Do I need a sound card?

Hello everyone,

Recently, I've been having a lot of trouble with the sound on my computer. Whenever I play Starcraft II, Borderlands, or run Ventrilo, my computer becomes mute. This happens whether I am using my speakers or my headphones, and also happens for both the front and back audio jacks. Blizzard recommended that I use dxdiag to set my hardware acceleration to basic, but that has not solved the problem. I am sure that my audio drivers are up to date.

I am using the default Realtek HD Audio on my motherboard (Intel DP55WB), and was wondering if this issue could be solved by purchasing a sound card? I not sure that my motherboard has room for a sound card, with a graphics card and two sticks of ram currently filling out the PCI slots. Would an External sound card do the trick? And which one would you recommend? Will they affect my computers performance?

Thanks for your time!
5 answers Last reply
More about sound card
  1. go into controll panel and open the sound uptions. select your default device and go to the last selector button normaly (advanced). in there you should find some options.
    deselect let apps take exclusive control of this device.
    click ok and exit.

    now go to the speaker icon in the task bar. not the realtech red 1 but the windows default 1 that is gray.
    right click on it and select sound... this will open another panel with 4 buttons select the communications 1 you will se 4 more options. make sure you select the do nothing 1 click ok and exit.

    hopefully that will solve your problem...

    1 reason to get a sound card is if your using voip you will often get echo or distortion. you wont hear it but the peeps your talking to will. getting a sound card will often stop this. form what i gather on the on-board sound the circuits aren't isolated as well as they should be and you can then get signal beading across the input and output circuits.
  2. you dont put ram in pci slots and I sincerely hope you dont have a regular pci grafix card (instead of a pci-express). Your mobo has 2 pci-e 1x slots and 1 standard pci slot. Unless you have something populating any of those (or your graphics card is blocking one of them) you can get a sound card for either of those slots. Just be careful if you have 4gb of ram or more and get a sound blaster. You'll have... issues.
  3. @HEXiT I should probably mention that I'm running Windows XP still, so the menu's seem to be different from what you're describing. Any way you could still help me with that?

    @shin0bi272 Thanks for the lesson, I put my computer together with my Dad, but I still don't know a lot of the terminology, just what fits where... What issues would I have with a sound blaster? and what sound card would you recommend?
  4. Different issues for different people apparently... my issue was that the mic doesnt work... started out sounding like I was in a tunnel (reverb/echo), then sounded like I was underwater (choppy) then it just stopped transmitting all together. Now it sounds fine to me in the earphones but when i transmit over IM or over something like teamspeak it does nothing... when i try to record in windows it does nothing.... Take out 4 of my 6gb of ram ... works fine. Ive gone back and forth with creative about it and well they are apparently retarded in their tech support dept so they kicked it up to the next level and I never heard back from them.

    Also ram go in what are called DIMM (dual inline memory module) slots. Which are an upgrade from the old 72pin SIMM (single inline memory module) slots which were an upgrade from the old 30 pin SIMMs... but that's way more info than you needed Im sure.

    Then laptops use whats called a SO-DIMM (which is small outline DIMM) same concept just teeny tiny lol.

    Are you wanting 7.1 surround sound for your sound card or is 5.1 good enough?

    pci 7.1 asus

    pci-express 7.1 asus

    pci 5.1 asus

    There are other manufacturers (like turtle beach for instance) but price/performance wise the asus ones are superior. i.e. 5.1 turtle beach at 28 bucks has a sample rate of 48khz vs 96khz in the 34 dollar (before rebate... after rebate 24 dollar) asus. Or for 50 dollars you can get 7.1 and 192khz sampling rate from asus... dont see one from TB that even goes to 192khz.
  5. You don't need to spend alot of money on a discrete soundcard.
    It will outperform onboard as far as sound quality is concerned.
    The ASUS ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 and DG are great inexpensive cards but their best features are only enabled on Vista and Win7.
    I usually don't recommend Creative cards but they do work fine on XP.
    The Audigy SE 7.1 is cheap and might be a better option for an XP rig.
    Even better would be a used Audigy2.
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