About a month ago I bought an old IBM Netvista,....the sound worked when I got it, but when I tried it last night it was dead. I put in an old Soundblaster card I had laying around, and now it works fine. I know it's not software or driver-related; I've run this comp with both xp and 98 (on different hard drives), all audio drivers up to date, no sound from either o/s...and device manager on both says that the audio is working fine. I went into bios, and saw nothing amiss.
Is it unusual for the onboard audio chip to go bad?
And a bonus question Is even a cheap audio card an improvement over onboard audio? I know that the IBM's sound is much improved with the Soundblaster card.
450w is not enough for your system. On the AMD page it sais the recommended power supply is 500w for the 7770 GPU. I recommend getting a 550w seasonic PSU, as they are the best and most reliable manufacturer for PSU.
Yeah, I've never had it happen before, and I've been messing with old computers now for a few years. The thing I usually have to replace is onboard ethernet; for some reason, mine usually die on me and I have to add a card.
Never really heard of Ethernet failing as well. Usually a cheap sound card is better. But more higher end motherboards have better onboard audio. If your motherboard is old than any new sound card is usually better.