X-Fi vs onboard

after reading;

I was thinking would it better to keep the onboard sound card with my new board ~ M3A32-MVP Deluxe/WiFi-AP, using the onboard souncard;

"High Definition Audio
The onboard 6-channel High Definition audio CODEC enables high-quality Realtek audio CODEC, which automatically detects and identifies what types of peripherals are plugged into the audio I/O jacks and notifies users of inappropriate connection, meaning there will be no more confusion of Line-in, Line-out and Mic jacks.

S/PDIF-out on Back I/O Port
This motherboard provides convenient connectivity to external home theater audio systems via coaxial and optical S/PDIF-out (SONY-PHILIPS Digital Interface) jacks. It allows to transfer digital audio without converting to analog format and keeps the best"

doesnt show what sound card chipset is used, but isit it better then my spare care (from my last computer build)
"Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Music OEM Soundcard"
which I got from ebay about 1 year ago.

so would it be better to leave the onboard SC or install the xfi on this board?

Im bulding the comp for mainly gaming but I am not a hardcore OC'er or Hardcore gamer so I wont be spending £000's for something that says nothing but overkill. Having 2 sata drives with 1 for Xp pro SP3 and second using Vista 64bit Pro (or home edition, still yet to buy this)
I will be installing Crysis, FEAR, COD 1 + 2 + United Offensive + 4, Soldier Of Fortune Payback and new releases yet to come in 2008

Ive ordered "Creative Inspire T7900 7.1 Speaker System Dolby EX DTS ES Directsound Ready" from scan.co.uk

So will the onboard SC be good enough or isit best to use my xfi card?
3 answers Last reply
More about onboard
  1. Up to you. Listen to the onboard for awhile and then install the X-fi and see if you like it better.
    Generally add on cards are usually better at surround sound, especially EAX. But in the end its up to the user to decide if the sound quality is better or worse for them.
  2. Correct. It boils down to personal taste and what you actually use your sound card for.

    If your just using you PC to brows the net and watch a few videos on youtube, then onboard audio is more than sufficient. Even for DVD's, on=board audio is farely okay, especially if you don't have quality speakers connected to it, you wouldn't be able to notice any better.

    X-Fi cards on the other hand (Except for X-fi xtreme Audio) are more focused on performance + quality. For an example, I'm a hardcore gamer and my FPS rates were way low when using on-board (Realtek) to play games like CMR DiRT. As soon as I plugged in a X-Fi Xtreme gamer card, the FPS rate jumped up heaps.

    X-Fi too has those auto detecting jacks, but it doesn't tell you that you have plugged your mike to the speaker socket. It also does have Digita I/O (Optical output).

    X-Fi is not the best card available for the money either (Again, it's personal taste). There are manufacturers like Bluegears who has put out sound cards that are capable of producing way higher quality sounds than any of the X-Fi series soundcards, but the X-fi card suits me fine coz it has it's own memory (Like a video card) to boost it's performance for games.

    If you need quality, having a good sound card alone is not going to be enough. You'd need good speakers too.
  3. Boxa said:
    so would it be better to leave the onboard SC or install the xfi on this board?

    Im bulding the comp for mainly gaming

    So will the onboard SC be good enough or isit best to use my xfi card?

    X-Fi Extreme Music uses CA20K1 processor, which will definitely is good for gaming, both for EAX and OpenAL enabled titles.
    I did some measurements in a CPU-limited environment, and I've found that using X-Fi CA20Kx instead onboard audio brings a signifiant performance improvement.
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