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Windows 7: Is it worth getting a bottom of the line sound card

30 Aug 2014   #1
pintree3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
Is it worth getting a bottom of the line sound card

I've read that adding a sound card will make your CPU work less. Good, but one usually buys a sound card primarily for better sound. So not being in a position to buy a good sound card until perhaps my next PC (in 2 years time or so) I was wondering if it would be worth getting a bottom of the line sound card. Would sound sound sufficiently better--not great but enough?
I have a decent surround sound 6 speaker system for music and at times for games I may use my earphones--very good ones.
Examples that i saw at Amazon (new) are:
Asus PCI 5.1 Channel Sound Card XONAR_DG $27
Vantec 7.1 Channel PCI Sound Card UGT-S100 $32

and eBay is full of Chinese ones under $20

Thanks :-)


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30 Aug 2014   #2
smarteyeball

 
 

Short answer is no - not really.

On more modern CPU's - the overhead for CPU handling sound is no longer really an issue. You'd be extremely hard pressed to notice any performance gain whatsoever. In fact I'd say you'd notice no difference at all.

As for sound quality - You'd perhaps notice some small improvement using your headphones. Speakers, not so much.

You'd notice a louder output and depending on card and it's software, features like crystallizer can make sounds appear a bit more clearer. Again you'd notice the improvement more with high quality headphones than external speakers.
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 Is it worth getting a bottom of the line sound card




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