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PCstats Q & A - Sounding it out - 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.

Original URL, circa 2005:

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