from audigy 2. That's why I don't plan to upgrade either my live or audigy 2 cards to xfi. If you really want to upgrade, buy an audigy 2 card instead. They go on sale for around $50 and you find used ones for around $30. You'll get most of the performance for a lot less.
06-29-2007, 07:12 PM
if you are a music fan, you'll want something based off of the cmedia Oxygen CMI8788 chip. nothing out there plays music better, currently. Cards include the b-Enspirer, the HT Omega, the Razor, and a few others. On the lower end is the b-Enspirer and the Sondiago Inferno. At the higher end, with better capicitors (and a slighter richer sound) is the HT Omega, the Razor and the Azuratech, but those cards can get upwards to 200 bucks. The sondiago is like 70 bucks, the b-enspirerer is around 100.
All cards support 7.1, dolby digital/DTS/Pro Logic II/ Dolby Headphones/Dolby Live. They work just fine for games, though you do lose the ablity to use EAX 3 on up, but EAX support is super flakey in Vista. Creative has horrid Vista drivers right now, and unless you are a hardcore hardcore gamer that HAS to have EAX 4, i'd skip them until they truly sort out how they are going to properly handle Vista sound. The Cmedia cards do support EAX 1 and 2., and fully support Vista.
They have slightly higher CPU overhead in games, but to be honest I played through half life 2 again, might and magic, Oblivion and haven't noticed any actual real world performance hits on my b-Enspierer. Look around for reviews of those cards, you'll find they are overwhelmingly prefered for music playback, and I can personally attest they kick all sorts of ass over the Audigys and Xifi, and I always thought they rocked for music.
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