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How necessary is a sound card?

Last response: in Components
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August 19, 2011 7:17:13 PM

Hi,

I am building a computer for my friend soon, based on the intel i3-2100 cpu, he is into music (not sure exactly what) but he keeps telling me he thinks he needs a sound card.

What features does a sound card add versus the onboard HD audio that is available on general ~$100 1155 motherboards (such as an H67 or P67 chipset)

More about : sound card

August 19, 2011 7:34:45 PM

Depend a lot on what speakers or headphones he's using. Normal 25-100 dollar speakers won't benefit from a sound card. If your going audio file B or A then yeah it's worth it.
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August 19, 2011 7:40:52 PM

so a sound card only benefits audio playback and nothing else (sorry this is the one part of a computer I know nothing about)? because he is on a budget and I think he can make due with onboard HD audio...

I will ask him what he wants to do specifically with the computer, but I am sure all that stuff is dependent on the cpu / ram etc.
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August 19, 2011 9:23:42 PM

Most people just plug in a set of Logitech or similar speakers. If that's the case it would be a waste of money going with an aftermarket sound card. The on board chipsets are actually pretty good now-a-days.
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August 19, 2011 9:41:01 PM

If you are asking then you don't need a sound card. And since he's into music industry (at least we can suppose) then he needs to reduce the amount of distortion from the recording process so that the overall quality of his tubes is improved.

This has to do with electromagnetic waves that hits the sound chips (and every other hardware btw) and input distortion here and there. So for a gamer that's not necessary to reduce it, but for an artist it's a must-have.

The way to do it is by using an insulated/incased sound card (a regular unprotected sound card does nothing distortion-wise) or by using an external sound card that can plug to a computer using USB. That latter one is the best of course.
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August 19, 2011 9:59:15 PM

Sound cards aren't necessary at all. The on-board audio on modern motherboards is very high quality and it's almost impossible to tell the difference between on-board audio and sound card audio.
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August 20, 2011 2:33:27 AM

It depends on what you want to do. Personally, I can't live without one, just like most people here can't live without AA enabled. Its an enhancement, nothing more. If you have a decent set of speakers/headphones, then the quality improvement is worth it.

Anyone who claims they can't tell the difference between a soundcard and onboard is either deaf, using a cheap set of speakers, or not using a quality soundcard.
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August 20, 2011 2:37:05 AM

That's the point , you need a good set of speakers/headphones for it to be worth it.
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August 20, 2011 4:59:46 AM

Best answer selected by amirp.
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August 20, 2011 5:01:59 AM

MrBig55 said:
If you are asking then you don't need a sound card. And since he's into music industry (at least we can suppose) then he needs to reduce the amount of distortion from the recording process so that the overall quality of his tubes is improved.

This has to do with electromagnetic waves that hits the sound chips (and every other hardware btw) and input distortion here and there. So for a gamer that's not necessary to reduce it, but for an artist it's a must-have.

The way to do it is by using an insulated/incased sound card (a regular unprotected sound card does nothing distortion-wise) or by using an external sound card that can plug to a computer using USB. That latter one is the best of course.



Would you be able to recommend a good sound card, or at least a direction for me to look in, I am fairly sure recording will be what he wants to use the comp for. He won't be using the computer for games, but as a gamer building it for him I know nothing about this stuff.

if you can could you use this website where we will be purchasing parts, www.canadacomputers.com or www.newegg.ca is okay as well if it is not available from that site.
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August 20, 2011 8:17:17 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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