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Video Cards with sound

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 28, 2010 6:25:46 PM

I have the GTX 480. I have been using the audio from this but have also been wanting to get a sound card. before i purchase the sound card i'd like to know the following.

how is the quality of the onboard audio in video cards compaired to an after market sound card? Im specifically looking at geting the creative fatality.

Is there a way to get a headphone output from the video card?

How what are the performance differences when using the onboard sound on a GPU vs a seperate sound card?

I was suprised i could not find any discussions about this anywhere.

Thanks.
Brian

More about : video cards sound

a b U Graphics card
June 28, 2010 10:09:19 PM

The quality from an onboard motherboard sound chip to a dedicated after market card depends greatly on your motherboard and what you're using your PC for. If you're using your PC for sound and/or video editing, or if you're using it as a home theater PC, then you'll definitely notice a difference. If it's just gaming, you probably won't notice a difference unless you REALLY listen for it.

As far as I know, there is no way to get the headphone output from the video card.

Lastly, the performance differential is very very minor. Enough of which it wouldn't be a deciding factor. The real deciding factor is how many channels your motherboard's onboard sound can handle and the clarity of the audio itself.

Granted, I'm no Audiophile, so my opinion may be skewed a bit.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
June 28, 2010 11:36:32 PM

The audio on the video card is strictly to output over HDMI (though I believe it may be possible over Display Port depending on the updated specification). I suppose if you use an HDMI cable and connect it to a Digital receiver before you output the video to a monitor you could get the audio that way :D . Anyway, a soundcard can output audio in an analog format for you to enjoy on your headphones. The digital sound on the video card is pretty much just passing it along for some other device, like your monitor or TV, to decode.
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June 29, 2010 2:28:41 AM

I see so probally not really worth investing into a soundcard then.
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June 29, 2010 3:28:33 AM

brianfulcher15 said:
I have the GTX 480. I have been using the audio from this but have also been wanting to get a sound card. before i purchase the sound card i'd like to know the following.

how is the quality of the onboard audio in video cards compaired to an after market sound card? Im specifically looking at geting the creative fatality.

Is there a way to get a headphone output from the video card?

How what are the performance differences when using the onboard sound on a GPU vs a seperate sound card?

I was suprised i could not find any discussions about this anywhere.

Thanks.
Brian


Hi Brian,

I think you have mixed things up a bit. There is no actual sound generator on a video card. All the cards do is just pass the information from the sound generator (onboard sound chip) to the output device (screen, speakers, amps, etc). The sound quality and abilities depends greatly on the sound generator chip and indeed a dedicated soundcard can usually please users a lot more. There are plenty of comparisons around, just google "onboard vs dedicated sound card" and you will find many.

Not only a dedicated sound card will probably sound better on the same setup (speakers, etc) but its abilities might interest you as well. If you are a gamer, then EAX will provider a greater immersion experience in games.

I am not sure about the headphone output from your VGA, but i don't think it can be done without some sort of modification and soldering.

Have a look at this one: http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/asus_xonar_ds/
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June 29, 2010 3:43:33 AM

darkguset said:
Hi Brian,

I think you have mixed things up a bit. There is no actual sound generator on a video card. All the cards do is just pass the information from the sound generator (onboard sound chip) to the output device (screen, speakers, amps, etc). The sound quality and abilities depends greatly on the sound generator chip and indeed a dedicated soundcard can usually please users a lot more. There are plenty of comparisons around, just google "onboard vs dedicated sound card" and you will find many.

Not only a dedicated sound card will probably sound better on the same setup (speakers, etc) but its abilities might interest you as well. If you are a gamer, then EAX will provider a greater immersion experience in games.

I am not sure about the headphone output from your VGA, but i don't think it can be done without some sort of modification and soldering.

Have a look at this one: http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/asus_xonar_ds/


So with a dedicated sound card is there any way to get it to pass through the HDMI from the video card, or will it only pass through onboard audio?
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Best solution

June 29, 2010 5:08:21 AM

brianfulcher15 said:
So with a dedicated sound card is there any way to get it to pass through the HDMI from the video card, or will it only pass through onboard audio?


Yes, the NVIDIA does that by using its drivers. No more need for an SPDIF cable. You can do it the same way you are doing it now with your onboard audio.

I think the first thing you should do is visit a friend or a store where you can listen and compare the differences between onboard and dedicated sound and then decide if it is for you. If indeed you can hear the difference then go ahead and grab one.

If you can't justify the difference, then keep your money and spend it somewhere else.
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a b U Graphics card
June 29, 2010 11:56:10 AM

Yeah, NVIDIA passes the signal from the sound device without the need of SPDIF now. Good, as that allows for uncompressed 5.1 output (no more requiring Dolby Digital Live/DTS-C to get 5.1 passed through...). I assume its still the lower quality digital signal that gets passed though, and the analog outputs still remains teh primary connection method for best quality in my mind.

My recommendations remain the same as always: ASUS, Auzentech, and HT Omega. Creative, for all purposes, doesn't have a card in their lineup that can compete on price or features anymore, nevermind teh lack of driver stability...
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July 8, 2010 6:16:38 PM

Best answer selected by brianfulcher15.
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