Ok, I have decided I am going to get the Logitech Z-5500s very soon, but I want to know, what is the cheapest sound card on newegg I can get that is going to make these speakers still sound excellent? Thanks.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102162 Soundblaster audigy 2 ZS
I didn't make it!
I heard MAD DOG makes a really good cheap card for about $34
If you're looking for somewhat better-than-average stereo output, you cannot beat the Chaintech AV710. If you try to use it for something other than stereo, though, you'll quickly discover that it's secondary DACs blow. For a slightly more expensive, but far more robust option, I suggest M-Audio's Revolution 5.1: it also has a digital out, and a much better APU than anything branded Creative, and also somewhat better than the Chaintech (the Revo's equipped with VIA's Envy24GT APU). I've linked you to their produt website because M-Audio can be tough to find, and you'll probably have the most luck locally. I paid about $75 for mine. Personally, I suggest the Revo 5.1. It's a damn fine card at a damn fine price, and sounds better than any Audigy to boot. It would also allow you to make use of the Z-5500's digital inputs.
I use the Creative Labs Sounblaster card and went to Walmart and bought a Creative Subwoofer system for $20.00. I work in a very large service garage and this thing ROCKS!!! Everyone keeps telling me to turn it down! MUhahahahaha!
I saw some reviews and benchmarks 2 months ago on the M-Audio's card v's creatives Sounblaster Audigy 2 zs and the ZS killed the M-Audio in everything for gaming.
I would recommend any soundcard based on the SoundBlaster chipset. Personally I use AC'97 - because I'm cheap However, it does work surprisingly well with my Packard Bell 2.1 speakers.
AgentlaidlawI saw some reviews and benchmarks 2 months ago on the M-Audio's card v's creatives Sounblaster Audigy 2 zs and the ZS killed the M-Audio in everything for gaming.
And did they bother to bench anything else? Envy24 chipsets have superior frequency response, SNR, crosstalk, THD... you name it. The only reason that Creative cards turn in better synthetic benchmarks is because they're the only cards that can perform EAX onboard: others offload it to software, where it's handled by the CPU which does result in a very minor FPS hit. Envy24-based cards sound demonstrably superior, however. And in the Revo 5.1's case, you actually get a usable digital out. It also doesn't help that the APU Creative put onto the A2 can't output at 44.1 or 88.2kHz: it has to upsample to 48 or 96kHz, and does so particularly poorly, which distorts the sonic signature. It isn't readily appearant in games, but is, as I've said, noticeable when listening to music or watching movies.