Akatosh, what edition of the Audigy 2 zs is that? Or does it matter? I haven't paid attention to sound card development for so long that I have NO clue what a good card to buy would be these days.
Doesn't matter. All the Audigy 2 versions differ in what is packaged with the card.
I have heard people claim they don't care too much about sound and quality but not me. I've got an Audigy 2 ZS and love every little detail! I also believe it has allowed me to squeeze every bit of performance I need from my 400mz FSB machine.
Yeah, well, I'm running the following system:
AMD 2.0 GhZ Athlon XP 768 MB DDR RAM (I think it's 2100, but not sure on that) Nforce1 chipset with onboard sound ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 128mb AGP card.
Especially with the previous two versions of FH, my performance has dropped considerably. A lot of it, I'm convinced, was related to sound. Once I unchecked the hardware acc button, and dropped the number of channels to 16, I saw a considerable improvement in performance.
I've been thinking of upgrading my RAM and my soundcard, but now I'm leaning more towards just a new soundcard. If the Audigy 2 zs is the same for all packages, that's probably what I'll end up getting, just as a barebones version (I doubt I'll want the games it comes with or software suites).
As for folks not caring about sound and sound quality, I can understand that sometimes with PC gaming, but as a home theater audiophile, once I got a 6.1 surround sound system, I REALLY noticed the difference between that and my old stereo system. Sound clarity is MUCH better.
Something else to consider is that the more sound channels you have, and the clearer the sound, the better able you are to survive in BF1942. Before I switched to medium or high detail sound, I used to never hear planes swooping in on me. Now, even if they're above cloud cover, I can track them when I'm in an AA gun.
I'd rather have textures set to 0%, but have my sound quality high enough to hear footsteps and other details. Awareness on the field is everything
Ah, but textures plays into that as well. Visual awareness is important, and if your texture detail is low, then you can't really use tanks (since the tank reticle is actually a texture).
The Audigy ZS was the main one I was looking at - not the least cpu usage but then for the money I think it's the best... Maybe someone knows of soundcard reviews with respect to gaming - don't use my PC for 'home theatre' stuff. Anyway, suffice to say if you can turn on HW sound, do it.
Solo4114Ah, but textures plays into that as well. Visual awareness is important, and if your texture detail is low, then you can't really use tanks (since the tank reticle is actually a texture).
You have a point... Tanking with the textures set to anything other than 100% is a pain in the ass, I have them set to 100% and my FX 5200 does not like it and until I get my X800 in march I continue to get 30-50 fps :) I have onboard sound and I have Hard Acc option available but it sounds so bad I leave it off and kill my FPS even more:)
Oh, I don't use my PC for home theater either. I've got an actual home theater sound system for that. :)
I'd be most concerned with an audio card that reduces strain on the CPU, provides clear sound, and is compatible with all my games (excluding ye olde DOS games, that is).
Great thread I'm interested in this topic as I'm curious as to which options will help releive my Eastern Blitz stuttering woes, either a ram upgrade or a soundcard upgrade.
System Athlon XP 2800+ @ 2223Mhz 1Gb pc3200 radeon 9800pro soundblaster live 5.1 value
I suppose you could try disabling sound and see if that helps... then again what does that tickbox in BF actually disable...? Only benchmarks I could find with a quick search were here: http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/Live/Live-p10.html Don't know if that's the card you have... Yeah, from what I've read you will lose with most PCI soundcards anywhere usually between 0% and 10% cpu processing which could have a fair effect on gaming performance I guess. I was looking at the cheap Philips soundcards but without specific gaming-based performance specs comparing all the current crop, I'm not going to get one yet - especially as my cpu is considerably slower than many peoples. Some quotes from websites (can't vouch for accuracy): "Realtek ALC650 AC'97 chipset which is widely used for onboard sound solution takes up as high as 30~40% precious CPU cycle which results in less performance specifically in 3D gaming...." Weird as I read all this and then come across the following which implies very little difference in framerates between several PCI soundcards... :confused: (source http://www.tomshardware.com/consumer/20010925/audiocards-21.html ) and then I find this... So confusing....