Soundcard advice

  Roy* 22:36 13 Sep 2005

I bought a PC last year (Mesh Matrix M3200) upped the graphics to 256MB but thought like a muppet the standard ‘5.1 surround -6 channel onboard audio’ would be all I needed and so far it has. However now I find when trying to load some of the kids old software such as DK encyclopaedia and science etc it won’t run as they need a 16-bit sound card. Looking back at the Mesh site I see I could of upgraded to a ‘Creative Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card’ for an extra £35. OK so I obviously messed up on the spec, so what are my options?

Can anyone recommend what sound card to go for and where to get it from, bare in mind I’m not looking to spend too much neither do I need TOR spec.


  josie mayhem 23:11 13 Sep 2005

If you have on-board sound, then instead of using up a pci slot, I would try the creative audigy 2 nx sound blaster, which is a usb external card, (they do a version for the pci slot) it cost if I remember rightly about £70, and I've found this to be very good.

  CurlyWhirly 01:12 14 Sep 2005

I also paid around £75 for a Creative Audigy 2 ZS sound card a few days ago and I will agree with the above comment. These Audigy cards offer truly excellent sound and are well worth the money IMHO.

  Skills 03:15 14 Sep 2005

Audigy 2 value pci card from ebuyer for 28 quid click here or a sound blaster live for 23 quid click here

both have 7.1 support out of the two i'd pay the extra 5 n get the audigy

  Roy* 08:57 14 Sep 2005

Not sure what the problem is to use up PCI slots, I've got 6 unused at the moment. Also I can't really justify £75 just so I can run some old educational software. I find the current on board sound with the 'I-Trigue 2.1 3200 Speakers & Subwoofer' excellent for DVD, music and other software that doesn't require a separate sound card. That's what I don't understand, why does some software require a separate sound card to run, where others will run off the 'onboard'?

Thanks 'Skills' maybe the audigy looks like a good option. Will it be OK for DVD's music etc as in no loss of sound quality from the 'onboard', theoretically it should enhance it I guess but I'm not so sure.

  vinnyT 14:13 14 Sep 2005

A seperate scard will take the load off the cpu, at the mo, your onboard sound utilises a certain amount of cpu time every time you use sound. In most cases this doesn't make much noticable diff to your pcs running.

If anything the sound quality of dvds and games will be much better, for the reason listed above.

Creative are going to be bring out their new, super duper soundcards (can't remember the name) soon, so existing cards should drop in price.

Hope this helps.

  Roy* 15:50 14 Sep 2005

So how long until the prices fall? I'm considering a 'Creative Labs OEM Audigy2 ZS 7.1 Pci Sound Card' on Ebuyer for £40, based on some of the reviews on Ebuyer site. The Audigy 2 value pci card from ebuyer (£28) seemed to generate some concerns on the reviews? Also the ZS is the one that Mesh offer as the upgrade on my PC so they may have even done some testing or at least someone out there will have it on their Mesh? If I wanted to waste time and wait longer for the delivery and pay £52 I could order it from them ;-)

  Skills 16:44 14 Sep 2005

I think that card would be a fine choice, you should notice a difference in your sound quality and playback for movies and sound in games will be fine.

Difficult to tell how long it will take for prices to fall at £40 that cards a good price already and may only end up dropping by a £10. The name for there new generation of cards is X-FI by the way.

  Skills 16:49 14 Sep 2005

Have just had a look on creatives website and you can buy the retail boxed version for £55 there(free delivery). That comes with all your drivers, creative applications and a couple of games as well click here

  GaT7 18:12 14 Sep 2005

I would also recommend an Audigy (have an Audigy 2 myself), but coming back to your original problem/query about a 16-bit sound card.

Your system shouldn't really have a problem in the first place - the onboard sound should be more than sufficient, as it IS 16-bit - or 24-bit at most.

An Audigy or any equivalent/better sound card is 24-bit (or more). The DK software requires a MINIMUM of a 16-bit sound card, which you've already got! G

  citadel 18:14 14 Sep 2005

creative audigy zs is worth the money.

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