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What gives best audio? on-board mobo, HDMI audio, sound blaster?

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November 23, 2009 10:31:51 AM

hi guys - i just build a new system, and am now trying to figure out which audio port to jack my headphones into. which hardware component will give me the best sound? i will primarily be listening through headphones to games/music.

MOBO on-board Realtek audio
GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDMI Audio via Radeon HD 5770 graphics accelerator?

my old PCI Soundblaster Audigy 2 i tossed into the system.

thank you!
wyn
November 23, 2009 10:55:19 AM

you won't notice much, if any, difference tbh.

i would use the soundcard, then at least you are using it and giving the cpu 0.0000~0001 less things to do.

even though your on-board sound is probably superior.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2009 4:46:43 PM

Try the onboard and the Soundblaster. If you cant tell the difference or onboard sounds better than pull the soundblaster out. Its a power waster/heat generator that doesnt need to be in there if you arent using it. Dispose of the soundblaster card responsibly.
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November 23, 2009 5:05:06 PM

the realtec chip will beat the audigy. since you are using headphones it kinda a moot point anyway you won't hear the diff.
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November 23, 2009 7:40:33 PM

dndhatcher said:
Try the onboard and the Soundblaster. If you cant tell the difference or onboard sounds better than pull the soundblaster out. Its a power waster/heat generator that doesnt need to be in there if you arent using it. Dispose of the soundblaster card responsibly.


You don't have to get rid of it. Just stick it in an anti-static bag and leave it in a safe place in case you need it in the future. Unlike most hardware, sound cards don't get outdated very easy. About the only real way to make a sound card totally useless is if the system bus is no longer supported (like how ISA is no longer with us). Also, one that is not that good can be used for testing. Lets say you get one of the Sound Blaster Titanium Fatal1ty Professional cards and about a month later you are getting no sound. Having an older card on hand that you know works would help you determine if it is the card or not.
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November 23, 2009 11:55:01 PM

thanks guys for the advice. i'll be removing the soundblaster shortly!

i really do like the soundblaster "WHAT-YOU-HEAR" channel on the audio mixer that lets you record anything the soundcard is playing. any chance the on-board realtek can do that too? what software would i use?

as for ISA cards, i'm feeling a little nostalgic about my old GRAVIS ULTRASOUND from 1993. those cards were fricken huge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravis_Ultrasound
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
November 24, 2009 12:08:48 AM

The discrete sound cards still have a slight advantage over builtin sound, but the differences are getting smaller.

The big advantange that the latest SB cards in gaming have is complete adherance to the EAX 5.0 standard. And the differences here can be subtle.
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