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Worth it to upgrade sound?


OSNN Addict
Just upgraded my system to this:

Athlon64 3000+
Chaintech vnf4 ultra
512x2 Geil PC3200
Seagate 120gb SATA
Radeon x800XL

and I'm wondering if it's worth it to drop another $70 on an Audigy 2 ZS or if I'm better off just going with the onboard sound?

Here's the info from the Chaintech website regarding the audio on my mobo:

Supports enhanced NVIDIA 7.1-channel audio
Complies with AC'97 Rev 2.3 specifications
Six audio jacks with automatic jack sensing
Supports 48KHz coaxial S/PDIF output
EAX/Direct Sound 3D/I3DL2/A3D compatible

I'm not an audiophile and only either use my headphones or some Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 speakers. I don't plan on upgrading to a 5.1 speaker system or anything like that. I use my system to mainly play games like WoW, Battlefield Vietnam, Madden, etc. and MP3s and music isn't a priority to me.

So given all this, is it worth it for me to upgrade to a Audigy 2 ZS? Would I get any benefit sound or performance-wise? Would I be better off just sticking with the onboard sound? Would it be better money to just get a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card for $20?

Unless you don't like the on board sound stick with it. If your nothappy and since your requirements are low, go with the Turtle beach $20 or an OEM SB LIve for $25.

A seperate sound card can give you a small FPS improveemnt in games, but not worth $70.

Instead if you want to improve your MP3 sound get something like DFX for winamp (or whatever player you use). The playback improvement is astounding. They have a free trial version. Check it out. http://www.fxsound.com/dfx/index.php?vendor=0&subvendor=0&plus=0


OSNN Senior Addict
digerati said:
would the santa cruz give any sound improvement over my onboard? just objectively?
Not unless you are playing high resolution audio on nice speakers.

Basic 16bit music will sound exactly the same on both.

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