Sound card is the only way to go. I used the on board audio, realtek for the last couple years. A friend bought a Sound Blaster for his and I was hooked. I bought the ASUS DX and it`s great. I primarily use headphones but do have 2.1 speakers. Obviously the first hook was the sound quality then the control through included utility. I`m sure i`ll always have a sound card from here out.
Absolutely an incredible difference
Unless you are trying to drive an Audiophile type amplifier and Audiophile speakers, (along with Audiophile Ears!), you do not need a separate sound card. Use the on-board audio. You won't be able to hear the difference.
Is a sound card really needed? I game and listen to musics alot but is it really essential?
Wouldnt the on board sound card be enough? The board will be ASUS P8Z77-V PRO
to answer the question, no they are not essential. the onboard sound does not sound "bad." on the other hand it can sound better, but youd have to shell out more money than most people think its worth to get a card that is better than what already comes on the board. the truth is there a few people (and clearly one we have one commenting) that care enough to actually pay for the increase.
No not at all. The onboard sound os entirely sufficient.
Most peoples sound devices can not even play the quality that an added soundcard can produce.
Save money and don't get one.
Exactly if you are using $20 speakers you won't hear the difference. Rather put the money from the sound card to use to buy some good speakers. Once you have those you can consider getting a soundcard.
Graphics card is necessary for frames per second and will work on most any resolution. Although I prefer 1920x1080
Sound card is necessary for SQ and details not heard through minimum hardware. So, I prefer the ASUS DX for that right now along with Razer Carcharias headset and Klipsch Promedia.
Most high-end AV receivers these days have HDMI in/out so I would simply use HDMI from either the IGP or GPU instead of discrete or on-board sound. Power rails and the electromagnetic environment within a good AV receiver should be much cleaner than inside a PC case and eliminating analog cables removes another source of noise pickup.
Ill give some extra information: I have a (what i think is a great pair of headphones) Beats by Dre: Pro headphones and Beats by Dre: Beatbox speakers
With that information, would it be worth it to buy a sound card?
From what I've heard, sound cards are really good when you watch a lot of films or play games. For example when there is an in game explosion (or something similar), the sound card has capacitors that allows electricity to be immediately supplied to make that explosion. It's good if you notice these types of things and it annoys you. You probably need to have good speakers to notice this as well though.