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Do I Need a Sound Card or can I use Onboard?

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January 20, 2009 2:22:16 AM

answered my own question.

More about : sound card onboard

January 20, 2009 3:23:26 AM

From what I hear with PC Speakers (ie Z5500) you won't hear much of a difference between onboard audio and a Sound card but this is a question that is perplexing to me as I am getting ready to start on a Media only PC and have to answer some difficult questions myself.

Not to hijack your thread but I don't see the purpose of starting a new one that is going to ask the very same question.

Old System:
3 Carver Amps 2 TFM 35X and a 15
PreAmp Carver CT-27V
CD Player Carver 360
The 15 was stolen and one of the TFM 35X's is dead so I have left:
1 TFM 35X
Preamp
Carver 360

I'm going to take the one dead TFM 35X and make it the PC and I want to mod the Carver 360 and make it a Blu-Ray / DVD Drive.
So 1st question: Can you Mod an old CD Player so it can Blu-Ray Disks?
I could mod the Amp into a Media Server and then make the PreAmp a HTPC. Most of all I want to keep the looks and the sound of the past just upgrade it to current.
So should I keep the Preamp as it is or Mod it into a HTPC and make the one Amp a Server?
The speakers are kind of old but unbelievably powerful.
The front was Cerwin Vega 15's, Center was Cerwin Vega, and rear was Bose 401's. I want to keep the speakers so I'm going to have to get a 5 Out Amp which means I'll need two more rears which will probably be Bose 201's. I can probably get by with 100 Watts per speaker for the back 4 and Center plus finding the Carver Amp won't be hard.

If I can get by with just running straight from the PC to the amps (and still have surround) then the choice would be pretty easy to bypass the receiver/preamp as there wouldn't be a real need to do so. So do I need a Preamp or Receiver?
I did this early on while building my system by hooking the CD Player directly to the Amp.
If I can should I go ahead and move towards having a Sound Card?

With the above system would I need HDMI or can I get away with just a DVI to the TV? I haven't gotten a display yet as I use the computers for watching and recording right now.

The Pre-Amp in it's current condition has an S/PDIF input and 5.1 Dolby Surround (switch in the back made it 5.0 and I had no need or need a subwoofer) so should I just leave it alone and use the PreAmp?
If that's the case then the onboard should be fine as it's Digital to Digital and it wouldn't make a difference if I had a Sound Card or not... or am I wrong?

Now if I got a Sound Card could I use both the onboard and the Sound card at the same time? Such as listening to music in the shower while at the same time my kids could watch a movie in the living room all from one computer? Is that possible?

Lot's of questions and hopefully I can get them all straightened out here.


January 20, 2009 3:50:05 AM

imo i wouldnt spend more money on a sound card when you could spend it on a better video card and get a better gaming experience... sound doesnt make much difference to me.
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January 20, 2009 4:38:31 AM

If you game onboard sound EAX 0 ...Creative Xfi soundcard EAX 5 . You do see a big difference.
For music who knows i'm tone deaf..maybe a bit of a difference but i've not noticed anything earthshattering
January 25, 2009 7:26:35 PM

Does True EAX Work in Vista yet? Last I heard about it the new driver model for Vista breaks the X-Fi cards. They were making a open AI wrapper patch for it.

EAX support is only software emulated now.

So my X-Fi extreme Music card has a high class DSP processor on it that sits idle while my CPU runs all the sound files in software.

Because I have that card in my system, I am allowed to emulate EAX but I really wanted the hardware excelleration of the sound processor.

This is because Vista doesn't allow drivers to directly access hardware like it used to in XP.

I have noticed EAX capable audio is available on the new X48 and X58 boards. They don't have a creative labs processor on board. They just emulate it like my X-Fi has to now.

Anyone know if this has been fixed.
!