Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: onboard sound vs. Addon sound card

15 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
onboard sound vs. Addon sound card

What would be the advantages/disadvantages of onboard sound vs a sound card? With a sound add on card are there headers for front panels connections.? Would I see/hear a big difference in the sound?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit

It would depend on what you want from the audio or what applications you have for it. I have a home built using an Intel motherboard that has IDT (SigmaTel) HD audio on it. It's fine for most of the "listening" that I do However, I have a music program that uses MIDI and the default built in Windows/Microsoft GS Wavetable MIDI Synth is pretty bad. For that reason I have a SoundBlaster Xfi installed and SoundBlaster has on board hardware MIDI synths that are much better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #3

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer

Typically, you can get a higher-end device with a sound card. If you wanna have a surround sound-type experience, then you might consider a card: - ASUS Xonar Essence ST 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Audio Card

If you are gonna put your audio through $15 speakers, then forget the card and use the onboard audio chip.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Sep 2010   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro x64 x3 + Windows 10 Preview, Ubuntu

Depends on what you are looking for and as always what you are prepared to pay for it

To be realistic for most purposes the on-board chip's on today's systems are perfectly adequate for most peoples needs, if you are a serious audiophile or looking to use the pc for professional sound production, even DJing, that the flexibility and quality of add on external units are probably worth the extra cost and installation. In fact if you are a dj an extra card is virtually essential to allow off-line cueing etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

Another age old debate. Here is a thread on this very subject that is over 4 years old and up to 600 posts now,

Onboard Sound Vs. Add in Sound Card - Forums

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
If you are gonna put your audio through $15 speakers, then forget the card and use the onboard audio chip.
So very true. Also if your going to use a digital connection (coax or optical, doesn't matter), then unless there is a feature that is on a sound card over onboard (DDL for example) just use onboard as it then comes down to what is connected at the other end.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 onboard sound vs. Addon sound card

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads for2: onboard sound vs. Addon sound card
Thread Forum
Solved S/PDIF Optical out - No sound from receiver (onboard and sound card) Sound & Audio
hdmi playback sound card or onboard? Sound & Audio
Realtek onboard sound card: Static/Crackling noises Sound & Audio
onboard sound card question Sound & Audio
Enabling onboard sound with a sound card Sound & Audio
Figuring out onboard sound card Drivers

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:55 PM.
Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App