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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
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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:

Newegg.com - 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.
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15 Sep 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 x2 + x86 + Windows 8.1 x64 x2
 
 

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 - Guru3D.com 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.
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 onboard sound vs. Addon sound card




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