Audigy 2 or Onboard?


Oct 15, 2005
Hey all.

I'm building a new computer with a Gigabyte P45 DS3R. This features a Realtek ALC889a chipset.

I also have an old Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sitting in a static bag. I took it out of my old machine because I donated that to my dad and didn't think he needed 5.1 audio support.

I'm just curious to know which would be better.... the now ancient Audigy 2, or the fairly recent onboard chipset?


[H]F Junkie
Jul 11, 2001
Honestly the Audigy2 isn't a bad card. It will do up to EAX4 which is what many games use anyway. The latest Vista drivers are pretty good and it works with Alchemy also.

Ultimately I'd say it comes down to what games you play and what your priorities are. Games like BF2 and World of Warcraft are like night and day when it comes to EAX vs. software audio. If you play a game with good EAX support then it will make a difference. Of course the Audigy2 also supports OpenAL for future games as well.

As far as audio quality goes, if music is a priority, that will be a bit more difficult. The Realtek isn't really that bad and will probably have an edge over a regular Audigy2. The Audigy2 ZS was a bit better as far as sound quality goes but I'd still probably say the realtek woiuld be better. Only way to really find out is to do your own subjective test comparing them using the music that you listen to.