First post, by andreja6
I'm curious as to what people have had experiences with. This is generally focused on actual sound CARDS but integrated could work since its still a sound device. This could help anyone building a "new" PC decide on a good sound card
As for best sound card, I own an ESS AudioDrive 1868F (ISA), and absolutely love it. it's quiet and extremely compatible with games. It has SB Pro II support, and instead of Emulating OPL3, its "ESFM 1868F" Chip is "Register Compatible". I don't really know what that means but I do know the FM Synthesis is really impressive and barely distinguishable from real OPL3. (Although there are some differences, i personally don't notice them).
As for worst, Sound Blaster Live! Value (PCI). It's a disaster. At least in my experience. First off, the SB 16 emulation is absolutely horrid. Grabbag (Duke 3D) sounded like a car crashing into xylophones, Skyroads had random notes dropping, completely wrong instruments, and popping. The regular windows sounds themselves were okay, but playing back any music would have a hiss in the background which rivals tape hiss. I never expected that on a digital sound card. That was not the end of my troubles, next came the IRQ issues. It keeps forcing the SB16 emulation to be on IRQ9 on any slightly more modern PC, which no game on the face of the planet uses. And you can't change it. Lastly, some programs using the SB16 emulation had severe slowdowns (On a P2-400Mhz Mind you). TIM was virtually unplayable.
What experiences did you guys have?
(I only own like 4 sound cards, I dont have a big experience)