I built a gaming desktop recently with pretty solid hardware but unfortunately i made the choice of going with ASRock because of the solid reviews on it. However, when I got the motherboard, there was just absolutely no way to get the sound working. After dealing with AsRock's terrible support which consisted of me having email conversations like it was the 90's, they told me the audio chip is defective. I don't want to spend the money to ship it back and then wait 2 weeks without a desktop.
My question is... Can a sound card work without a working audio chip on the motherboard? In theory, i don't see why not. Integrated audio is just like a sound card, so the sound decoding should just be done by the sound card instead of the audio chip correct? And the second question is, would the front panel still work with a working sound card?
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Of course it can. And if it has headers then you can connect it to the front panel.
So basically I need a sound card with a hd-audio input?