Sound cards really needed?

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  1. Posts : 1,519
    El Capitan / Windows 10
       #21

    Jaqie said:
    I beg to differ, actually. Check my system specs to see what I have.

    I use (and try) both TOSLINK S/PDIF and analog out with shielded cables and my onboard azalia out... I find TOSLINK is actually worse quality then the analog outs because of the limitations of TOSLINK (IIRC 96KHz but don't quote me on that).

    IMO the problem with your comparison is comparing a creative product to a much higher end one - there's your problem... try something nice like an HT OMEGA card and then compare :) I find my onboard isn't quite as good as a decent HT OMEGA card (or the like) but it's way better then any other sound device I have access to nowadays (the HT omega was a loan)

    I have everything from SB16 ISA jumpered to SB AWE32 jumpered to crystal audio built into my libretto 70CT to ALC850 (IIRC) that is in my nforce4 ultra a64 x2 system to a creative labs MP3+ (SB16 on a USB bus with TOSLINK out) to the SB16PCI I have stashed away... and on and on.
    The real audiophile reason for distrust of on-board solutions is snr. The power supply is often inadequately shielded and the GHz harmonics induce TMI.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 908
    Windows 7 Home Premium
       #22

    Built-in sound is fine for most things, especially when it comes to playback only, 200% better than it used to be even 5 years ago.

    However, all you have to do is measure the s/n ratio on any of the motherboard audio chips and you will realize what cr@p they really are, especially if you're doing any A/D recording.

    Limited and uneven frequency response + unacceptable noise levels. The inexpensive M-audio "Audiophile" PCI card in my Win-7 machine has a 15db lower noise floor than the Realtek onboard.

    I have both M-Audio & Realtek outputs routed to a mixer and studio monitors, while the Realtek sounds pretty good playing a decent mp3 you immediately hear a difference when playing it through the "audiophile".

    Ap
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 1,519
    El Capitan / Windows 10
       #23

    Aphelion said:
    Built-in sound is fine for most things, especially when it comes to playback only, 200% better than it used to be even 5 years ago.

    However, all you have to do is measure the s/n ratio on any of the motherboard audio chips and you will realize what cr@p they really are, especially if you're doing any A/D recording.

    Limited and uneven frequency response + unacceptable noise levels. The inexpensive M-audio "Audiophile" PCI card in my Win-7 machine has a 15db lower noise floor than the Realtek onboard.

    I have both M-Audio & Realtek outputs routed to a mixer and studio monitors, while the Realtek sounds pretty good playing a decent mp3 you immediately hear a difference when playing it through the "audiophile".

    Ap
    What I said was ?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 908
    Windows 7 Home Premium
       #24

    baarod said:

    What I said was ?
    Pretty much the same thing!

    We posted at the same time, your post wasn't there when I was replying...

    Ap
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 1,519
    El Capitan / Windows 10
       #25

    Aphelion said:
    baarod said:

    What I said was ?
    Pretty much the same thing!

    We posted at the same time, your post wasn't there when I was replying...

    Ap
    Well said. No toes?
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 908
    Windows 7 Home Premium
       #26

    baarod said:

    Well said. No toes?

    Not even a tiny bruise...

    best-

    Ap
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 529
    windows 8.1 Pro x64
       #27

    last time I tried onboard sound I found it to be poor, I guess I either have high audio needs or just too used to creative. I even think the x-fi is a bit poor for movies, I think the best card I have used is an audigy 2.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 5,941
    Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
       #28

    Hi there

    It really depends on the quality of your speakers -- Most computer speakers are essentially "Boom Boxes" with accentuated Bass boost designed for Game sound effects and DVD special surround effects in movies.

    For decent QUALITY music listening you need a proper set of Sudio quality Hi FI speakers -- and of course the source of the music itself should be of decent LOSSLESS quality at a high Bit rate - for example at least 16 bit @ 44.1 khz - which is the CD standard.

    Typical MP3's at high compression don't need decent speakers --in fact this type of compressed music will actually sound WORSE on high end speakers.

    IMO - at least for what multimedia I use on a computer your average built in MOBO sound card is just fine.

    If you play a lot of games, have a HUGE monitor and like watching DVD's on a computer rather than on a large LCD away from the computer then you *might* need a separate sound card.

    Cheers
    jimbo.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 306
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64
       #29

    Nah, I honestly don't think sound cards have made great strides over the last 5 years or so and I don't see anything happening in the near future. If you're happy with it stay with it. It's a great card.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 1,086
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
       #30

    I was running realtek hd888 up until 3 weeks ago when i purchased an Asus xonar dx. The on-board actually sounded quite good because it's relatively new but the sound difference is very very noticeable both through analogue and spdif.

    I had purchased an xfi 5.1before the xonar dx but was unhappy with the product and the drivers that came with it so I decided to sell it on and buy the xonar.

    Glad I did:)
      My Computer


 
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