Dec 27, 2011 - My card is the standard Audigy 2 (not ZS or anything like that), the specific model number is SB0240. I'll look into the drivers that were posted, thanks! EDIT: Okay, I plugged in the card and it was (compared to the old crap card) detected by Windows at startup. I asked around and was told to use the drivers. Download SB0240 Audigy 2 Platinum 6.1 [Creative Labs] PCI drivers at DriverAgent.com.
I have a 7 year old Dell with the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS card, and I am using a 5.1 speaker system with which I have been happy. I'm getting a new computer, and I'm wondering if onboard audio has improved enough that I will be satisfied with it.
(I'm looking at systems like Dell's with its 'Waves MAXX 7.1' or HP's 'Beats' audio.) If not, will I be able to take that old Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS and put it in a Win 7/8 machine for better sound? Or do you have a recommendation for a cheaper ($50 or so?) sound card that would be a better option. Thanks for any help! Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic.
No way will 7 year old card beat new technology. I disagree as well, 7 years in audio technology is not that long. I dont see any reason these cards should not still sound great, especially compared to onboard which is only slightly better than no sound. The audigy series, especially the audigy 2 and better, dont seem that far behind the newer X-fi cards in terms of audio quality and signal to noise.
Audigy 2 will do 24bit/96k. Eurasian Face. They are only missing support for 'up to 128 positioned 3D voices' though this seems largely useless? ' The X-Fi uses EAX 5.0 which supports up to 128 3D-positioned voices with up to four effects applied to each. This release also included the 24-bit crystallizer, which is intended to pronounce percussion elements by placing some emphasis on low and high pitched parts of the sound. The X-Fi, at its release, offered some of the most powerful mixing capabilities available, making it a powerful entry-level card for home musicians.' -from wikipedia. I dont see any reason these cards should not still sound great, especially compared to onboard which is only slightly better than no sound.
The quality of on-board sound depends a lot on the quality of the HDA chip and PCB layout. Some board layouts put hte HDA chip far from analog outputs and let analog traces cross heaps of other stuff along the way which makes them pick up tons of EMI and crosstalk noise along the way. Better designs put the HDA chip closer to outputs sometimes with metal shield and route analog traces over a dedicated analog ground strip. Those better designs have a reasonable shot at approaching the HDA chip's specs. Since my current board's HDA sounds good enough, I have not bothered transplanting my Audigy2.
But I should probably give it a shot one of these days to see whether or not the differences I think I noticed were real or imaginary. Thought I would post my answer since I just battled with installing an A2 ZS on Windows 8 64-bit. Others may be able to use this solution. Danial K - partly known for his custom audio drivers - made a custom driver package for the A2, which is verified by myself and others to work on Windows 8. Sbloccare Modem Adsl2 Wifi Network. He made an update to his original package to accommodate for Windows 8.
You will have full access to the applications Creative bundled with the drivers! Here is his blog with the post: Here is the forum post you should refer to for download, instructions, and information: Cheers! PS For Windows 8 especially, he has specific and important installation instructions. Doubt a card that old will amount to anything. Onboard sound will prob be better. Though the newer sound cards seem to make sound more realistic. No way will 7 year old card beat new technology.
The 'old' card will do much better sound if you get it to work! In my experience, 'old' has not much to do with quality. Sometimes, old is way better! As a speaker builder, I've often found that 'new technology' is just a rehash of old technology, albeit with better design in terms of the manufacturers process. This is to say that the cost of production goes down for the manufacturer and they still charge a killing for something that doesn't sound any (or much) different. Now I don't know a lot about sound cards and I do know a lot about how computer equipment generally improves over the years, but my experience with amplifiers and recording equipment is that old stuff can be amazing for many years.