Do I need a Sound Card and Wireless Adapter With My Motherboard?

Hello,
So I just realized that I'm not sure if I'll be able to use wireless internet or get sound out of my motherboard. Could someone please tell me if I need a sound card and/or a wireless adapter? If I need either one, which one should I choose?

Here is my build:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($159.99 @ Newegg)

Video Card: VisionTek AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB ($425.69 @ TigetDirect)

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($108.98 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Sparkle 900W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($111.98 @ Super Biiz)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)

Mouse (START & CHEAP): Microsoft SideWinder X3 Mouse ($20.00 @ Amazon)

Keyboard (START): Home PC Keyboard

Monitor: ASUS VN247H-P 24-Inch LED-Lit Monitor ($189.00 @Amazon)

Optical Drive: AsusDRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.96 @ OutletPC)

Thermal Compound: ARCTIC MX-4 (4g) Carbon-Based Thermal Compound, Non-Electricity Conductive, Non-Capacitive ($9.99 @ Newegg)

Here are the upgrades that I plan on getting later:

Monitor Upgrade (Buy 2 More): Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($157.58 @ Newegg)

Mouse Upgrade: Razer Mamba ($129.99 @ Razer Website)

Keyboard: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Stealth 2013 ($139.99 @ Razer Website)

Headset: Astro A50 ($299.99 @ AstroGaming)

Webcam: Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 ($69.99 @ Amazon)

Graphics Card: Add a 2nd VisionTek 7970 3GB

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHZ Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Micro Center)

Memory: Corsair Vengence LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($116.99 @ Amazon)

I posted my upgrades in case they would effect what slots I would have remaining.

Any help would be great!

P.S. I know that wireless is slower, I just would like to have it to be safe.
13 answers Last reply
More about sound card wireless adapter motherboard
  1. Sound card only if you really need the possible extra fidelity. Try the onboard first. If you decide you need extra, buy it later.

    WiFi card/adapter only if you need to connect wirelessly.
  2. If you look at the image of the motherboard at NewEgg, the pink/green/blue/orange/black jacks are for sound.
  3. Get a better PSU. You are making a killer system but I don't think you want the system to get killed by a so so PSU. Better options.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151102&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    I wouldn't get a sound card unless you really have an ear for music. The sound your motherboard reproduces is great already.

    Connecting your computer to a LAN cable is faster than wireless. If you don't have a choice and have to use wireless then buy one. However, many people keep their router in same room as gaming desktop.
  4. BTW, If you want to run 3 monitors then it's better to have 3 that are the same.
  5. That looks like a Gaming build to me.

    For gaming you don't really need a sound card. Modern motherboard sound systems are capable of good quality 7.1 channel sound. Since most computer speaker systems are only 2.0, 2.1 or 5.1 channels anyway the onboard sound system is more than enough.

    The wireless adaptor is a slightly different situation though. That motherboard does not include a wireles adapter so, if you need one you might as well get it now rather than as an afterthought later.

    Some questions to consider:
    How fast do you want your connection to be and how fast is your current Wireless Router? Wireless N is capable of operating at several speeds. Basic N is up to 150 Mbps but for slightly more money you can get speeds up to 300 Mbps, up to 450 Mbps, up to 600 Mbps and sometimes even faster. Wireless N can also operate on either the 2.4 Ghz band or the 5 Ghz band. Wireless A is on the 5ghz band only and Wireless B and G are on the 2.4 Ghz band. Wireless A, B an G are significantly slower than wireless N.

    How many other wireless networks are active in your immediate area? If your block already has a lot of wireless networks, adding another only adds to the noise and the chances of your network performing poorly are increased. In this case get a router that is capable of operating in the 5Ghz band (802.11 a/b/g/n or better) and get a matching wireless adapter for your computer and set it up to operate on the 5Ghz band.

    How far is the computer going to be from the wireless router? The greater the distance the lower signal strength gets. If your wireless router is 60 ft. away and has a couple of walls in the way you may have difficulty maintaining a good connection. If it's relatively close (< 30 ft.), you will likely have fewer problems. I usually try to locate the router near the center of the house and approximately equi-distant between the two farthest PC's.

    Electrical wiring in your house can also affect signal strength and signal quality so try to locate the wireless antennas a few feet away from electrical wiring and outlets.
  6. USAFRet said:
    Sound card only if you really need the possible extra fidelity. Try the onboard first. If you decide you need extra, buy it later.

    WiFi card/adapter only if you need to connect wirelessly.


    I would like to have a wifi adapter to be safe. I would be wiring but I would prefer to have wifi as a backup. What would you recommend?
  7. envy14tpe said:
    Get a better PSU. You are making a killer system but I don't think you want the system to get killed by a so so PSU. Better options.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151102&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139011&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    I wouldn't get a sound card unless you really have an ear for music. The sound your motherboard reproduces is great already.

    Connecting your computer to a LAN cable is faster than wireless. If you don't have a choice and have to use wireless then buy one. However, many people keep their router in same room as gaming desktop.


    Thank you for the PSU recommendation. I would agree with you so ill probably take it. :)

    ok, if I have sound, that's all I need, lol.

    I am hopefully going to go LAN but right now I don't have a port in my wall for one so I would get an wifi adapter to be safe. What would you recommend?
  8. envy14tpe said:


    Now, that adapter would go in the small socket near the outside ports (USB, Sound, etc.) or on the opposite side of the outside ports?
  9. JKatwyopc said:
    That looks like a Gaming build to me.

