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PCstats Q & A - Sounding it out - PCstats.com PCstats Q & A - Sounding it out
Mon, September 12 2005 | 11:59AM | PermaLink Feedback?

Our latest Q & A comes from Ren via the PCstats feedback page . If you have a question you need answered right away, try our friendly forums for help too.

Q: I'm building an Athlon 64 gaming system soon. The motherboard I have my eyes on has integrated 5.1 sound using the AC'97 Codec. My question is, am I losing anything by sticking with this for audio? I'd rather not spend the extra on a Soundblaster or equivalent if I can avoid it, but I know I lose support for certain things like EAX. What to do?

If it were up to me, I'd pony up the extra cash for a good external card that supports EAX and 3D positional audio. These features can add a lot of atmosphere and depth to the gaming experience, especially if you are using headphones or multiple speakers. A secondary bonus is that hardware-based cards often use less CPU time than onboard codecs, freeing up more PC power for your games. Having said that, the AC'97-based boards on the market now are much better in terms of sound quality than they used to be, and should be more than adequate for any application.

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