I want to clerify something that I read in this forum. I am looking at buying a new system. It comes with the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe mobo. It has nforce2 sound on the board. Will I notice any difference in performance using onboard sound vs a sound card? I run MS FS2002. I will need all of the performance that I can get.
It depends on what soundcard you're talking about. If you mean an SBLive! 5.1, the onboard will blow away the soundcard. If you mean an RME Digi96, the onboard will be blown out of the water by the quality. If you mean an M-Audio Revolution or an Audigy2, it'll be the roughly the same, both quality and performance-wise.
The A7V8X is roughly similar, if not better, than the AWE32. Compared to mainstream soundcards out there, both pale in comparison. They just don't have the power of the latest soundcards, like the Audigy2 series, the Revolution 7.1, any of the Guillemots, or RMEs, or even the Soundstorm.
I like the soundstorm a lot. At times, it seems a little tinny at the high frequencies, but the low end makes up for it with crisp, clear response. I think it's worth the few extra dollars, not to mention the second LAN connector and two more USB ports. It's a good system, the A7N8X Deluxe.
Thanks for the response. Your system is similar to the system that I am looking at buying. But my main question is this: does the onboard sound on the ASUS card decrease the overall performance of the system, or does the sound have it's own processor?
SoundStorm does have its own APU (Audio Processing Unit), it's unlike any on board audio controller. SoundStorm is more like combining an external sound card along with the mobo which features true Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding, if you think a sound card would decrease overall performance, then SoundStorm would too.
Check the latest sound card review on THG. You'll know that I'm not talking big here, SoundStorm DO NOT decrease onverall performance much, actually it beats Audigy2, Fortissimo III, Realtek and C-Media on system resource usage.