I am thinking of upgrading my soundcard. I currently have an onboard card - NVIDIA R nForce TM Audio. This has been ok, but occassionaly there is some distortion. Speaker wise I have a 2.1 system - Videologic ZXR-200. I mainly use the speakes for listening to MP3s and CDs, very occassionaly games. I just feel that the onboard card isnt up to playing MP3s so have decided to upgrade, Im currently thinking of getting the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS card, for about £85. I have read that the Creative soundcards do have some problems with AMD based systems though. Also, is this card perhaps too much since I only have a 2.1 system?
You will have the opportunity to upgrade to 7.1 with the Audigy card. You can still use your 2.1 speakers until or if you upgrade. As to compatibility with AMD, a lot of systems sre supplied with this card installed and are ok. Getting the most up to date drivers from Creative is essential. I have an AMD 64 3400 cpu with the Audigy 2ZS Platinum and it works fine.
The Audigy 2 is a fine card and works well with my AMD system (2.7XP) but as you're not much into gaming and (I'm guessing) audio processing I would suggest you save some cash and go for a cheaper Soundblaster card. I would follow byfordr's advice.
Stuck between the Sound Blaster Live 5.1 and Audigy 2 ZS! Just printed out a comparison chart from the Creative website and the audigy card seems to have a lot more options with MP3 playback. I wouldnt mind getting into playing some games in the future, just a question of finding the time!
With the Audigy 2 ZS card are there various options for 2.1?
With the Audigy 2 ZS card you can have any option from 2.1 to 7.1, it works fine on my AMD system and if you do decide to play games or upgrade your sound system you already have the card. Its a card that should last you a long time and matched with a good speaker system gives good results.
As above you will have to go a long way to beat Creative cards, they have been at it longer than most, and seem to have cracked it years ago first with the Creative live card, followed by the above Audigy