Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Sound card or on board audio?

Last response: in Components
Share
February 4, 2014 5:51:52 PM

I'm in the process of building my new gaming pc and I'm thinking about buying a sound card. I don't have a lot to spend on one (max $80). Should I bother getting one in that price range or stick with the on board audio in my MSI Z87-G45? If so what are some recommendations in that price range? I don't know much about sound cards so any suggestions are helpful. Thanks!

More about : sound card board audio

a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
February 4, 2014 5:58:24 PM

If you run some good headphones and find the volume not enough then i advise to get a soundcard with a headphone amp. Or if you want real time 5.1 digital encoding through the optical/coax output of the sound then you also might want a sound card, like a
SBz. for general gaming and music and movies through some pretty standard logitech computer speakers or similar, your probably not going to notice a difference between onboard and dedicated sound card.
m
0
l
February 4, 2014 6:02:57 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
If you run some good headphones and find the volume not enough then i advise to get a soundcard with a headphone amp. Or if you want real time 5.1 digital encoding through the optical/coax output of the sound then you also might want a sound card, like a
SBz. for general gaming and music and movies through some pretty standard logitech computer speakers or similar, your probably not going to notice a difference between onboard and dedicated sound card.


I do have a good pair of headphones and a surround sound system I would like to hook it up to... But would I notice a difference in audio quality in a sound card at that price point?
m
0
l
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2014 2:21:39 AM

NickHalls said:
iam2thecrowe said:
If you run some good headphones and find the volume not enough then i advise to get a soundcard with a headphone amp. Or if you want real time 5.1 digital encoding through the optical/coax output of the sound then you also might want a sound card, like a
SBz. for general gaming and music and movies through some pretty standard logitech computer speakers or similar, your probably not going to notice a difference between onboard and dedicated sound card.


I do have a good pair of headphones and a surround sound system I would like to hook it up to... But would I notice a difference in audio quality in a sound card at that price point?

i have a sound blaster z, and for headphones at least the difference is significant. I only have an average pair of 2.1 logitech speakers and the difference there is less noticable, but there is a difference, the low end and high frequencies dont roll off as much as my onboard audio, and there is better eq control and some other gaming features that work well, and virtual surround for 2 channel.
m
0
l
February 5, 2014 5:46:58 PM

Hi,

Sorry to slightly hijack the thread but I didn't want to create a new thread for an almost identical question.

I am building a PC for my dad with spare parts I have upgraded from, over the years. He is a bit of an audiophile and I really want him to play Bioshock on his 7.1 surround sound system, in a pitch black room (that is a truly creep game that would be terrifying to play with surround sound).

Should I keep the on-board drivers on my MSI P55-GD65 or splash out for a good Sound card?

sorry again for hijacking :/ 
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
February 12, 2014 7:14:01 AM

Soundcards are always better. Whether you have equipment that can benefit is a different matter.

At the sub-$100 price point, there are basically three options to recommend:

1: ASUS Xonar DG(X): Around $40, 5.1, with headphone amp.
2: ASUS Xonar DX: Around $80, 7.1, no headphone amp.
3: Creative Soundblaster Z: Around $99, 7.1, with headphone amp.

The DX is getting on in years, but remains a solid option. At this point though, I'd recommend the Z over the DX. The DG(X) is a very attractive entry option if you don't need multichannel 7.1 output.
m
0
l

Best solution

February 12, 2014 7:49:48 AM

Dear NickHalls, I do not recommend any sound cards specially for MSI Z87-G45 GAMING for normal use like Gaming, Musics and Movies for 2 main reasons:
* Using sound cards will conflict with other firmware in some cases (like mine sound blaster Zx) got some conflict with ASUS GTX 780 sound firmware, toke me some time to fix it and some times when you run something it change some sound settings and I have to fix it manually.
* Your MSI Z87-G45 GAMING mobo on-board sound card is SBX Sound Blaster Cinema with Pro Studio technology and AUDIO BOOST technology with 600Ω Headphone amplifier that EQUAL to $80 sound card price range.

For you mikeyg77156, If you really wanna enjoy with games and movies get ASUS Xonar DX or Creative Soundblaster Z/Zx/Zxr WITH HIGH quality speakers otherwise you will not get the benefit of that sound card.

Best regards, Faisal
Share
a b 4 Gaming
a b V Motherboard
February 14, 2014 12:42:12 PM

Quote:
Your MSI Z87-G45 GAMING mobo on-board sound card is SBX Sound Blaster Cinema with Pro Studio technology and AUDIO BOOST technology with 600Ω Headphone amplifier that EQUAL to $80 sound card price range.


Not even close to equaling a dedicated soundcard. Main processing chip is still the standard Realtek RT ALC898. SnR for the ALC898 is decent at 110dB, but loses head to head to the DX (116dB). In other specs [THD+N, Frequency Response], it looses even to the DGX. And the other components on the chip are "industry standard", which kills quality in other, unmeasureable ways.

My mobo has a ALC898 chipset as its audio out. I also have a Xense, Razer Barracuda [Same exact C-Media chipset as the DX], and an aged X-Fi ExtremeGamer. All three of these give me better audio quality then the ALC 898. [Tested on my Audio Technica ATH-M50's; no gain when using my Xense]

So no; a $40 soundcard beats this chip head to head.
m
0
l
February 14, 2014 1:09:38 PM

Yeah I'm actually reconsidering it. I now realize I need something with an optical audio out...
m
0
l
!