Sound Card or Network Card

So I'm going into the Navy... And when I get out of Bootcamp I will have my first opportunity to buy a new, Top-of-the-Line, computer.

However, i ran into what I imagine is a common problem... I ran out of slots to put things. So i have the choice, I can either get a Network card or a Sound card with my remaining PCI slot.

I know i will not lag with the motherboard i chose, and i'm sure the sound will work using it also.

So my question boils down to this:

Which card would take more stress off off my CPU's processing power. A sound card or network card?

Please explain your answer

Thank You

6 answers Last reply
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  1. I would chose a sound card, since it's made to take the sound processing load off the cpu and I would only purchase one if you really intend on getting a good sound card. Don't waste you money on a cheap sound card when your onboard one will sound better.

    The only way I would chose a Nic card is: 1. The motherboard doesn't have one and all motherboards now have at least one. 2. I needed a second one. (Normally used if you're hosting your own ftp site and want to restrict all traffic through one Ip address) & 3. You have the extra money to spend/waste on a gaming Nic card.

    It would also help if you list your current spec's.
  2. I was leaving the question a little general so 'brand loyalty' didn't factor into the answers i got but if the listing the system i was looking at would help.... I was looking at getting a x58 motherboard, overclocked intel I7 975 extreme, and dual Nvidia 295's.

    The Network card would be a Killer Xenon and the Sound card would be a Creative sound blaster
  3. hmm, go with the sound card and make sure you get either 5.1 surround sound headset or an 7.1 surround sound setup for better movies and games
    there are many reviews out there that basicaly say going with the nic card doesn't really help your ping, its better to just go with better internet provider if you want that
  4. Don't get either, use the money on a better processor, ram, or video card. Creative labs drivers will cause you more headache than it's worth and network cards don't do much.
  5. You are at the point of diminishing return for your money.

    That network card isnt going to do anything for you - UNLESS you are connected into a 100M pipe but then it doesn't matter because you are connected into a 100M pipe.
    Creative sounds cards give you back say - 5fps - but with this setup you really dont care again. The Creative drivers are generally crap nowadays (and yes I have one).

    I would spend the money on an Intel SSD and if you are already getting one, then get a second and RAID 0 them. An X58 motherboard can handle them
  6. Vista/Win7 does ALL sound processing as 32bit Single-Precision Floating Points at the software level. Hardware accelerated sound is no longer supported for Vista/Win7

    Audio is processed by the CPU then streamed directly to the soundcard. The sound card doesn't actually do any work other than convert the digital stream to analog for your mini-outs. If you have a digital out, then the soundcard doesn't do anything.

    Anyway, I voted for network card, since network cards can actually offload work.
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