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Are sound cards needed for gaming?

Last response: in Components
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May 29, 2012 4:22:10 AM

So basically what I want to know is, are sound cards worth it for gaming or is it just a waste of money?

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May 29, 2012 6:41:54 AM

It depends on what quality are you expecting. Motherboards nowadays have built in audio that can support up to 7.1 surround sound. I am happy with 5.1.

If you have very high quality audio receiver & particular about sound quality, then yes. But if you are happy with typical 2.1 or even 5.1 speaker system that cost < $300. Then I do not think you have to spend anymore on a sound card.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2012 6:49:43 AM

A dedicated sound card is not required.
But a sound card might increase gaming enjoyment, especially if you already have high quality speakers.
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May 29, 2012 2:30:46 PM

I have a Creative x-fi XremeMusic card from 2005. Would newer mobo's have better performance than older sound cards?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2012 2:36:42 PM

@ otingocni

There's a fair chance your sound card might still have better performance than some of the average/mainstream motherboards integrated audio.

A 2005 review of your Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music
http://www.overclockersonline.net/reviews/5000331/
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May 29, 2012 3:35:01 PM

Get a motherboard with optical out for 5.1 or greater.

Get a GOOD set of headphones with 5.1 or greater (which are a must for games anyway IMHO) that have optical in (like Trittons) and process the sound.

Then no matter what you do in the future, you have your good sound through the headphones.
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May 29, 2012 10:38:14 PM

randomkid said:
It depends on what quality are you expecting. Motherboards nowadays have built in audio that can support up to 7.1 surround sound. I am happy with 5.1.

If you have very high quality audio receiver & particular about sound quality, then yes. But if you are happy with typical 2.1 or even 5.1 speaker system that cost < $300. Then I do not think you have to spend anymore on a sound card.


The motherboard I'm getting for my build is the Asrock Z77 Extreme 4. The sound system I'm using is the Logitech G51. Would the onboard sound card be good enough or would you recommend me getting a sound card?
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May 29, 2012 11:35:17 PM

It actually depends on personal taste. The Logitech G51 is 155W 5.1 system & can be supported by the Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 onboard audio. In fact the Z77 Extreme 4 can even drive up to 7.1.

I myself have a Logitech Z-5500 & just use my MSI Z68A GD55 on board. But that is me. I just don't feel not using the onboard audio for which I have already paid for specially if it is working fine.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 30, 2012 3:58:14 AM

Skippy27 said:
Get a motherboard with optical out for 5.1 or greater.

Get a GOOD set of headphones with 5.1 or greater (which are a must for games anyway IMHO) that have optical in (like Trittons) and process the sound.

Then no matter what you do in the future, you have your good sound through the headphones.


1: Optical is a horrid audio interchange because any surround formats it can use are VERY low quality [Dolby/DTS].

2: Tritton and all other "gaming headsets" are almost always crap. Its sad that people think that an Astro A40 is a good headset, when a cheap Grado/Sennheiser/Beyerdynamic will blow them out of the water.
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June 11, 2012 7:15:41 PM

Best answer selected by TGT-Gaming.
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November 28, 2012 12:07:41 AM

gamerk316 said:
1: Optical is a horrid audio interchange because any surround formats it can use are VERY low quality [Dolby/DTS].

2: Tritton and all other "gaming headsets" are almost always crap. Its sad that people think that an Astro A40 is a good headset, when a cheap Grado/Sennheiser/Beyerdynamic will blow them out of the water.


Sorry to resurrect old thread.
I'm in the market looking for a good wireless headset that can be used for pc gaming and watching tv.
Often times I read people saying like what you said that regular non gaming headset is better than a gaming headset.
Can you please tell some models as example?
I'm a noob about these gaming headsets thing.
I did some research and was thinking to get the Turtle Beach XP 400 or 500 but they're kind of expensive. Cheaper option would be Logitech F540 where I can use it for tv too, not like G930.

One thing I notice, headset like F540 or non gaming headset is mostly only stereo. I have mobo AsRock Z77 Extreme 4 with 7.1 onboard sound. Can I get 7.1 surround sound using F540 or those non gaming headset? I'm looking at Sennheiser RS170 or 180 but they only have RCA connection, no optical.

Thanks,
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