SB64value, SBpc128 or SB Live??



New Member
Building a new home system for apps and games. Much difference between these SB cards? I've surfed all over and its hard to get comparisons of the same companies cards?

We don't have to have all the bells/whistles but would like to have great sound!
Thanks for any suggestions.


New Member
I've had some problems with my AWE64, and recently it went on permanent vacation... Now I'm going for a PCI-card, like PCI 128 or maybe the Live! value. I think ISA-cards are a little obsolete.


Seeing Mole
Depends also much on what you plan to play your sounds through. I don't think you'd notice any difference between a 20$ soundcard and 100$ if you plan to play them through some small computer speakers.

It also depends on what you mean by sound quality. Sound wave samples sounds about the same regardless of soundcard or price. The extra functions most of the more expensive cards boasts off is in hardware 3D capabilities or Wavetable.

Like in the SB families of cards. Most of the advance functions on those cards require software which supports those cards directly in order to take use of it. Othervise it'd sound just like a 20$ card.

PCI or not PCI. I still use SBAWE32. The first revision. Those cards were full lengt monsters. It also had 2 30 pin SIMM slots for RAM expansion. I've added 8 MB RAM on it and have a collection of soundfonts to use.

Great sound also depends on your budget. If you have the money, go for it, buy the best card there is. (SB doesn't seems to be in my list of top 10 cards though) Othervise you might as well buy a 20$ card or any cheap card you can find because the sound quality and capabilities won't be noticable anyway.
All sound cards sold today are 16bit/44KHz full duplex anyway. It's the extras you get which make the more expensive cards interesting. But again, the extras might be next to useless if you don't know how to utilize it or your program doesn't support it.


New Member
Take a look at the Aureal cards. They have some tremendous sound, and a fair price. All PCI as well.


New Member
If you want more info about sound blaster cards, goto and check those pages. If you want a little of info about each card here we go:
The SB 16 is a good legacy card that will support all older dos and windows games. the sound quality is good, but the card is limited... this is the bottom of the barrel for available soundblaster cards.
The SB AWE 64 (my current card) Is an excellent all around card, with good quality sound, limited 3d positional audio support, good wavetable sound. This card is also limited due to the isa bus.
The SB PCI 64 and the Creative Ensoniq PCI cards are both made by ensoniq for creative labs (creative bought them out. Both these cards are ok, but are considered entry level for the SB line. The sound quality does not match the AWE 64, but it has lower cpu overhead due to they are pci based.
The SB 128 card is Creatives first home built pci sound card. It has excellent sound quality and has low cpu overhead. It also has decent directsound 3d support and supports 4 speaker. If you want a good pci based sound card, that will do most but without all the extra's this is an excellent choice. Also with the release of the SB live line, they are droping in price fast.
The SB Live is probably the best all around sound card you can get at this time. It has the best legacy sound support (older dos only and dos/win apps) is pci based, Supports a new 3d positional audio standard that beats Aureals A3D standard, and has the best all around sound for the money. It comes in two flavours, SB Live and SB Live Value. The value card has a streat price half the full version, and is targeted towards gamers. It would run ya about 100 american now. This will likely be my next sound card.
If you want just an entry level sound blaster card your best bet would probably be The Ensoniq pci card. it runs less than 50. It is better to stay away from isa cards now, especially if you have a slower system that you run games on that push the system to the limit. A pci sound card will improve the frame rates in the games.
My advice is to spend a little bit more and get the SB Pci 128 card. This is the best of the best of creatives offerings before the soundblaster live.
I hope this Helps you out. Remeber you can check out creatives web site for more tech specs of these cards.

Cyber Draco

Has everyone forgotten about the legendary AWE64 Gold? Many of the PC magazines today STILL use it as there reference board. I have had it for around a year now and love it! I paid 149.00 for it so I'm sure you find a great deal on it now. A board that is yet to be surpassed now lower than many of the so called new boards out there. It also comes with so much sound editing software I still haven't learned to use it all!

Hi SoundZ

New Member
PC World just had a soundcard review, and the SoundBlaster live took TOP honors. My buddy just bought the SB Live with the cambridge speakers, and it is simply AMAZING. I have never heard a computer sound that clear and loud. A few weeks ago the SB live was 119.00 @, now it is 150.00....but it is still worth every penny of it. I am buying this card in a few weeks. Goodluck


New Member

SB Live! going for £110 pounds at the Northern Computer Markets. Why buy anything else. NEVER buy from stores with overheads.


New Member
Heres my 2 cents worth:

The AWE64 is a good card, but if you ask me, a little obsolete. Its ISA, which means you could have conflicts, and it slows system performance, and its only 2 channel.

The PCI128, be careful with this one. They got me. Its 4 channel, yes, but only on things deisgned for 4 channels. Any of your old games will only play over the front speakers. But new games designed for it will play 4 channel, and a hell of a lot faster because its PCI.

The Live! is an amazing card. It sounds perfect, and its nice and fast. And to top it all off, it will play your old mp3s or games or whatever over 4 channels. Very cool.

I would advise though, dont go spending hundreds on a sound card if you dont have decent speakers. Thats like putting super octane gas in your pinto, its not worth it. Personally, i have 6 speakers and 2 subs in here (a little overkill, i know), but dont go buying a top of the line sound card without decent speakers.

Personally, I swear by these altec lansing speakers, theyre pricey, but god they sound good! Just my opinion.



New Member
I have a opti sound 16 bit sound card that cost $19.99. I use 2 60W speakers and it sound great!! In fact better than the sound blaster 16 or 32. But the point is the card is not the thing it is the speakers. You could have the most expensive sound card on the market and with the wrong speekers My sound card would beat it.


New Member
I had an opti-930 based sound card before, it supported q-sound, and was an ok card, but It would always give me crackling sound in Diablo, then the sound would POP, then quit entirely until i rebooted. It only did it with Diablo, and at that time, Diablo was my passion. This made me instantaiously jump to my local shop and pickup a sound blaster AWE 64 sound card. I was blown away by the difference in sound quality in all my games. And I was very happy: Diablo sounded GREAT!
I have nothing against the opti cards, I loved mine up until I played diablo. Then I had to change, because the two of them did not get along. That was about 1 1/2 years ago now, and I am still using my AWE 64 today. Im only now running into some drop in sound quality when playing Unreal at 44khz mode. I see a sb pci-128 on the horizon though, or mabey a sb live, if it is affordable enough when I get one.


New Member
My personal experience with AWE 64 cards has not been good.
I am currently one my third card via warranty.
While attempting to load the card after a motherboard or CPU change, they have lost their bios on the sound card. Windows P&P recognizes the card, loads the drivers but it's dead. This has happened too often to be a coincidence.


New Member
SB Live! is the definate way to go. I had a AWE64 and thought it was the best then I got the Live! Value. A whole "world" of difference. This sound card was definately done right!!