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Best PCI sound card for XP machine?

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First post, by Dragonslayer182

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I currently have a Windows XP machine that I'm working on upgrading, and I want to upgrade my sound card. It currently has an Audigy SE, but I'm wanting an upgrade as well as backwards compatibility for older sound card possibly. It'll mostly be running games from before 2005, with a few 90's games as well

Specs:
Built off of ASUS Terminator T2 barebones system
Celeron (D?) 2.66ghz
Intel 865g chipset
Intel Extreme Graphics 2
1gb DDR 133mhz
40GB HDD

Discord: Dragonslayer182#8984

Reply 1 of 24, by kolderman

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PCI sound cards are generally not very backwards compatible with earlier standards, especially under XP. You are better off building a high end Win98 system around a Pentium 4 and an Audigy card, which gives reasonable compatibility with 90s titles including some DOS games. Or if mainly playing 90s games, a socket370 system with an ISA slot.

Reply 2 of 24, by cyclone3d

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Are you planning on running ANY DOS games?

If not, then get an Audigy 2 ZS.

For that matter, if you are only planning to run Windows XP, you could even go with a PCI X-Fi card.. not the Xtreme audio which is a lame-duck cut-down version with no hardware acceleration much like how your current Audigy SE has no hardware acceleration.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 3 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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If not, then get an Audigy 2 ZS.

You can use Audigy 2 ZS for DOS too.

Anyway, the best Windows XP sound card for games is Creative X-Fi Elite Pro, X-Fi Fatal1ty or X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2019-12-16, 02:45. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 6 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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External console is compatible with almost all PCI X-Fi cards. There are plenty of those sold separately.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2019-12-18, 10:22. Edited 1 time in total.

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

Reply 9 of 24, by cyclone3d

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dan86 wrote:

My pick.
Audigy 4 pro if you need EAX, prodigy HD2 if you want he best sound and don't care about EAX.

Good luck finding an Audigy 4 Pro. When I do see them, they are stupidly expensive.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 10 of 24, by dan86

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cyclone3d wrote:
dan86 wrote:

My pick.
Audigy 4 pro if you need EAX, prodigy HD2 if you want he best sound and don't care about EAX.

Good luck finding an Audigy 4 Pro. When I do see them, they are stupidly expensive.

sure you'll see more Audigy 2's for sale, but they are not rare at all. I'm not sure what you consider stupidly expensive, 50 to 100$ dose not seem bad for a top end sound card. The prodigy HD2 is just as expensive as the Audigy pro 4

Reply 11 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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Audigy 4 Pro is Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro with a different DAC. You don't need to look for it specifically and you don't lose anything significant buying Audigy 2 ZS.
Then again, why bother with EMU10K2 cards, if X-FI is better for XP in every way?

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2022-06-29, 18:53. Edited 2 times in total.

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

Reply 12 of 24, by dan86

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The Serpent Rider wrote:

Audigy 4 Pro is Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro with a different DAC. You don't need to look for it specifically.

Unless if you want the better DAC, I have used the pro 4, 2 ZS and 2 ZS Platinum Pro. The pro 4 is defiantly a lot better and worth getting if you want just one sound card with EAX support and the best sound possible. Some of the higher end X-fi cards are good too.
In all honestly it really comes down to what one needs and wants to spend as most will be more then satisfied with a Audigy 2 ZS.

Last edited by dan86 on 2019-12-17, 19:27. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 13 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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The pro 4 is defiantly a lot better

It isn't. Especially for games.

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

Reply 14 of 24, by dan86

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The Serpent Rider wrote:

The pro 4 is defiantly a lot better

It isn't. Especially for games.

Explain?
I never ran into one game that had problems with it
the Audigy 4 pro does everything the 2zs does and then some aside from lacking a header for a game port,and has a much better DAC that does not sound like mud. The only real complaints one could have about the Audigy 4 pro is the lack of dos support, something the Audigy 2 and newer also lacks, the funky I/O setup and lack of the game port header.

Reply 15 of 24, by The Serpent Rider

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and has a much better DAC that does not sound like mud.

It isn't that much better as you paint it. Even reviews state that. And the sound difference in games is practically on the level of placebo, since most of them use lossy sound and music samples anyway. Also, external panel of Audigy 2 ZS has the same DAC.

something the Audigy 2 and newer also lacks

Audigy 2 series have unofficial DOS support. No idea if it's applicable to Audigy 4 Pro though.

Last edited by The Serpent Rider on 2019-12-18, 18:28. Edited 3 times in total.

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

Reply 16 of 24, by cyclone3d

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dan86 wrote:
cyclone3d wrote:
dan86 wrote:

My pick.
Audigy 4 pro if you need EAX, prodigy HD2 if you want he best sound and don't care about EAX.

Good luck finding an Audigy 4 Pro. When I do see them, they are stupidly expensive.

sure you'll see more Audigy 2's for sale, but they are not rare at all. I'm not sure what you consider stupidly expensive, 50 to 100$ dose not seem bad for a top end sound card. The prodigy HD2 is just as expensive as the Audigy pro 4

$50 to $100.. for the card by itself without the external box. Cheapest card by itself I see on eBay right now is $79.

If you want everything, you are looking at $200.

I've been keeping an eye out for months for one to pop up for a good price.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 17 of 24, by Dragonslayer182

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I'm mostly looking for the best EAX if I'm gonna be honest. I also don't have too much money atm so I do want an inexpensive card, no more than 30$ for a good one.

Discord: Dragonslayer182#8984

Reply 18 of 24, by cyclone3d

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X-Fi Xtreme Music then.

Around $15 shipped.

Just do a search for SB0460 on eBay.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 19 of 24, by appiah4

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It really depends on what games you want to play. For example, I can see a very good case being made for a YMF-744 sound card with digital/optical output for specific games from the 90s you may want to play, but without knowing exactly what you want to play I'd just go ahead and say 'Just plug in an Audigy2 ZS or X-Fi'.

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