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Sound Cards and Gamers

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  • Sound Cards
  • Audio
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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July 12, 2011 11:34:55 PM

I'm curious how much of a difference it makes. Is it night and day? Is it only if you play something very high quality? I assume mp3s would sound the same with onboard audio and the best sound card out there, but do games also sound the same? Should I only care if I were a musician, or an audiophile(sp?)?

Thanks for your time.

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July 18, 2011 8:56:02 PM

In my opinion sound cards will improve the quality of sound yes but not by a whole lot compared to modern on board audio. The important thing for me is that it takes a bit of a load off your processor. Once you disable the onboard audio.

Im not an expert but if u want truely good sound then I think a great speaker system is the way to go. So maybe get some decent speakers and an average sound card. Idk maybe other people will give insight on this hang in there.
July 18, 2011 9:08:22 PM

new003 said:
In my opinion sound cards will improve the quality of sound yes but not by a whole lot compared to modern on board audio. The important thing for me is that it takes a bit of a load off your processor. Once you disable the onboard audio.

Im not an expert but if u want truely good sound then I think a great speaker system is the way to go. So maybe get some decent speakers and an average sound card. Idk maybe other people will give insight on this hang in there.


Does it make a noticeable difference on the processor's load?

Tks for the reply :) 
July 18, 2011 9:08:37 PM

for me I got a Asus Xonar DG (@35 with ship) from Newegg
because I have an analog (1/8 inch) computer surround sound setup
plus I like to record guitar,mic and keyboard which for light duty a standard sound card is ok though for better recordings they make specific models like MAudio cards
(reduces latency and have XLR and MIDI hookups)

For gaming a good surround sound is helpful since it can help you locate enemies
but will not increase your FPS or performance

In the old days (P4 and older) sound cards would help with offloadding the audio
but with newer processors it doesnt matter

With a new mobo and HD audio onboard especially using digital out (HDMI)
or using HDMI off GPU to a digital receiver a sound card really isnt needed
unless you go for a $200 dollar card and $1000 soundsystem or $200 headphones
it wont make a difference

so if you are using
1) analog outs to surround sound
2) doing light recording
3) using high end headphones with a dedictated HPHN amp on sound card
4) using over $1000 soundsystem

then a sound card is not needed

wont help performance
July 18, 2011 9:17:19 PM

timothy2180 said:
Does it make a noticeable difference on the processor's load?

Tks for the reply :) 



I'm using an amd dual 2.8 ghz processor and i ran into a problem on a game where i noticed it crashed at certain strange points. I found that by turning certain sound effects in the game off it never crashed again. (this was when i had onboard audio) that was a while ago and i always remembered that. It may be a rare case for me. People say it will increase fps by 3 lol thats all i've heard. I just got a card so I'd never have to worry about stuff crashing not increase fps but rare instances where the onboard audio couldnt handle everything that was being dished out.

Edit: after i got the card i was able to turn the effects on. Maybe i need to upgrade my processor
!