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I'm getting the logitech x540 surround sound. onboard vs sound card?

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April 8, 2010 6:32:53 PM

I have a ga ep45 ud3r mobo with realtek HD audio, would it be worth it to buy a sound card or no?
April 8, 2010 7:17:53 PM

That Realtek onboard sound card is good.
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April 8, 2010 7:40:42 PM

it'll sound good but a sound card will sound better, try with the onboard sound first and see what you think. If you do want to upgrade asus has some great cards under a $100, a customer has the d1 and it is pushing a bose system beautifully
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April 9, 2010 9:37:29 PM

any reccomended sound cards for this system? i have vista 64 bit
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April 10, 2010 4:32:41 AM

For speakers like that, there's essentially no reason to get a sound card. Onboard will do just fine.

(Besides, if you had any desire to spend another $100 on sound, you'd be better off buying better speakers and still using the onboard, rather than getting a sound card with those)
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April 10, 2010 7:17:17 AM

The 540s put out great sound for the price. If you're gonna use your p.c. for multimedia, do yourself a favor and buy a 5.1 or 7.1 sound card. Avoid onboard at all costs if you value decent sound, especially for music and movies.
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April 10, 2010 11:25:28 AM

with ASUS soundcards, u should still be able to hear some differences and by the way, buying a 100 dollar speaker aint gonna be much difference from the x540.

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April 12, 2010 3:55:17 AM

Dirtman73 said:
The 540s put out great sound for the price. If you're gonna use your p.c. for multimedia, do yourself a favor and buy a 5.1 or 7.1 sound card. Avoid onboard at all costs if you value decent sound, especially for music and movies.

That simply isn't as true as it used to be. The difference in noise floor and dynamic range between onboard and dedicated sound is not audible in a cheap surround setup like the X540.

(Yes, I have a dedicated sound card, but I also have much better speakers, and even so, the difference is barely audible)
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April 12, 2010 11:49:44 AM

but frequency range, should be noticable. if not then some overtones at least.
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April 12, 2010 11:55:15 AM

cjl

dont u have your soundcard connected to a reciver though spdif?
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April 12, 2010 11:55:33 AM

Its what assuming anyway.
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April 12, 2010 4:14:08 PM

Quality questions aside, the best two soundcards for under $100 are the ASUS Xonar D1/DX, and the HT Omega Striker.
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April 12, 2010 5:13:57 PM

MEgamer said:
but frequency range, should be noticable. if not then some overtones at least.

Modern onboard sound can reproduce 20-20,000 Hz quite well. As I said, the difference is barely audible, even with an extremely nice sound system.
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April 12, 2010 5:15:27 PM

MEgamer said:
cjl

dont u have your soundcard connected to a reciver though spdif?

Currently, yes. I've tried it both with analog and digital hookups, and there's no audible difference. Because of that, I use SPDIF via a fiber optic cable, since I only need to use a single cable that way.
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April 12, 2010 5:19:11 PM

Your money would be better spent on higher end speakers than a sound card. The 540's are merely ok speakers. I picked up a set for the wife and I cannot say I am real impressed with them.
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April 12, 2010 8:38:43 PM

roofus said:
Your money would be better spent on higher end speakers than a sound card. The 540's are merely ok speakers. I picked up a set for the wife and I cannot say I am real impressed with them.

Exactly.

For $180 or so, you could get a good sound card and a set of X540s, or you could get a set of better speakers, and no sound card. The second option will give you significantly better sound.
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April 15, 2010 10:10:19 AM

I'm not aware of any modern DAC made in the last few years that wasn't ruler flat from 20-20KHz. The only things that could affect it in regular use are poor resampling algorithms (as all DACs have a native sampling rate, mostly 96KHz but some are 192KHz now).

Some DACs only handle resampling well with certain (read: cookie cutter) frequencies, such as 24/48, and have trouble with 22/44/88. Noticeably, the X-Fi is one of them...although Creative isn't exactly well known for high fidelity anyway.

The new HD onboards are getting real good now though. Unless you have a dud motherboard with grounding issues, your onboard should sound indistinguishable from any discrete soundcard. Some claim you can hear the difference between a Delta Sigma DAC and the ESS modulation technique...although 99.9% of DACs on the market are DS, so that's moot point.
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April 15, 2010 10:52:55 AM

many people will probably move on to seperate ampilifiers and A/V recivers.
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