Right now I'm using onboard sound with my EVGA 680i SLI. Great board, but integrated audio=crap.
I'm considering the XtremeGamer It looks like a good card but the last driver update for it was ages ago. I am only using Windows XP Professional x32, but I'm still not sure about buying a Creative card. Their tech support and drivers seem a bit dodgy.
What is this place?
16th February 2007
Almost any sound card by Crative is good. I have a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE and its a fairly good card and I bought it at best buy with the money in my pocket (lol). I would go with a X-Fi card by Creative if you want some kick ass audio. But if your going to go with a card like that I would get a better sound system as well. In fact I'm considering upgrading to Newegg.com - Creative 70SB046A00003 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series Sound Card - Retail. Yeah its 80 dollars more expensive than what you showed but I've tried one out on my friends computer. IT IS AWESOME!!!! But the verdict is, upgrade both your sound card and your sound system (i.e. speakers). A good sound card and a cheap sound system will basically get you nowhere. I'd go with the XtremeGamer. If you have any questions as to what steps you need to take to get it to work...feel free to ask. I'll keep checking up on this thread.
Anything thats not connected to the motherboard will sound a hundred times better than the onboard system. If you don't already have a decent set of speakers and your on a budget I would recommend a cheaper 5.1 card and a set of 5.1 speakers.
I have been using creative cards since the DOS days, and I the only problem I have had in that time is a lack of a Linux driver for my X-fi, which they have now sorted. I haven't ever had a problem with drivers for Windows. I suspect the reason for the driver not being updated is because there aren't any problems with it. Tech support I can't comment on simply because I haven't had a problem with a creative product in the last 15 or so years of using various creative products.
I will warn you about Creative X-Fi cards. I blew $150 on one of those "X-Fi Fatal1ty Professional Extreme Gaming Edition" (could it have a longer name?) I used it for about a month, the sound was awsome I'll admit...But ofcourse..the thing starts making static noise so loud and annoying I eventually just took it out and used Onboard Sound..Which actually didn't sound very differen't...And it was a hell of alot better than constant annoying static. Many people seem to get these sorts of problems with X-Fi cards...there are some lucky ones..But I can't reccomend getting an X-Fi after it stole $150 out of my pocket.
Some affordable and nice sounding Creative alternatives are the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 and Bluegears b-Enspirer.
Second vote for M-Audio's Revo 5.1.
It's powered by VIA's Envy24GT chipset, which is a massively better choice than the crippled E-MU chipsets Creative uses on Creative-branded products. It also Just Works™ under Linux, for the most part.
C38368;4015890Second vote for M-Audio's Revo 5.1. It's powered by VIA's Envy24GT chipset, which is a massively better choice than the crippled E-MU chipsets Creative uses on Creative-branded products. It also Just Works™ under Linux, for the most part.
And I will add, just to debunk the myth that you need constant driver updates, my Revo 5.1 has NEVER, I repeat NEVER, had a driver update or needed one for that matter in the over 3 yrs of it's existence. My only small complaint about it is it won't record software sound sources so I have to use my crappy Realtek AC/97 onboard for game sound in my Fraps videos.
Avoid Creative like the plague. For that amount of money I'd go with the M-Audio Revolution like Omen and C suggested.
Well, I just had to bring this to a close. I went with the the Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer as originally planned. It's worked out well so far; no BSOD or anything crazy like that. The big news though is that not more than 15 minutes ago, I just hooked up a Logitech X-540 surround sound system. It blows my old speakers away in terms of sound quality, but I have yet to test it the actual, positional sound effects. I got this whole set up for gaming, after all.
Your current intergrated shouldn't be all to bad, but if you absolutely have to have better you have to ask yourself whats more important, gaming sound, or music and movies. Gaming, Creative hands down Music and movies, I have heard lots of good about M-Audio