Onboard Sound Rethink!

I know it has improved with HD Audio support etc... over the years, but seriously, who on earth builds a PC with an Extreme Edition CPU & £300 graphics card and then uses onboard sound?

I think that any motherboard over £200 (and possibly lower) should not have any onboard sound. If this was the case then it would free up the IO panel designers who wouldn't have to put up with that huge 6 port block of headphone sockets. For example, the original ASUS Rampage board had an opening on the IO panel for the use of an aditional fan blowing across the chipset and out of the case. Things like this would be easier to implement with no sound ports getting in the way.

Also the initial cost of the board could be cheaper meaning that people who were happy with low quality sound could still buy a £10 sound card.

I know from discussions with friends about home cinema that people always go on about video quality & size and audio never really gets much thought, but on PCs of this budget, it just doesn't make sense to use such a low quality component.

This will be a difficult argument to win as most of you are probably sat there typing whilst your MP3s blast out of your onboard sound cards, but what do you think - Yay or Nay?

In case you would be happy with a half way house then I propose the onboard sound being supplied on a riser card so that we can just remove it altogether...

PS I don't own shares in Creative Labs or anything :)
9 answers Last reply
More about onboard sound rethink
  1. For the majority of users, on-board sound is good enough. And with modern, multi-core CPU's, CPU utilization doesn't matter much.
  2. Eh i don't mind the onboard Audio. Serves well for normal use and whenever a card is installed the onboard audio remains as a back up x)
  3. i prefer to have on board on my gaming desktop just because it frees up expansion slot

    and here is something to consider about taking it out on high end boards, with a board that supports quad-sli (crossfire) of dual slot cards, there isn't any room left for a discrete sound card and typically these bards are quite expensive
  4. ^+1 true that. Not much room for an optional audio card if you do that. nice point there mindless x)
  5. Interesting thoughts. I would counter argue the SLi point by saying that all tests show 3 way or 4 way SLi to be hugely compromised and certainly not worth the minimal extra frame rates when power & heat are taken into consideration.

    I suppose I was driving at a more balanced system where all components are of a high quality - I mean I would argue that the money required for 4 way SLi would produce a very unbalanced system should onboard sound be used with that setup - not that it wouldn't work - simply that it would be like putting low end tinny speakers in a Rolls Royce - certainly not up to snuff with the rest of the system.

    Also I would point out that the original Asus Rampage board had a 1 x PCIe slot above the first full PCIe slot - a nice way to get around your problem.
  6. Well onboard audio isn't all that bad. Plus you can connect some good quality speakers with clean bass and clear voice. But if that's an issue then just buy some quality headphones.

    I'm using my onboard audio that's connected to my HDTV which are both connected to my stereo & my 2.1 sound system (nothing fancy :lol:) - clean loud bass with clear voice so i can hear all the yabbering on black ops xDD.
  7. though i would like to reply a nah, onboard is fine for most people (myself included), unless you have very high quality speakers you probably wouldn't even notice

    though the halfway point of having a special port isn't that good either, it would add a bit of cost to motherboards that doesn't need to be there

    as for removing it for extra cooling, realistically they could just put a fan on it as if you have that good of a board you normally hve a good case with good airflow
  8. I use onboard for gaming Love it my self! I have owned a audigy. 3 gamer I really don't see much difference between that and the one I have now. having the extra 2 inch hole with a 9x5 card blocking air flow from your gpu would be a big difference Ill take the Onboard any day.

    don't hurt my feelings over the size of card i'm sure they are smaller :P
  9. Has there been measurements on audio quality onboard vs sound cards? Back in the day I recall a nice article where one guy was measuring the different sound blasters, SNR, THD and such stuff (the el chepo sb64 was actually better than their high end Live256 or whatever it was called, in some measurements) - onboard might not have been included, wasn't worth it ;)

    Anyway I wonder who would connect even $500 speakers to a $3 integrated audio chipset?
Ask a new question

Read More