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Integrated Sound vs Discrete Sound Card

Last response: in Components
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May 30, 2012 7:13:57 PM

I want to hear crisp, lossless audio for high-definition video, lossless music and involved gaming. Assuming that I already own an excellent pair of speakers/headphones, would the upgrade from integrated to discrete class not only be noticeable, but also be a reasonable investment?

Motherboard (Integrated Sound)
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

Discrete Sound Card in question
http://www.htomega.com/striker.html
May 30, 2012 7:21:28 PM

For most people, the integrated sound is plenty good. If you require audiophile quality sound, then the add-in card will be more suitable. The best strategy is to try the integrated sound, and only if it doesn't meet your expectations, buy the add-in sound card.
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Best solution

May 30, 2012 7:41:03 PM

The Striker is a solid card, but its hard to not recommend the ASUS Xonar DX over it instead; slightly cheaper and slightly newer model. You have several tiers above that to choose from as well.

The first question to ask is whether or not a headphone amp is a feature that you want/need on a soundcard. That answer changes the recommendation list a bit.

Even going to a mid-tier card like the ASUS Xonar DX, when paired with decent speakers/headphones, is a significant improvement. Going to a top tier card paired with top tier speakers is huge. It really depends how much you want to pay.
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June 7, 2012 10:53:20 PM

Best answer selected by ajwork.
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