Difference Between Audio Controllers?

#1
I am looking at upgrading my computer (or building a new one :smile: ) soon after the holidays, and was wondering if you could give some insight to this dilemma I've run into.

I see a couple good motherboards, and in comparing the two, I see one uses the AC97 codec, and the other uses Realtek ALC882. What's the difference? Which one would be considered better?

From what I can tell, it seems that AC97 is outdated, and ALC882 allows for HD audio? But I may be mistaken, or have read some really good propaganda.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies, bpat!

Are you looking to have Vista installed on that PC or are you sticking to XP? Windows Vista takes advantage of the extra features provided by the ALC882 codec, Windows XP doesn't really.

AC97 isn't "outdated," it is updated with every new chip released. AC97 is actually a "codec" (for the hardware) and not a fixed-version of technology. It just refers what method the audio device will follow to output the music/sound.

However, AC97 comes in many different flavors. There're AC97 cards from 2.1 audio all the way to 7.1; at the same time, ALC882 only comes in 7.1+

ALC882 is much better, but sound doesn't make a motherboard perfect, and remember, you can always upgrade to a PCI sound-card should you need to later.

Why don't you tell us what mobos you're looking at, we might be able to help! :smile:

Cheers!

-CG