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do i need a sound card

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  • Sound Cards
  • Gaming
  • Music
  • Components
  • Product
Last response: in Components
August 10, 2008 10:44:23 PM

hi all,

i'm considering getting a sound card for my pc but my question is will i notice a difference.

i use my pc for gaming but not music ( mainly COD4 ) so will i hear a benifit.

thanks in advanced.

More about : sound card

August 10, 2008 10:54:44 PM

Depends what speakers you're using. What speakers are you using?
August 10, 2008 11:11:51 PM

dont laugh at me, i use the inbuilt ones in my 32in HD TV, there not the best but not that bad either.

thanks
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August 10, 2008 11:27:09 PM

Quote:
sure, why not.


^ +1
August 10, 2008 11:35:43 PM

It depends on the person, some people do not find a point for them. I personally used to be one of those until I got mine, and I can tell you I can hear a big difference in sound quality (and I only have a $50 headset) and also in sound positioning (CMSS-3D actually works) while in games. (On this tactical night-mod server on COD4 I was able to track down my enemies pretty accurately by closing my eyes and listening for footsteps)

I suggest that if gaming is your primary concern (like it was for me) that you get an X-Fi card, possibly the cheapest decent creative card, the X-Fi XtremeGamer.

Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And try to get a decent set of speakers/headset to hear even better improvement over your current audio.
August 10, 2008 11:39:51 PM

thanks, i think i will get a sound card and a headset now, once again thanks
August 10, 2008 11:43:30 PM

i have a sound card, and i love it. i dont recommend creative however they are very quick to stop making drivers when their products get old.

the Asus Zonar on the otherhand look like a good peice of kit.
August 10, 2008 11:50:18 PM

Dont do it for inbuilt tv speakers, i dont care how good you think they are... they wont be.

Main reasons for getting an addon soundcard is for added connectivity (becoming less and less of an issue these days with onboard having digital in/out) Support for codecs and encoding/decoding... and better sound quality. However, if the speakers arent any good the quality will not go up.
August 11, 2008 12:02:37 AM

I recommend the Razer Barracuda pairing, the AC-1 (sound card) and HP-1 (5.1 headset). I love 'em :) 
August 11, 2008 1:03:40 PM

A few weeks ago I'd say yes. But I was really supprised with the onboard quality of my 780i mobo.

So what mobo do you have?
August 11, 2008 6:22:55 PM

It really depends on the quality of the output device, headphones or speakers and amp. If you're gaming a Creative card can theoretically speed up gaming by ~15% (but this is widely debated). For your TV's speakers, even if they seem pretty good, they're probably not (unless truly marketed as being superior...and even then I'd be skeptical). I don't think you'll hear any improvement from buying a sound card. I'd not be surprised if your TV's amps/speakers have such a high THD+N and low S/N ratio on them that adding a sound card for better sound is just an exercise in spending money.

Now, if the TV is marketed as having superior sound quality (SQ) and you want to get the most out of that you'll have to test it out for yourself. I'd not recommend buying anything more than, say, a Creative Extreme Audio for a few bucks and I think that's way overkill for your application, except that it might ease your mind.

For instance, the Dell 32" LCD we use in the bedroom was marketed as having really great sound. Well, it sounds better than what is on most TV's, but your standards would have to be pretty low to be really impressed by it from a SQ perspective, despite Dell's marketing attempts. The speakers are still not high enough resolution to let you hear great SQ so adding a soundcard to improve the SQ is useless. However, a soundcard might get you some cool DSP effects and a contemporary, non-Extreme Audio card from Creative could potentially speed up gaming.

Again, the truth is that onboard sound quality is really good enough unless you've got mid-to-high end speakers+amp/receiver so don't waste the money.