/ Sign-up
Your question

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Add an Audio Card?

  • Motherboards
  • Realtek
  • ASrock
  • Audio
Last response: in Home Audio
July 23, 2013 4:14:37 PM

Would an audio card be an improvement to my ASRock Z77 Extreme4 motherboard? According to and, the motherboard has Realtek ALC898 built in.

My speakers are Logitech Z623. They were a very good choice. Love them. I wonder, however, if the addition of a sound card can make my music and movies even better.

After researching sound cards at and at, I decided I might like the ASUS Xonar Essence ST. But will this improve anything?


More about : asrock z77 extreme4 add audio card

Best solution

July 23, 2013 6:28:40 PM

The top 10 reviews look dated even though it says 2013.

For gaming the Creative "Z" series are probably the best but since you just have a 2.1 system it might be worth it in terms of surround sound.

Will a sound card improve your sound? Maybe, it depends on how good your on board sound is and if you are getting any EMI(electro-magnetic interference). The soundcards have EMI shielding which might help with the analog output, in terms of noise. You probably won't hear any perceived differences in sound but after spending a bunch of money buying a sound card, your brain will probably perceive a difference because it needs to justify the cost.

Once you get over a certain amount of SNR or THD lets say 100, 99.7%(guessing) of the worlds population won't hear a difference.

Even though the Z623 are good PC speakers, they aren't good speakers compared to decent home speakers. People will claim they can hear a difference but if you sat them down and did a bunch of A/B comparison tests then they would probably won't be able to pick out any differences using the equipment you are using.

Personally I feel you are better off spending the money on some better speakers or just getting some good headphones. That will have a greater impact on your sound then a sound card would.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...