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Sound Card - On the Board or Separate Card?

Last response: in Components
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November 7, 2009 3:12:33 PM

Currently pricing a new system based on the I-7 920 cpu. Trying to decide if a sound card is worth the $100 or so extra over sound on the MB. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Randy
a b à CPUs
November 7, 2009 4:41:51 PM

If you care about the quality of you audio, yes it very much is worth it.
Just do your self a favor and avoid any Creative products....
For an excellent quality value card, I would highly recommend either the ASUS Xonar Dx (PCIe) or Xonar D1 (PCI).
Both offer exceptional sound quality, especially considering the price.
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a b à CPUs
November 7, 2009 6:37:59 PM

Onboard sound is actually pretty good with X58 motherboards... The question is, is the difference between very good and great worth $100?
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a c 314 à CPUs
November 7, 2009 6:49:11 PM

tortnotes said:
Onboard sound is actually pretty good with X58 motherboards... The question is, is the difference between very good and great worth $100?

Try onboard first, you will probably be fine. You can always add a sound card later.
I tried an add on card once and could not tell the difference. Tin ears perhaps...
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November 7, 2009 8:53:05 PM


high end sound cards can provide more crisp, clear, and bass sound to your music,games,movies.. believe me i had compared them.
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November 7, 2009 9:15:53 PM

It's honestly really hard to tell without testing them all. I had a $15 headset which I used for a year and thought it was fine.

When I upgraded to an $80 one it's amazing. Not saying there will be a difference, or if you will notice a difference, but it's hard to know unless you test because everyone has different ears.
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November 8, 2009 12:45:03 AM

Well, I have tried the HT Omega Striker, and I can tell you it deliver. The price is nice and the sound quality is awesome. 10 bands equalizer included for the sound that you research. This thing is ideal for music, videos and gaming. If I remember well, EAX is also supported. A nice 7.1 dolby compatible soundcard.

For 70$ it's a steal.
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November 8, 2009 12:50:09 AM

tortnotes said:
Onboard sound is actually pretty good with X58 motherboards... The question is, is the difference between very good and great worth $100?
It will never be able to match a DSP emulating your sound. Sound cards are as important than video cards. If you can spend useless money on a LGA1366 board, you can spend 80$ on a high end dolby sound card for making your PC the perfect HTPC.

The difference in quality isn't even close. You can adjust every bands of sound to get the sound you want. Onboard sound don't do that.


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November 8, 2009 4:04:05 AM


ok if you only have headset onboard is fine.. and if you have best speakers then sound card is just for you...
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November 8, 2009 2:04:37 PM

Oi dont start on that! :) 

I have quite a few sennheisers and even the cheap one sounds better than most of speakers..
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November 8, 2009 4:26:25 PM

I would just try the onboard first when you get it, if you like it, chalk it up as $$ saved and be happy. If it's not to your liking, get an add on card. But I know on my board, it is supposed to be 7.1 hi def sound. Don't ask me how true that is, but seems fine for what I do.
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November 8, 2009 4:47:47 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I've decided to save a few bucks and go with the onboard sound. As has been suggested twice, I can always upgrade later if not satisfied. Also, thanks for the alternatives to Creative. I have always used Creative's cards in the past and have had no trouble, but its been 5 - 6 years since I've purchased one.

Thanks again
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