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Windows 7: Are sound cards worth it?


12 Jul 2010   #1

Win 7 64bit
 
 
Are sound cards worth it?

hi all, with todays mobo's and onboard HD sound are sound cards still worth the money?
I'm currently looking at a Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium PCIe Fatal1ty Pro for around $175 AUD. My pc is mostly used for gaming and listening to music. I'm pretty fusy when it comes to sound quality and not real happy with the music quality out of itunes. Gaming sounds good though espesially in BFBC2 (sounds awsome, but thats in the game with 1 processor taken up by sound alone...great job EA!!!) The speakers i have at the moment are a pair of logitech desktop speakers and a floor sub. Would buying better speakers improve the sound or should i upgrade to a soundcard and new speakers??

Any thoughts guys would be great on brands, setup and experiences good or bad?
Are the drivers for sound cards a pain in the a*#s??
Almost forgot, whats the power draw on these things?

cheers


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Jul 2010   #2

Win7 HP (x64)/Win7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

G'day mate

Lots of opinion out there but ones that matter:

  1. Dedicated sound-cards offloads work from the CPU - may improve your frame-rates in games
  2. Am no audiophile but sounds tends to be sharper and clearer on good add-on cards
Note that some add-on sound-cards are no better than on-board though, especially on newer mobo's. This of course is my opinion.
Someone on another forum site stated the following:

Humans CANNOT perceive the difference in sound quality between modern on-board and sound cards.

The only thing that makes sound different is speakers/headphones.

The only reason to spend $$ on sound card is features (digital in/out)

Anyone who argues with me needs their brain checked.



Hope this helps
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

It is a very good card for audio listening as well as gaming. I have no issues with it. You can read my thoughts about it here.

Yes, its worth it

My opinion
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


13 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lomai View Post
Humans CANNOT perceive the difference in sound quality between modern on-board and sound cards.
Sorry, but I have to disagree. I'm a music lover and loath MP3's because they tend to sound bright and thin to me. Other say they can't tell a difference, but I can, so that's all that matters.

Same goes with cheap mastered CD's. I tend to go for the audiophile types because to me they simply have more depth and range.

I will admit that I've never used my motherboard's on-board soundcard, so I can't tell you how good it is. On the other hand don't need to listen to a cheaply made stereo amp to know it's no good.

Anyway sound is a matter of opinion.

My two cents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lomai View Post
G'day mate


Someone on another forum site stated the following:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Humans CANNOT perceive the difference in sound quality between modern on-board and sound cards.

The only thing that makes sound different is speakers/headphones.

The only reason to spend $$ on sound card is features (digital in/out)

Anyone who argues with me needs their brain checked.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hope this helps

The person who made the quote above is an idiot, don't waste brain cells even thinking about such a ludicrous statement.

Having used PC's (Amiga, Mac & PC) for music/audio for the past 20 years I can tell you there's a huge difference in quality between a pro card and onboard audio.

For one thing.... the noise floor on motherboard audio is atrocious. Bass is less defined and highs are either muffled or slightly distorted... of course, this depends on what you're used to listening to. If Mp3 files are your pinnacle audio experience then onboard audio is probably fine, that is.... until you hear a really good PC audio system and realize what you've been missing.

Considering the circuitry that's found on a modern motherboard, plus the close proximity of the audio chip/device, it's a wonder onboard audio sounds as good as it does.

Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #6

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aphelion View Post
The person who made the quote above is an idiot, don't waste brain cells even thinking about such a ludicrous statement.
Uhhh... We can agree to disagree agreeably. No need to hurl insults. Notice I disagreed and did it respectfully, and without insults.

Be nice.

Peace
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #7

Win 7 64bit
 
 

thanx guys for your input, i think its gona be a case of suck it and see. Have heard great reviews of that card and i think ill give it a go. Sygnus21, that is a great review also,cheers for that. Checking my system specs, will i have enough power to run the extra card with my 750w PSU?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #8

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by snipermouse View Post
hi all, with todays mobo's and onboard HD sound are sound cards still worth the money?
I'm currently looking at a Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium PCIe Fatal1ty Pro for around $175 AUD. My pc is mostly used for gaming and listening to music. I'm pretty fusy when it comes to sound quality and not real happy with the music quality out of itunes. Gaming sounds good though espesially in BFBC2 (sounds awsome, but thats in the game with 1 processor taken up by sound alone...great job EA!!!) The speakers i have at the moment are a pair of logitech desktop speakers and a floor sub. Would buying better speakers improve the sound or should i upgrade to a soundcard and new speakers??

Any thoughts guys would be great on brands, setup and experiences good or bad?
Are the drivers for sound cards a pain in the a*#s??
Almost forgot, whats the power draw on these things?

cheers
I have heard that those cards work well for gaming, but I have no idea how they work for music.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Aphelion View Post
The person who made the quote above is an idiot, don't waste brain cells even thinking about such a ludicrous statement.
Uhhh... We can agree to disagree agreeably. No need to hurl insults. Notice I disagreed and did it respectfully, and without insults.

Be nice.

Peace

Heh... it wasn't anyone on this board nor poster Lomai who posted the quote. The "insult" wasn't directed at anyone in this thread or even on this forum.

One can be peaceful and at the same time, not suffer fools lightly.

But you do have a point. How is this?

I strongly object to the quote comparing motherboard audio to 3rd party pro, or semi-pro audio solutions.... Are you daft man!


Ap
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jul 2010   #10

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by snipermouse View Post
Checking my system specs, will i have enough power to run the extra card with my 750w PSU?
That's not even a problem, you could run that card on a 350watt PS.

But... to give you comfort, when I bought the card my then system had a 550watt PS

It's a good card with great sound quality.

Enjoy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Are sound cards worth it?




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