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Do I really need a sound card/wireless card if I get an ASUS Z87-Deluxe motherboard?

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  • Wireless
  • Motherboards
  • Sound Cards
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June 21, 2013 8:19:45 AM

Question: Do I really need a sound card/wireless card if I get an ASUS Z87-Deluxe motherboard?
http://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/Z87DELUXE/

I'm a novice and building a machine (see below). I need optical out sound to feed into my Astro Mixamp for the headset. I also want to wirelessly connect to my router/internet. Previously I thought I'd need to get a dedicated sound card and a wireless network card, but this motherboard seems to offer both features.

Is it a good buy to get this motherboard so I can meet my requirements?
Are there any negative points to it?
Any reason the wireless receiver wouldn't be as good as a dedicated card?
Would I really benefit from a dedicated sound card?

Thanks for helping a beginner out!




PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($349.99 @ Newegg) CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Microcenter) Motherboard: Asus Z87-DELUXE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($285.98 @ Outlet PC) Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($187.37 @ Amazon) Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($219.99 @ NCIX US) Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($155.97 @ Outlet PC) Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($155.97 @ Outlet PC) Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($659.99 @ Amazon) Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($659.99 @ Amazon) Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case ($169.99 @ Newegg) Power Supply: Corsair 1200W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($280.49 @ Amazon) Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($56.23 @ Amazon) Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg) Other: Red LED Light ($10.00) Other: Overclock CPU 4.0-4.4GHz ($0.00) Other: APC SurgeArrest Personal PER7 (7 Outlet) 120V Surge Protector ($15.00) Total: $3366.94 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-21 11:12 EDT-0400)

More about : sound card wireless card asus z87 deluxe motherboard

a b Ĉ ASUS
a b F Wireless
a c 257 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 8:26:33 AM

Unless you're heavily into audio production, the onboard audio is fine.
And the onboard wireless is fine too.
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a c 988 Ĉ ASUS
a b F Wireless
a c 1798 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 8:29:00 AM

It has on board sound and Wifi, wifi should suffice as is, sound depends on the person, some audiophiles (those wanting high in effect hi-def sound) might want to opt for a higher end sound card, or you may want a card with additional features over and above what's on the mobo, I'd give the mobo a try and see before spending additional on a sound card
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June 21, 2013 8:35:48 AM

Thanks guys. I'm not an audiophile- i just want to make sure this motherboard can output 5.1 sound to my headset (and speaker system i may get). Since it has optical out port, can I assume it does?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 8:41:05 AM

First off never game on a WiFi connection - period. Look into a PowerLine solution if you cannot run a CAT-5e/6 Ethernet. Now as far as a 'Sound Card' that depends on your Headset some require and amplifier just to work much less better sound. Personally, I use a Corsair Vengeance 1500 USB headset so the sound card is irrelevant (use only USB 2.0 ports for that headset).

Also, in buying components I try to buy all of my stuff from a single vendor e.g. NewEgg IMHO is the best, and buying components from different folks well you've been told.

Assuming those HDD's are going in a RAID then either the WD Enterprise or look at Seagate. The 'consumer' grade WD's lack TLER and are poor choices for any form of RAID.

PowerLine info - http://www.youtube.com/user/NCIXcom/search?query=PowerL...
PowerLine products - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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June 21, 2013 8:55:41 AM

This is a subjective one. I agree entirely with the guys above. For most people onboard sound is fine. I never use onboard sound. Onboard is, at best, mediocre. It's noisy, low dynamic range, low gain. Horrible. However I'm also a DJ and these things are crucially important to me. Most people don't care and will never know the difference. For 95% of people listening through £25 Creative desktop speakers then onboard is good enough. If you are an audiophile with good quality monitor speakers then a dedicate sound card will sound significantly better.

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June 21, 2013 9:27:44 AM

What's wrong with gaming on a wi-fi connection? I play Battlefield 3 on a laptop right now on wifi and don't think it causes a problem...but maybe it is? If neccessary I could run a 15ft Ethernet cable from the router.

My headset is an Astro A40
http://www.astrogaming.com/a40-audio-system-astro-editi...
It will work on its own, however, I also have the Mixamp that comes with it:
http://www.astrogaming.com/mixamps/mixamp-pro-2013-edit...
Currently I connect the mixamp by USB 2.0 and it works, HOWEVER, I don't get surround at all-just stereo. I thought the mixamp might attempt to produce surround but it doesn't. Even cycling through the 4 EQ presets on the mixamp does not change the sound at all.
When I use the headset/mixamp on Xbox I connect with an optical cable (not USB like the laptop) and it produces surround sound like it should and the Mixamp EQ presets work fine.
So..... I presume I NEED optical connection to my new computer to have it work like it should.

The motherboard I'm looking at has these specs for sound:
https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z87DELUXE/

    Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
    - Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
    - High quality 112 dB SNR stereo playback output (Line-out at rear) and 104 dB SNR recording input (Line-in)
    Audio Feature :
    - Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
    - Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
    - DTS Ultra PC II
    - DTS Connect
    - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel


Now can I assume that because it has "Optical S/PDIF out port" that it will deliver the 6 channels (5.1) I need to have my headset/mixamp produce the sound it should?


To answer the other questions:
The hard drives are not for raid use. I just want 2 seperate 2TB drives.
I probably will buy all parts from same vendor.
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a c 988 Ĉ ASUS
a b F Wireless
a c 1798 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 9:29:17 AM

Looks like you have things well in hand and are good to go ;) 
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 9:42:46 AM

The MixAmp Pro for Dolby requires the codec, and using a USB circumvents any Sound Card(s).

WiFi is way too laggy for competitive gaming not to mention the roller coaster bandwidth, you might as well seek out the worst ISP and think-up ways to make it worst. Watch the video(s) I linked above and PowerLine has even gotten better with some 1Gbps units. /edit - I only use hardwired Ethernet and in my case for home 1Gbps CAT-5e (10-yr old house).

The Optical Out simply transmits the raw audio which again requires a codec or a receiver with the codec to playback i.e. Dolby, etc. /edit - keep in mind at best 2-speakers 'simulates' surround sound and at best not that great.
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June 21, 2013 9:54:30 AM

Yep I appreciate with 2 speakers(headset) the surround is simulated, but its' way better than the stereo sound I'm getting via USB connection.

I'm sure the Mixamp has Doby codec, so is it correct to assume that the raw audio coming through the optical out and into mixamp will result in surround sound?
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 10:10:30 AM

Well did you ever look on how many codecs there are for Dolby? 8 channels is Dolby TrueHD and few if any games actually support it, most are DTS/DDL. Pff it depends upon the source and an IF there's a corresponding codec. Most USB headsets are simulated so I seriously doubt it will be an issue. Clearly with a USB headset a Sound Card is a waste.
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June 21, 2013 10:41:47 AM

Sorry, I'm a total noob with all this sound stuff. I think I now understand that just because something has optical it wont necessarily be transmitting Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

I'm not sure what codecs the Astro Mixamp contains. All I know is it has a dolby symbol on it :/  So the question is, what does the motherboard send out over optical, and what does the mixamp do with it.

I shall seek answers on the Astro website.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
June 21, 2013 11:57:15 AM

One more question, why do need two GTX 780's? For pretty much any game on its' highest setting on a vanilla HD (1920x1080 @ 60 Hz) a single GTX 780 is plenty.

SLI is fine if you have a 2560x1600 or higher resolution monitor(s).
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June 21, 2013 12:39:18 PM

Aiming for 120Fps on my 120hz BenQ monitor.
And I want the power available if I go for triple monitors at a later date.
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