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I have a Sound Blaster Live ! 24-bit 7.1 and a onboard sound card Realtek ALC889A codec High Definition Audio 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel that comes on my gigabyte motherboard.

What should i take into consideration to compare both ? Which one would you consider better ?

I have both a home theather 5.1 and a head phone 5.1.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is no feasible difference. The Audigy SE is stripped down model, with a less expensive CA-0106 audio-controller in place of the EMU10k2 in standard Audigy cards.

With the CA-0106, the SE/Value are limited to software-based EAX 3.0 (upgraded to software-based EAX 4.0 with a driver update), no advanced resolution DVD-Audio Playback, and no Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital EX 6.1 playback.

So with such card you just using your PCI-slot ) and also you will get all the problems and bugs with Creative drivers in Vista or Win7. Realtek drivers are simpler and in many cases trouble-free.

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+1 I see, but the main reason i am thinking about switch is the current problem i am having with the realtek… so i was wondering how compareable the 2 are or if i should buy something else. – Prix Oct 19 '10 at 16:54
If you want to get from new soundcard something more than just NEW soundcard I recommend to find low-cost xfi card like XTremeMusic or XTremeGamer. They have EMU20k1 on board. Don't buy XTremeAudio - it is just equal to Audigy SE. – stim Oct 20 '10 at 7:55

The Sound Blaster Audigy card you have will be better than the onboard sound chip as it has it's own sound processor and generally speaking, decent add-on sound cards have better sample rate and Signal to Noise Ratio than on-board chips.

Also, the Audigy card supports EAX® ADVANCED HD™ 3.0 which will provide better surround effects (i.e. you will hear objects/people positioned better in the surround sound field) in things such as games , the on-board Realtek chip does not support this.

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+1 thanks,where did u find out about "Signal to Noise Ratio" i didnt saw anything on the specs of either to compare. – Prix Oct 19 '10 at 6:35
The Realtek chip spec's are here:… and it lists a SNR of 108db. Not sure how accurate that is though in real usage. The Creative card is around 100db SNR I think from memory. I would use the Creative card over the onboard due to the EAX Advanced HD support, it generally provides better sound detail than the on-board chip sound effects. – evol Oct 19 '10 at 7:14

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