The other no-brainer decision. The Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 sound card is the clear winner. Outstanding quality from an outstanding company, and available at a very low price if you get the value edition, but not much more for the X-Gamer or MP3 editions which are the same hardware but are also packed with software that more than make up the difference. The SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 sound card is the answer regardless of the type of computer you plan to build – from high-end to low-end.
Here's everything that comes in the SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 X-Gamer retail box with the sound card itself shown still in its protective anti-static bag. Pretty amazing, isn't it? The games that are included are some of the best in the industry, including Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex!
Click on the picture to see it enlarged.
If I were buying My Super PC's components today then I would get the Creative Labs Audigy sound card. The audigy upgrades the already first rate sound quality of the Live! version. Of course, for the Audigy's full potential to be realized the speakers have to be up to it and the software must be taking full advantage of it. The Creative Labs Audigy line has been available since September 2001. Trouble reports seem at very low levels and user satisfaction is high. Unlike the Live! sound card, the Audigy requires two PCI slots. But the Audigy includes FireWire support, which is a widely supported fast USB type capability. Two comprehensive reviews are this
Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audigy Review by 3dsoundSurge and this Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audigy Review by ExtremeTech.
For comparing, the product specifications and features can be accessed through
this list of all of the internal sound cards available from Creative Labs.
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