Building New Game Machine

I putting together a new game machine do you guys use the integrated sound provided by MB? I have always use a sound card, wondered what the norm is now.

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  1. Integrated sound is the norm now... quality is absolutely acceptable.

    Think some still prefer separate sound cards on high end rigs for the absolute best in quality and an extra couple of frames per second (believe you do get a very slight performance boost with a separate sound card).
  2. Depends. Do you have a real nice 5.1 system for your PC or do you usually use a headset?

    Unless you have a really top rate sound system, integrated sound on a high end motherboard is all you need and you probably wouldn't notice the difference otherwise.
  3. Well I used to be against sound cards, but earlier this year I bought an X-Fi XtremeGamer ($80) and believe me, I'm not going back onboard audio. It is definitely a nice thing to have, however not necessary.
  4. I have an X-FI Fatality Pro, and I refuse to use the SLI feature on my mobo ( even tho I want to get a second g. card) Because i love my sound card too much to ditch it for a second vid card.
  5. A decent ($75+) discrete sound card will usually provide much cleaner sound due to higher quality DACs providing superior SNR that is rarely achievable on the main motherboard PCB.

    In the pre-Vista world, sound cards like the X-Fi series had the advantage of offloading sound processing and performing 3D environmental audio via EAX. Mainly argued it was one of the best bang for your buck upgrades possible.

    That said, motherboard board sound can be decent. For current gen Realtek CODECs, the ALC889 and ALC890 series are tolerable. Don't venture lower than that.
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