Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Onboard vs PCI

Tags:
  • Sound Cards
  • Audio
  • Components
Last response: in Components
Share
November 11, 2006 2:46:14 AM

Hello,

When it comes to audio cards, I'm a noob, I never really needed to have anything else but onboard audio, but I'm thinking about it now.

The thing is, I really don't want (or can't) spend much money on this, so it's either a low budget audio card or stay with onboard. The reason: games, "TESIV Oblivion" actually (damn machine destroyer)

My motherboard is a MSI K9N Platinum which comes with a Realtek ALC883 8 channels chip. So the question is, regarding performance on games:

Would a "Creative Sound Blaster SB0570 Audigy SE 7.1" be better than my actual onboard audio?? would the processor load (AMD X2 4200 AM2) drop at all by installing a PCI audio card? (remember no Xi-Fi please, no money T_T)

I would appreciate your opinions. Thank you.

More about : onboard pci

November 11, 2006 3:18:35 AM

Well I like to listen to music, at the moment I have an auidigy 2, but want an xfi due to the mp3's sounding a lot better - can anyone tell me if mp3's do sound better?
November 12, 2006 2:21:49 AM

Ideas? anyone? :( 
November 12, 2006 3:20:33 AM

It really depends. If, in a game that supports them, you turn on all sorts of sound options, then yes, having a sound card will make a difference. Also, get at least an Audigy 2, the X-Fi is unnecessary, though nice if you can afford it, but if you're going to shell out the money for a sound card, I recommend an Audigy 2 (or equivalent card from another manufacturer).
November 12, 2006 3:35:21 AM

Any decent sound card will tend to have cleaner analog output- but that's not what you asked about.

For your purpose, a sound card will be such a minor change that it's not worthwhile. You'll have to upgrade video then CPU to get any significant gain.
November 13, 2006 8:23:41 AM

Quote:
Hello,

When it comes to audio cards, I'm a noob, I never really needed to have anything else but onboard audio, but I'm thinking about it now.

The thing is, I really don't want (or can't) spend much money on this, so it's either a low budget audio card or stay with onboard. The reason: games, "TESIV Oblivion" actually (damn machine destroyer)

My motherboard is a MSI K9N Platinum which comes with a Realtek ALC883 8 channels chip. So the question is, regarding performance on games:

Would a "Creative Sound Blaster SB0570 Audigy SE 7.1" be better than my actual onboard audio?? would the processor load (AMD X2 4200 AM2) drop at all by installing a PCI audio card? (remember no Xi-Fi please, no money T_T)

I would appreciate your opinions. Thank you.



I dug this thread up as I think it still has some relevance...

Quote:
Back when I followed the tech stuff closer, there seemed to be two different thoughts, one was that having a dedicated sound card took load off the CPU, the other was using on-board sound didn't hog enough resources to care.


Mid level and up Creative cards handle their own audio processing, thus relieving the CPU of that task. Is that important? ...depends on the system and whether the CPU can handle audio processing tasks well enough so that frame rate is not impacted. If it can't than any little bit will help and thus the use for an APU. Make sense?

Quote:
Right now, I am using all 7 channels on my on board sound, so I need something that is at least 7.1 capable.


Fair enough. There's plenty of choices in the ~$30 or less range that meet this requirement.

Quote:
The question is, would I see any gains from using a standard cheapo 7.1 sound card, vs. using the on-board sound? Is going cheap (I don't mean dirt cheap, I mean reasonable, say $50) on the sound card a bad idea?


IMHO, yes. An audio card in the $50 range will provide noticably better audio specs than onboard sound. Don't take my subjective word for it. Look up the specs on your onboard sound card (if they can be found) and compare them to those of any sound card you're considering. You'll see dramatic differences (in favor of the sound card) in specs. Way better S/N ratios and Total Harmonic Distortion figures. You do no need a $100 pair of speakers to hear or appreciate the difference in these figures, in my opinion...but you'll enjoy a better soundcard with better speakers. Anyone, please post the specs of their onboard sound's S/N ratios, THD figures, environmental audio capabilities, etc. so we can compare...could be educational. $5 dollar computer speakers should be illegal...but they're not, so we'll have to try to remain saavy enough to avoid them.

Does 64 or 128 voice audio positioning in games sounds the same as 16 or 32 voice audio positioning? I've read over and over that the difference is how well objects can be aurally located in the gaming environment. ...and therefore how quickly a virtual enemy can be located and eradicated. Do seconds count in a First Person shooter? Does audio quality enhance gameplay?

Does Puddle of Mudd, Nelly Furtado, or Bach sound the same in 2-channel stereo as it does in the simulated aural environment of an arena, concert hall, ampitheater on a multi-channel surround speaker setup with accurate positioning, high S/N ratio and low distortion? To my ears there's a detectable distinct difference that I find pleasing when desired...and disabled when not.

These are 2 of the plethora of things that separate onboard audio from a dedicated card such as the Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 4 or X-Fi.

The items I've listed may not be meaningful to you or the OP, if they're not stick with onboard sound. ...but be mindful about trying to convince others that the audio experience from onboard sound is the same as through even a reasonable soundcard. Again, don't take my word for it. Let's talk specs and features if numbers are more your thing.

...this is the low end:

http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1...

http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1...

...and this is not:

http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1...

http://www.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1...
November 13, 2006 1:26:20 PM

Wow :D 

Thanks all of you guys, It's the first time I post on Tom's Hardware and I'm happy I did.

Thanks again.
November 13, 2006 4:39:49 PM

There's some nifty forum members here, enjoy.
November 13, 2006 7:21:04 PM

pfff fuckin cock piss off back to configuring your raid controller.
November 13, 2006 8:37:39 PM

WTF?? Is this supposed to be funny?? Grow up J*****s :roll:
November 17, 2006 11:33:29 PM

If he only has 4 post and he has 4 posts on this thread, perhaps there is some Identity Theft going on. Are you sure this is the same poster?
!