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Best Sound card for a budget type person?

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snowdude

Registered
Joined
May 23, 2003
I need an awesome sound card that won't cost me much as well though. ANy suggestions?
 

Bonka

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2001
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz

Not sure how much they sell for in the states.

:)
 

Intrepid

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2002
Location
Boise, ID, USA
yeah those are good budget cards. SB cards are more expensive. some other good brand i remember as well but they were expensive too.
 

Yodums

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Yeh the TBSC is a really good card. Stay away from Creative. Bad driver support, bad quality and performance compared to Hercules and other brands.
 

OC-Master

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2001
Location
Edmonton, Alberta
Yodums said:
Yeh the TBSC is a really good card. Stay away from Creative. Bad driver support, bad quality and performance compared to Hercules and other brands.


Thats totally not true, the Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 barebone is an excellent example of a true value based high performance sound card. There is places around now selling these puppies for like only $49US.

Creative has finally caught up with the drivers in the Live! series and everything is now green lights and is good to go!

Unfortuneatly, I still cannot get my friends Audigy card working on his Abit KR7A-RAID motherboard, I've tried everything with absolutely no luck!


OC-Master
 

Yodums

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Location
Ottawa, Canada
OC-Master said:



Thats totally not true, the Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 barebone is an excellent example of a true value based high performance sound card. There is places around now selling these puppies for like only $49US.

Creative has finally caught up with the drivers in the Live! series and everything is now green lights and is good to go!

Unfortuneatly, I still cannot get my friends Audigy card working on his Abit KR7A-RAID motherboard, I've tried everything with absolutely no luck!


OC-Master

Could be opinionated too but alot of the people still are frustrated with Creative. Their drivers are still iffy. The Live series isn't their main focus and I don't know why their drivers came in so late... like half a year before their previous driver. Also, their SMP support is still bad. The TBSC is only 20.00 and performs better and has better support. And if you want to compare high end, I think you should stick to brands like M-Audio... :D

Just my 2 cents.. ;)
 

ToledoSteel

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
I would reiterate "stay away from creative" I have used multiple sounds cards from them, every one was buggy and bloated. I prefer Turtle Beach Santa Cruz for a budget, or the M-Audio route for a little more $$$.
 

One Cool Dude

Disabled
Joined
May 28, 2003
Location
NoVA
loner said:
Yep, you can pull a TBSC for 15-20 USD off of eBay :)

I dont know about that cheap off of eBay but Circuit City has a rebate on it for $40 after MIR. I picked one up and love it with my z-540's.
 

Gnerma

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2002
Location
Bakersfield, CA - USA
I don't know what you guys are talking about saying that a Santa Cruz is only twenty bucks. Looking at prices on ebay I see auctions that look like they'll end up over 40 dollars (currently 30 - 37 with a lot of time left.) And even if they did say 20 bucks the prices shoot up in the last hours and minutes of an auction.

Also,
$55 at mwave
$59 at newegg
$63 at nutrend

Those prices are for the OEM version. What I'm trying to say is no you can't get this card for 20 bucks, probably not even 30. If I am wrong, show me.

It looks like your going to be paying $40 minimum for this card. The Circuit City deal One Cool Dude mentioned sounds like the best way to get your hands on one of these.

Even at $40 the Santa Cruz certainly is "an awesome soundcard that won't cost you much" as you asked for initially. The Live is an okay card but a lot of onboard sound has caught up to the quality and totally surpasses the cpu utilization (nforce2 soundstorm of course). Although you could probably dig up a Live for around 20 bucks esp if you watched the classified section (cw823 is selling one right now for $22 shipped).

Another solution you might consider is the Hercules Fortissimo 3 7.1. You can pick one of those up OEM for about $46 and they are decent cards. But even though it is a newer card than the Santa Cruz, it uses an older revision of the Cirrus Logic CS46XX audio chip. That being the CS4624 rather than the newer CS4630 that the Santa Cruz uses.

But then again you never defined how much you are willing to spend. If you max is 100 bucks then we all way off :rolleyes:
 

OCed_5150

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2002
Location
Somewhere in Time...
I see that this is an old post... but I'll add my 2 cents.

I think the CS4630 sounds better... to me, anyway.

I got a Fortissimo 3 to test out during a problem I had with a MX 440 and the GTXP card. Since the soundcard was the cheaper of the two...

Of course.... the GTXP had nothing wrong with it. It was the MX 440. Must have overclocked it to high and damaged it in someway.

I'm selling the Fortissimo 3 to a friend of mine.

Im quite happy with GTXP. :D
 

trdsw20

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2002
Location
bay area
What is your budget??? In many ways the quality of onboard audio is on the rise. If your planning on spending 100 maybe a new motherobard would be a better solution. You also didnt mention the kind of speakers you are using. For 680z or Klipschs I dont think that the TBSC would cut it. You would probably want a digital connection to go with that. Other then that the TBSC for 40 is the way to go. They have a sale on them usually once every 2 months. Just wait around and see what deals come your way.
 

Avatar28

No, I showered
Joined
Feb 27, 2002
Location
Nashville, TN
Um, the Santa Cruz DOES support a digital connection and is probably on par with the original audigy in sound quality.

Personally, if you've got an older AMD MB, I'd go for an NForce 2 with the sound storm and just use that.
 

FrozenFears

Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Location
Seattle
Foro $58 I got my hands on an SB Audigy 2 (OEM) Version, and I have been very happy with it. I just checked the site where I bought mine and it looks like the price has gone up, I musta bought it when it was on sale or something, now its $70
 

Remove

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2003
I'm running Creative Labs Sound Blaster PCI512 in all 3 of my rigs and have never had any problems with them and we all have awesome sound....especially for gaming!