Creative Labs has dominated the sound card industry for many years. It had set the standard in digital sound with the introduction of their family of sound cards. The older 8 bit sound card was quickly followed by the 16 bit card offering better sound quality through the larger expansion bus. Although mediocre by todays standards, the 16 bit sound card was designed as an entry level sound card best suited for home users.
The SoundBlaster 16
The SoundBlaster 16 was capable of playing sound with a high level of quality while maintaining the SoundBlaster compatibility introduced by Creative Labs. Available in the ISA format only, the standard 16-bit Creative Labs Sound Blaster card is compatible with all major applications, and operating systems. The Sound Blaster 16 is typically available in the ISA format.
The SoundBlaster 64 AWE
Creative Labs introduced the Sound Blaster AWE 64 designed for the home user, gamer, or multimedia specialist. The AWE64 card provides advanced sound functions but still provides the basic SoundBlaster compatibility to ensure all software and applications are compatible with the AWE64. A new level of reality is added to all games and applications with the AWE64 card.
The SoundBlaster 128
The PCI128 also introduced by Creative Labs provided an even higher level of performance to any type of game or application. The PCI is the card of choice for many gaming enthusiasts as it provides true stereo sound while still retaining the Sound Blaster compatibility. Because it employs the PCI technology there is no compatibility issues to be aware of. The Sound Blaster will work with any operating system including MS-DOS and Windows. The PCI128 has two stereo output jacks, which allows you to use 4 indpendent speakers allowing you to enjoy real stereo sound. The PCI128 is only available using a PCI bus interface.