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Sound card?

Last response: in Components
November 7, 2010 9:30:53 PM

I have Klipsch pro media speakers (no headphones), and a solid gaming computer. I'm considering adding a sound card. I hear mixed things about whether or not it's worth it, but I'm a gamer and would rather not spend millions on a card that is unnecessary. What is a great card for a gamer and the occasional music playing that isn't too expensive?

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November 7, 2010 10:58:20 PM

Onboard has improved allot in recent years and cpus are so fast that games are not nearly as effected as they used to be.

To be honest, if your set sounds good, i would not worry. I use a Audigy 2zs, but mainly for the upmixing options(and i have had this thing forever.)
November 7, 2010 11:40:38 PM

In my opinion it sounds good, but I keep hearing people say, "I thought my setup sounded good but then I put in a sound card and it changed my way of thinking about music". If that's true, then I'm interested, if that WAS true but no longer is, I don't need it. So which is it?
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November 8, 2010 1:34:31 AM

Sound cards generally have better DAC's if you are running analog audio. You may or may not notice the difference.

On digital this difference should not happen since the cards are working with the audio in digital and the analog conversion happens in your speakers.

Do not get me wrong, dedicated sound cards generally sound better, but how much better will depend on what the user can hear.
November 8, 2010 2:23:13 AM

The only real answer is it depends. For some people, a jump from onboard to a soundcard is a huge improvement, for others, not so much. A lot has to do on the user, the speakers, and the way that each brand of soundcard processes the audio.

Onboard audio is actually very good now, especially Realtek. But with good speakers, a soundcard really shows its stuff.
November 8, 2010 2:26:56 AM

I'll just skip the sound card. I have Realtek audio and it seems fine to me. Thanks guys
November 8, 2010 2:27:06 AM

Best answer selected by whoisme555.
November 8, 2010 2:29:53 AM

many on-board sound cards including many VIA chipsets (that use realtek audio) don't have an equal amount of DB gain across the front/certer/rear jacks. this will affect the performance of products like this:

where an equal amount of gain is important because those headphones don't have an external amp. your rear speakers will also always sound slightly quieter than the fronts.

you still can't go wrong spending a few extra bucks on an audigy, even though there hasn't been much excitement with them lately.
November 8, 2010 11:52:52 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey