Sound card update?



As you can see below I have integrated sound on my PC. I also have Harman Kardon 206 speakers :( .

Although sound quality on my computer seems ok to me. I would want to upgrade if I fort I would see a noticeable difference in quality.

Could someone please recommend a sound card to me, keeping in mind I'm a poor student.

Also, does anyone know of some high quality (reasonably priced) speakers.

When recommending upgrade please tell me if i will notice much improvement in sound quality?

One last thing. Someone told me, getting a good sound card will improve my processor because it will unload it of a lot of work. Is this true?
Hi sacred2nite well if you are on a budget i can reccomend the Sound Blaster® Live!™5.1 from here for £25.20 a good budget buy...quality is good and drivers are included with xp if you dont want to install Creatives.....if you want better quality and are a bit of an audiophile you might want to buy the Audigy player but at £50 its more of your cash.

On the speaker front i can really reccomend the Videologic ZXR 500 5.1 Channel Speaker System also from the above link for under £60 they sound great and in my opinion great for films,also on the question of freeing up cpu and system resorces you will indeed have a slightly quicker computer (onboard sound does impact performance a small amount),and you will be able to tell the difference in sound quality as soon as you set it all up.
Hope this helps if you want anymore info or charts about onboard audio impact on performance just ask.


hardware monkey
i noticed a significant increase in sound quality when i went from soundblaster live! to this audigy. so, as far as soundblaster goes, i wouldn't recommend anything less than an audigy.

though, there are cheaper cards that offer real good sound quality. i believe hercules' cards have a good quality/value reputation. philips has some good cheap cards out, too. sorry, i don't know the names of any of these cards, but look out for these brands.
I would agree with you about the audigy(but it does cost more money...and if he thinks onboard audio is ok will he appreciate the extra technology in the audigy?) but the hercules Gamesurround Muse5.1 DVD is the rival to the live 5.1 card it is slightly better but not as popular in the shops,even so a budjet yamaha sound card would sound better than onboard audio,and on the budget issue what do peeps class as budget now :p

Gus K

NTFS abuser
I'm not a big fan of Creative's cards, the are twitchy and way over-rated. Being on a budget, see if you can find a Hercules Gamesurround Muse XL (cheap), the one that uses the CMedia chip. With my Audigy the EAX effects in UT are terrible/horrible. In Serious Sam, OK but dull. With the MUSE they are great in both games. The difference is amazing.


oh god!!! DO NOT GET THE MUSE XL!!!!

Even the Creative Vibra 4D is better than the Muse XL... the MuseXL has only 1/3 of the sound channels that the Vibra has.

If you want budget, Sound Blaster Live! Value, 5.1 Value, Vibra 4D.

If you get Hercules... only go for the Muse 5.1 and up... (C-Media are the peeps taht make the dodgy onboard sound *shudder*)

Gus K

NTFS abuser
Don't care about specs. The Muse sounds much better than the Audigy with EAX games. It's not even a matter of price, with my Audigy I don't even bother trying to use EAX.


hardware monkey
why gus? my audigy works great with eax enabled. with headphones on, i can make out if something's in front or behind me. sound is excellent.

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