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Choosing Creative 5.1-Channel Internal Sound Cards That Are Right For You

Creative has several 5.1 channel internal sound card models for you to choose from. Each Creative card will provide you with digital audio for any entertainment or gaming application you wish to place. This includes audio that fits on both traditional speakers and a headphone set. From models that have USB ports to choices with multiple boards, you have several Sound Blaster options.

What Models Does Creative Offer?

You can find multiple types of 5.1 channel internal sound cards through Creative. These include models in the Sound Blaster series:

  • Audigy Fx- The Sound Blaster Audigy Fx is a PCIe card featuring a 24-bit 182 kHz digital to analog converter. A headphone amplifier is included. Separate line-in and microphone connectors are featured.
  • Z -The Sound Blaster Z is designed with gaming needs in mind. The card has a 116dB signal to noise ratio, thus reducing static or interference.
  • Zx- A controller is included with the Sound Blaster Zx. The control lets you switch the sound output from the headphones to a surround speaker setup and back.
  • ZxR- There are two parts to the Sound Blaster ZxR. The main PCIe card uses the Sound Core3D processor to load sound processing functions away from your computer's main processing unit. A daughter board with optical outputs is included. The two are linked together through a power cord connection ribbon.
  • AE-5- This gaming card uses a dedicated headphone amp that operates separately from the rest of the surround sound card. It offers 32-bit playback at 384 kHz.

What Features Are Included In Creative Internal Sound Cards

The features that your multi-channel Creative internal sound card will come with are vital to note:

  • PCIe Support- Creative's cards use the PCI-Express interface. The PCIe layout is faster than the PCI format that came before it.
  • RCA Outputs -Your Sound Blaster card will likely feature RCA outputs. These are utilized for left and right channel speakers.
  • Microphone Port- A dedicated microphone port is included on Sound Blaster cards. Some models come with dual-microphone features. A 3.5 mm jack is the most common port in this case.
  • Additional Ports- Creative supports multiple types of extra ports on its Sound Blaster cards. Some models come with USB ports for quickly connecting speaker sets to your computer. A USB port here is identical to what you would find on an external sound card.

Technical Considerations

You must also review some technical points when finding your Sound Blaster card:

  • Sample Rate- The sample rate refers to the level of frequencies that a card can support. A card with a higher rate can play back higher frequencies.
  • DAC- The digital to analog converter or DAC in your card translates digital audio samples into a series of analog pulses.
  • D/A Conversion- This is the opposite of a DAC. It takes signals from a microphone and converts it into digital signals that are read by your computer.
  • Amplifier- An amp will take the newly produced analog signal and increase its power to make it audible.
  • Bits and Kilohertz- The number of bits on a card determine how many bytes of audio data it can handle at a time. The kilohertz is a measurement of the number of samples per second. This is a basic measurement of sound quality; a unit with more bits and kilohertz provides more detailed sounds.