    For gaming you don't really need a sound card. Modern motherboard sound systems are capable of good quality 7.1 channel sound. Since most computer speaker systems are only 2.0, 2.1 or 5.1 channels anyway the onboard sound system is more than enough.

    The wireless adaptor is a slightly different situation though. That motherboard does not include a wireles adapter so, if you need one you might as well get it now rather than as an afterthought later.

    Some questions to consider:
    How fast do you want your connection to be and how fast is your current Wireless Router? Wireless N is capable of operating at several speeds. Basic N is up to 150 Mbps but for slightly more money you can get speeds up to 300 Mbps, up to 450 Mbps, up to 600 Mbps and sometimes even faster. Wireless N can also operate on either the 2.4 Ghz band or the 5 Ghz band. Wireless A is on the 5ghz band only and Wireless B and G are on the 2.4 Ghz band. Wireless A, B an G are significantly slower than wireless N.

    How many other wireless networks are active in your immediate area? If your block already has a lot of wireless networks, adding another only adds to the noise and the chances of your network performing poorly are increased. In this case get a router that is capable of operating in the 5Ghz band (802.11 a/b/g/n or better) and get a matching wireless adapter for your computer and set it up to operate on the 5Ghz band.

    How far is the computer going to be from the wireless router? The greater the distance the lower signal strength gets. If your wireless router is 60 ft. away and has a couple of walls in the way you may have difficulty maintaining a good connection. If it's relatively close (< 30 ft.), you will likely have fewer problems. I usually try to locate the router near the center of the house and approximately equi-distant between the two farthest PC's.

    Electrical wiring in your house can also affect signal strength and signal quality so try to locate the wireless antennas a few feet away from electrical wiring and outlets.


    Yes it is, my first gaming build.

    Ok, thats fine. I was just making sure I would have sound. I have some simple Bose Surround Sound Speakers I would plug in until I get the A50 headset I mentioned. Then my monitor would have speakers as well.

    That was what I planned to do.

    I would like the adapter to at least be able to handle my internet and even better, not by much because that would be unnecessary. I think 150Mbps is fine. My internet doesn't go that high unfortunately. My router is only 2.4GHz A/B/G/N, All connections I believe except 5.0GHz.

    I am planning to have an Ethernet Connection Port made into my wall so I would be going to Wired then. I would want the adapter because I don't know for sure that I am going to be getting Ethernet. I am sure that there are lots of wireless connections on my street. That would make sense if there are many connection it slows it down. I wouldn't say that there are A LOT of connections but there are many. I would love to get a new 2.4 and 5.0 GHz router but my family won't allow it, I really don't know why.

    Currently where I would be putting my PC has BAD connection but I make do. My house is a rancher and has a basement. My router is in my basement and then wires to another router to cover my entire house. So essentially, one router connects to the other and produces two networks that you connect to depending on which side of the house you are on. I personally don't agree with what my family did because then it creates NAT type problems, which has happened and in the result was a Moderate Type. I tried booster but even right next to my router is was only get 60% signal strength, which I didn't understand. I make do right now. Thats why I am trying to convince my family to either move my router closer or in my room and try it there, or put an Ethernet Connection Port in my room. Sadly, neither has happened yet. My dream is to have my Modem and my Router right next to each other, and then next to my computer so I can easy wire my PC, PS3, Xbox, etc, to my Router.

    That is what is so weird about my room. Everywhere else has close to 20 - 25+Mbps Download, and 10+ Upload. I know thats definitely not the best, but it works for me until I can get exceptional internet.

    My room, like I said, is the only place in my entire house that is "WiFi Rejective." My family and I believe that there might be a pipe or, like you said electrical wiring, that could be blocking WiFi. Which really sucks because I don't only use Internet, but my Gaming area is in my room so it is a real disadvantage.

    Is there a way to tell where the electrical wiring is in my house?

    We have Comcast, and we are supposed to be getting 50Mbps, but NOWHERE in the house gets that. Do you have any idea why that would happen?

    So with all this, what adapter would you recommend?
  10. SIRmisterD said:


    We have Comcast, and we are supposed to be getting 50Mbps, but NOWHERE in the house gets that. Do you have any idea why that would happen?



    If everything is connecting via WiFi, that is not necessarily unusual. The theoretical 50Mbps is from Comcast to your router. Anything after that is on you.
    And that 50Mbps is 'maybe we can get you that much (but that's what we're going to charge you for)'.
  11. USAFRet said:
    SIRmisterD said:


    We have Comcast, and we are supposed to be getting 50Mbps, but NOWHERE in the house gets that. Do you have any idea why that would happen?



    If everything is connecting via WiFi, that is not necessarily unusual. The theoretical 50Mbps is from Comcast to your router. Anything after that is on you.
    And that 50Mbps is 'maybe we can get you that much (but that's what we're going to charge you for)'.


    Is there anything, or anyway to improve it other than take connections offline?
  12. Not sure if this helps. But typically people connect to internet via wifi adapter in the computer or by the LAN cable. Another option for weak wifi could be to use a power line adapter.
    Info link:
    http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/buying-advice/network-wifi/3370997/homeplug-powerline-networking-adaptors-buying-advice/
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