what effects sound quality more, a high end soundcard(SB augigy) and some half decent speakers(ALTEC LANSING AVS500 5 PCS) or should i use onboard sound and spend all of my budget on some good speakers. which will get me better sound quality. i am thinking of getting a MSI kt266a MOBO.
Some boards actually have good quality onboard audio, but not many. The Msi K7T266 Pro2 is not one of those, however. I'd recommend the Hercules Muse XL ($16 at Newegg), which is a good sounding card, and some good speakers. "Good" of course depends on how much you want to spend.
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Don't step in the sarcasm!
Yah, Good for some is excellent for others, I prefer to hookup my system to a Dolby Digital/DTS Surround Sound system, others are just as content with a $15 pair. Let us know what your budget is and we can inform you on how best to spend it
If it works for you then don't fix it.
How about the onboard sound (AC97) on an ECS mobo. I am using that now with logitech z340, but i'm getting z560 tommorow in the mail. I was thinking about dedicated pci sound card, but I'm not really sure. The onboard sound doesn't really sound that bad to me.
You probably won't think it's bad, but if you got something better, you'd realize that it is. I could be wrong, not everyone notices sound quality difference the same, and it's very subjective in the first place.
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I just upgraded from onboard (AC 97) sound with a cheap set of speakers to a Hercules Muse XL and logitech Z560, which cost me around $300 CND, and I must say its the best money I've spent...its probably the best deal you can get...if you have a bit more money to spend, I would suggest getting a better sound card like a SB Audigy or something...although I never compared mine to that one...
If you have a good sound card, like Sound Blaster or Yamaha, and a good amplifier (you don't need to have many output power) your sound will be the thrill of your life!!!
Note: I have the Sound Blaster AWE64 and I don't change this sound card to no one. It has a great bass and treable.
Actually amp quality has as much to do with sound quality as the speakers. An abundance of RMS power will give you better sound than straining a cheap or low powered amp like what comes in most computer speakers (like the 7watt rms sets everyone has).
Now the logitech z560 has an abundance of highquality power, and that in my opinion has more importance than big or expensive speakers.
Start with quality highpowered amp then go for speakers.
In fact, under powering speakers does more harm than over powering speakers.
As far as your original question, thats an easy one.
The speakers and amp are going to have the biggest impact. Now if you had an incredibly terrible output that would be a moot point but AC97 is "good enough".
Good enough to where I'd rather have that and Martin Logan speakers and amp hooked up to AC97, rather than an Audigy and Altec Lansings.
Spend you money on a quality system, if you have a 2.1 AC97 setup get a real 2.1 home stereo amp and speakers (not computer speakers), you'll get alot more volume, deeper bass ect. In fact no computer speakers offer over a 8inch woofer.
If you have a 4.1 setup you might as well save some money and get a "computer speaker" setup, it will likely have a shielded sub and will work well with 4point surround EAX games.
In that case, get a Audigy and the Logitech Z560s.
"dude your getting a dell", is that kid trying to say he wants to stick his 'dell' in you?