on-board sound vs. sb live!

i'm just curious which ones is better, i got Gigabyte K8NSC MB with onboard ALC850 (Realtek AC'97 Audio 8channel) and also have this 3-4year old SB Live! value pci card.
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  1. I've got Realtek onboard sound and 2 SB Live!s in the same system. On of the Lives is a little dodgy, I duno if that's the exception but, hey, half of the Live!s I've had have broken.

    I use the Realtek onboard for convenience, but I do think the SB Live sounds better, although still not great.
  2. They probably have about the same capabilities, but the PCI card will always sound cleaner. Onboard sound in my experience always suffers from noise. It's tough for it to be isolated with so many high frequency components packed on to the same board.

    Case in point, I just built a PC for a friend, and he decided to stick with the onboard AC97. I used headphones during the setup and once I got the sound installed, there was a hum everytime the mouse was moved. I'm assuming it was because the USB header was too close to the sound chip (USB mouse).
  3. from personally experience, i think 24-bit live is better than onboard, although not a lot like others have mentioned.
  4. Yes there will be a difference in sound quality but not all people can notice this differeces , its all depend on your ear :P and what kind of speaker you are going to use...for headphone i think with on board you will notice a humming sound...
    You can always try the sb live first ... if you dont deel the diff then just go with the onboard :D
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