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Simple Question around value of a Sound Card

Last response: in Components
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July 3, 2011 8:54:16 AM

Hi Al
I have some extra money and Im looking at ways to improve my gaming experience .I use the Logitech G35 Headset and a built-in Sound Card with my motherboard ,my sounds is great ,but I read on PC Gamer that a dedicated Sound Card would improve it even more.
I guess Im asking what would be the improvement by buying a Card like the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD ?
Would it actually enhance my sound experience ,I' looking for definitive technical reasons :) 
Thx
July 3, 2011 5:23:17 PM

Onboard works for most people. If you want to get a sound card you need a few things. First, ears good enough to notice small differences. And by small I mean tiny. The hearing in my right ear is nearly shot. I can't use the phone on that ear, I won't hear anything. My left is works maybe 60% Needless to say I find onboard to work quite well. Second, you need speakers good enough to reproduce what the soundcard is creating. It does no good to have a $200 soundcard (SC) if you have it hooked up to cheap $20 speakers you got from uncle Carl.

The Logitech G35 uses USB. As I understand it this means it has its own built in SC. You can plug a new SC into your system, but because your headphones plug into a USB jack you'll never use it. If your looking to blow some $$$, perhaps a new keyboard or mouse? Better chair?
July 3, 2011 5:29:23 PM

PC gamer doesnt need a soundcard to improve ur "awareness", and skills in FPS...

only music and movie buffs really need a soundcard.


if u have a gd audio system.... onboard does pretty much everything in gd order.

most people say they can hear a gd difference between an onboard and a soundcard, but they probably didnt even spend "enough" to even hear the ONBOARD to its full potential.... if u have a system that costs over £1000(yes in £ not dollars) and its quality not sony shi*t then-EVEN then, you cant really fault an onboard...
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July 3, 2011 6:04:52 PM

Sound advice! (no pun intended).

I uninstalled my Creative X-Fi after I could not hear the difference.
July 4, 2011 1:17:44 AM

The biggest difference I had in sound is when I hooked my computer with a fiber optic cable up to my home theater surround set. I finally had enough bass to hear the cars engines rumble. As I alluded to earlier, if you want to improve your sound you really should try getting a better set of speakers.
July 4, 2011 7:36:04 AM

fibre optic would sound worse, then full 5.1 signal sound.
July 4, 2011 7:41:29 AM

How would it sound worse? Signal sound?
July 4, 2011 7:58:40 AM

after having soooo many issues with creative and now not seeing any difference, i prefer realtek onboard audio - atleast i dont get any random BSOD's drop outs or any other issues

Creative was a great company, now i cannot recommend them for anything - DONT BUY THERE PRODUCTS.

oh and USB audio devices use there own sound chips/devices so sound cards wont do anything what so ever.
July 4, 2011 7:58:50 PM

apache_lives said:
after having soooo many issues with creative and now not seeing any difference, i prefer realtek onboard audio - atleast i dont get any random BSOD's drop outs or any other issues

Creative was a great company, now i cannot recommend them for anything - DONT BUY THERE PRODUCTS.

oh and USB audio devices use there own sound chips/devices so sound cards wont do anything what so ever.




I have a sound card in my laptop and can tell the difference between my laptop and someone elses. It CAN have an effect on the audio quality but speakers are WAY more important. I don't have a sound card in my desktop. I own the logitech g930 and I have to say there is a difference in audio quality using this USB headset between the two computers. It may be due to software included in the sound card as and I have tweaked the audio settings on the laptop using it.

I gave up on computer speakers and purchased the Onkyo ST-3400 for my desktop computer. As stated, i don't have a sound card on this PC but with this system it sounds AMAZING. How much are good PC speakers? $200-$300? This system can be found on amazon for $270. It's connected with an optical cable and sounds flawless. I have some speaker stands from Atlantic with the rear(surround) speakers placed behind my chair.

I'd definitely say go for quality speakers first and then maybe flirt with the sound card idea.
July 4, 2011 9:39:20 PM

If your doing analog surround out with 1/8 inch to computer surround speakers then Yes
if your using high qualtiy headphones with a sound card with dedicated headphone amp then Yes
if you need more inputs and outputs (example recording) then Yes

for 2.1 speakers NO
for improving computeror game performance No
for digital connection to home theater (if you have HDMI out on mobo or GPU)
then No

most modern mobos have 7.1 one HDMIs etc

I am kind of old fashioned since in the "old days" having a sound card
helped performance so I still like having one (even though it doesnt help now)
so I went for a Asus DG PCI for $35 with shipping
also have older tower with crappier onboard

really depends on your setup and needs
It actually is not a simple question :) 

July 5, 2011 8:39:43 AM

Hi Guys
Thanks for all the informative responses
I have overlooked the most obvious issue ,as was pointed out ,the G35 uses USB so unless I purchase speakers it would be pointless
I'll look at other improvements :) 
!