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Onboard sound

Last response: in Components
August 24, 2003 9:48:03 PM

Hello forum I just purchased some new Creative 4 in 1 surround sound speakers and right now im using an older sounblaster 16 Pci soundcard,but my mobo an Intel845EBT
has built in soundmax audio this is what Toms hardware guide has to say.(Intel also throws in a high-quality sound system with surround sound and a digital coaxial output port.)So which one should i use for better quality of sound?
Here also is a link that better describes my mobo.


More about : onboard sound

August 25, 2003 1:01:56 AM

SB16-PCI is a pretty weak sound solution, I'd just use the onboard sound.

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August 25, 2003 2:50:52 AM

Thanks Crashman :) 

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August 25, 2003 10:11:05 PM

Ok well i found out that my onboard souncard only has
3 plugins i contacted Soundmax and it only supports 2 speakers so im back to using the SB 16 Pci sound card.
Th sb 16 pci is a least 3 years old i would like to upgrade
to something better,what do you guys recommend for a person on a small budget?
Many thanks

August 25, 2003 11:34:04 PM

Actualy, the SB 16 doesnt "support" more then 2 speakers either (only supports stereo sound), so there shouldn't be much difference between plugin it into the sb16, or into your 16bit onboard soundcard. Since both cards will only use 2speakers for left, and 2 speakers for right sound, and neither of them will use right front right back etc.

Im not quite sure what the "Intel also throws in a high-quality sound system with surround sound " does in there, since in the Chipset specifications it basicly says its a 16bit Audiocard, with a digital output capable of !!Passing-Trought!! a Dolby Digital signal. (source:

By choosing your soundcard it mostly depends on what you expect it to do, do you want it to be able to play EAX, Dolby Digital, DTS, or you want it just to "make noise" ;) 

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ultimatehell on 08/25/03 07:36 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 26, 2003 12:09:36 AM

Thanks Ultimatehell, but my SB16 pci plays all 4 speakers and the subwoofer,my card has 4 plugins plus a gameport
from my speakers i have the black plug which i plug in
to the black plugin and a green plug that plugs in to the
green plugin and all 4 speakers and the woofer play.
You mean im only getting half the sound outa my speakers than i should be>? and that my card shouldnt play all 4 speakers and the woofer?and yes im positive its a Sb 16 pci
as i stated it at least 3 years old.

August 26, 2003 12:25:00 AM

Basicly what you are doing is, Pluging 1 pair of speakers into the "Line-out" plug, and 1 pair of speakers into the "PC-Speakers" (how its called by creative) plug. You would have the exact same effect (besides that you can tourn down the volume for each speaker pair seperatly with the sb16) when you plug all 4 speakers with a Y-Cable into your onboard soundcard.

Basicly the 2 soundcards are identicaly, and basicly yes, you only get half the sound. You have Stereo sound with 4 Speakers (left 2 speakers, right 2 speakers) + subwoofer, where you COULD get Dolby 4.1 with a soundcard that supports it.

The difference basicly is, now you got 2speakers on the left, playing exact the same sound, and the same for the right. With a dolby 4.1 supporting card you would have:
Front Left, Rear Left, Front Right, Rear Right. (+ woofer always of course)

If you want to fully use what your speakers got, you should get a SB Live! for example (

you should get a soundblaster supporting your 4 speakers for about $40~$50
August 26, 2003 12:36:52 AM

Many thanks ultimatehell :) 
Im going to take your advice and get the better soundcard
no use in having decent speakers and not getting all that
my speakers have to offer.

August 26, 2003 12:39:35 AM

No Problem. But like i sayd, it basicly all depends on how much ..... hmmm... how to say that now ... how much "feeling" you want in your Sound (be it music or game).

Hope you will enjoy your new soundsystem :)