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First post, by Demonslayer2103

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Hello I'm looking for a sound card for windows xp gaming. it can be a pci or pci-e card I'm only running a setup with 2 speakers and maybe headphones sometimes. I heard that some games sound great with a creative card with eax support so maybe one of those? I have a few sound blaster live cards already aswell but I figured a audigy card might be better. Let me know what you guys think!

Reply 2 of 15, by Sphere478

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Audigy 2 zs is the best and most backwards compatible.

The auzentech x-fi was the best pci but not good for retro before xp

Best pcie? Idk.

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Reply 3 of 15, by Demonslayer2103

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Sphere478 wrote on 2022-08-11, 21:03:

Audigy 2 zs is the best and most backwards compatible.

The auzentech x-fi was the best pci but not good for retro before xp

Best pcie? Idk.

How about the Audigy 2 Sb0350?

Reply 4 of 15, by cyclone3d

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The Audigy 4 Pro should be the best Creative card for XP.
https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/creative-audigy-4-pro
The SNR is better than the 2 ZS but is it also goes for more and is harder to find, especially with the external box.

The Audigy 2 SB0350 is the Audigy 2 ZS.

If you need PCIe, you can get a Chinesium version of the Sound Blaster Live!

Last edited by cyclone3d on 2022-08-12, 00:35. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 5 of 15, by Sphere478

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Demonslayer2103 wrote on 2022-08-11, 21:39:
Sphere478 wrote on 2022-08-11, 21:03:

Audigy 2 zs is the best and most backwards compatible.

The auzentech x-fi was the best pci but not good for retro before xp

Best pcie? Idk.

How about the Audigy 2 Sb0350?

So a vanilla audigy 2

From google:

Audigy2 ZS can decode (in hardware) DTS/DTS-ES and Dolby Digital 5.1/Dolby Digital EX (6.1/7.1) material. Audigy2 can 'only' do Dolby Digital EX up to 6.1. Audigy2 ZS can do ASIO 2.0 recording at 24-bit/96KHz. Audigy2 (eX version aside) can do it at 16-bit/48KHz

Other than that, I think it’s basically almost the same.

Depending on hardware. You may not want to go too new. Sometimes newer cards and drivers will use more cpu.

This is why a geforce 3 has the record on a k6 and not a radeon 9800

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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 6 of 15, by SScorpio

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The X-Fi cards can do everything the Audigy cards can do, but one major difference is that the X-Fi cards have a much better resampling engine that allows 44Khz audio to sound much better than Audigys and older.

They did release on the tail end of XP's life. But they support Hardware accelerated audio under XP. When the price of an Audigy 2 or 4 is the same as an X-Fi, I'm not getting why they are being recommended. Especially with the Audigy 1&2 feeling like supped up Lives that comfortability support Win98 and DOS gaming there.

Reply 7 of 15, by Duffman

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For PCI-E an Audigy RX will work. Although It's just an Audigy 4 with a PCI-E bridge chip.

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Reply 8 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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SScorpio wrote:

have a much better resampling engine that allows 44Khz audio to sound much better than Audigys and older.

X-Fi can switch base frequency to 44kHz too.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 9 of 15, by dionb

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OP, given the diverse opinions above all touch on different features, it might be useful to expand a bit on what you are going to be using the card with:
- what sort of speakers (stereo, surround etc)?
- XP only or possibly other OS too?
- which motherboard and indeed CPU?

Reply 10 of 15, by Jo22

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Back in time, I had a Sound Blaster Connect and a Sound Blaster Live! 24-Bit External. Both USB.

Then I switched to a Asus Xonar D1 (PCI).
Wonderful soundcard for its time. Such a nice SNR the DAC offered!
Was a pleasure to use with semi-professional headphones (AKG K-141, Sennheiser HD-424).. ^^

Edit: All "cards" were kind of compliant to Direct Sound 3D and EAX.
- That's what XP makes so interesting for old games, I guess.
It's the last Windows to support Direct Music (MIDI SoftSynths!) , Direct Sound 3D (HW acceleration, mixing) , Aureal A3D, OpenAL and EAX 2.x (?).
The later Windows OSes don't support that anymore. OpenAL wrappers must be used. And those other things like ASIO which may still work don't really matter to games.. :(

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Reply 11 of 15, by The Serpent Rider

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Jo22 wrote:

It's the last Windows to support Direct Music (MIDI SoftSynths!) , Direct Sound 3D (HW acceleration, mixing) , Aureal A3D, OpenAL and EAX 2.x (?).

EAX was an extension for DirectSound3D and later for OpenAL. Aureal3D is separate API and theoretically can work in Vista+ environment.

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Reply 14 of 15, by Demonslayer2103

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I had another motherboard and cpu laying around a gigabyte ga-ma790fxt-ud5p and a amd athlon phenom ii x6 1090t tried play serious sam on it with the on board audio and it had eax enabled is that normal?

Reply 15 of 15, by Joseph_Joestar

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Demonslayer2103 wrote on 2022-08-20, 08:48:

I had another motherboard and cpu laying around a gigabyte ga-ma790fxt-ud5p and a amd athlon phenom ii x6 1090t tried play serious sam on it with the on board audio and it had eax enabled is that normal?

Yes.

Many on-board sound solutions from the mid to late 2000s had up to EAX 2 support. This was often done in software though, so there was a performance hit when playing EAX games.

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