Onboard SigmaTel STAC9227 Vs. Audigy 2 ZS
It's a long story, but in short, I did a simple rebuild of my computer and I am now using an Intel DP965LT Motherboard which has an integrated SigmaTel STAC9227 Audio Codec. I have a Audigy 2 ZS sitting here unused. The integrated audio is very limited on it's outputs, simply line out, line in, and mic. I have a 5.1 speaker set so I was able to configure the drive to output on mic and line out.
Prior to this setup, I was using a Dell XPS 420 which had an SigmaTel (IDT) sound card, but had full 5.1 output plus line in and line out as well as optical out. I have noticed the sound on this Intel motherboard isn't as clear, when there is heavy CPU usage, I can hear slight "hissing" in the audio.
So, between the two cards, which has better specs per say? I am running Windows 8 Pro. I understand the drivers for Creative isn't the best, but found on some forums some 3rd party drivers that are supposed to be half way decent. I am also aware I will lose my front panel audio ports with the Creative card, but I can live without that.
This system is a Q6600 with 8 GB Ram with a 660 GTX which still suits my needs so I really don't have any plans on upgrading in the near future, so even investing in another sound card wouldn't be a best investment if it will connect to my front audio ports.
Thanks in advance as always.
Try the Creative card, you have nothing to lose. Just remember that the rear/sub/center channels actually sound better than the primary stereo channel. One third party driver fixes that by remapping the channels.