Sound Blaster Live 24-Bit and Linux

The $30 Sound Blaster Live! 24-bit sound card may look like a good deal for someone looking for a cheap audio device for their Linux workstation, but would-be buyers should know that not all Sound Blaster Live! cards are the same.

The audio chip on this particular 7.1 sound card identifies itself as a Sound Blaster Live Audigy LS chipset, which does not have the same support under Linux that other Sound Blasters do. In fact, you may be better off with an older Sound Blaster Live card as this particular chipset has limited hardware mixing features, leaving much of the audio processing work to be done by the CPU.

So my advice is to stay clear of this particular card and look for a 5.1 Sound Blaster, which you can often find for slightly cheaper.

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