1. Is there really any difference in sound quality between the Audigy X-Fi Extreme and my Audigy Soundblaster ZS 2? I don't really see how it could be better. My sound is rich and loud, would the newer card just make it more so?
2. Another question, I've got my new PCI-E/SLI-compatible mobo picked out, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813131568 [was rated best mobo by Maximum PC for like 4 months] and am looking for a high-end PCI-E video card that will do well with current games like Farcry and also do fairly well with newer games like Crysis, Bioshock, and UT2007. I can't spend anymore than $342 on the video card. Can you think of anything off hand or do I have to spend more money and get like a 8700 GTX? I would if I had the money, but I don't.
Here's my specs CPU: AMD FX-57 [gonna keep that] Mobo: Asus A8V [Socket 939 VIA K8T800 Pro] Video: ATI Radeon 9800 Pro XT 256 mb Memory: Corsair 1 gig PC3200, DDR400 [going to get another gig] Sound: Audigy Soundblaster ZS 2 Harddrive1: Western Digital 110 gig IDE [32 gig left] Harddrive2: Seagate Barracuda SATA 150 250 gig [160 gig left] Harddrive3: Hitachi 500 gig [unused but can be easily hooked up]
you will want to sve money on the graphics card and buy a dx10 card when they come out
What about my soundcard question?
Nothing worth spending money on IMO. If you had some naff onboard chip then yes, but not from an Audigy 2.
currently if you have an audgy 2 or intel 915 or higher motherboard with onboard sound then it would be a waste of money
Your soundcard is fine, no need to replace.
For video cards under $342:
eVGA GeForce 7900gt CO 256mb ddr3 (500/1500) --$289 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130281
Sapphire Radeon x1800xt 512mb ddr3 (625/1500) --$299 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102697
Either of those cards would be a huge boost over your 9800.
Thanks a lot Oblivious! Do you think the Nvidia would run hotter, or the ATI?
Captain AmerikaThanks a lot Oblivious! Do you think the Nvidia would run hotter, or the ATI?
I've heard that the ATI x18 and x19 series cards run a bit hot. The 7900gt I believe runs the coolest of those two.
The ATI is capable of HDR lighting and AA at the same time (and is 512mb), while the 7900gt can only do one at once (and is 256mb). Otherwise, they are fairly comparable in terms of specs/performance.
Either card is a good choice, but the recent drop in the ATI's price would swing me in that direction. That's alot of card for $300.
Also, the 256mb x1800xt is a great card as well for $239. The only real difference with the one above is 256mb < 512mb. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102007
If you want to run cryisis then hold off for the Dx10 cards. Just get a decent card like the 7600gt and pocket the rest of the money for a Dx10 card this winter. I think ATi will beat nvidia out this time with the first Dx10 cards before vista comes out.
but as is usually true with first gen products you are better off waiting and getting a 2nd gen dx10 card