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Windows 7: Are sound cards worth it?

22 Jul 2010   #41

Windows 7 Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
For what it's worth, I still have not heard my on-board sound system on my Gigabyte motherboard so I cannot tell you how good or bad it is. I simply prefer standalone soundcards.

My two cents.

Even though I'm in total agreement regarding 3rd party sound cards being the best solution for quality audio.... the latest Realtek offerings are far superior to what they were putting out 3-4 years ago. The recent chips have a built in hardware equalizer that can fine tune the sound, plus the noise floor has been reduced. Bass can still be a bit flabby and the highs a bit muffled, most of that can be corrected using the eq.

What I hear in the quality cards is a type of transparency & clarity, almost as if the sound were three dimensional... this a partly from quality electronics (filtering) and circuit board design.


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23 Jul 2010   #42

Win 7 64bit

What type of Logitech speakers? The best 2.1 Logitech speakers are the Z-2300. For the money they are probably the best PC multimedia speakers you can get.

What motherboard do you have so that we know which onboard you have? Most Realtek is decent audio. My Asus P5Q PRO Turbo has good VIA onboard audio.

I would avoid anything with Fatal1ty in it's product name.[/QUOTE]

My mobo is a Gigabyte P55A-UD5 with onboard Realtek HD audio which wasnt bad at all, but i just wanted more clarity and better overall sound reproduction. so far so good the new card sounds awsome even with my old logitech X-230's. Ive been lookin at the Z-2300's, can you recomend them?? Was looking at a set of BOSE speakers but soooo over priced and was shown a demo at a store and they did not sound any where near $500 worth, crap realy...sorry BOSE used to be a fan.

cheers agian for every1's thoughts and "sygnus", I did read your review..very good thanx for that, this is my first sound card and couldnt be happier with it.
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23 Jul 2010   #43

Windows 10 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JonM33 View Post
I would avoid anything with Fatal1ty in it's product name.
Well.... the card we're talking about.... has "Fatal1ty" in its name..... and it's a rather good, and highly rated, card
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23 Jul 2010   #44

Windows10 Pro - 64Bit vs.10547

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?

- if your motherboard has a slot for it, the the answer is YES..!!
- onboard sound is pretty basic, rudimentary stuff..

- explore the net and get the best card that your board will take..
-it makes a MONSTER difference..!!
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25 Jul 2010   #45

Windows 7 64

Yeah so I got a question myself about sound cards. For the people that have notebooks and netbooks that have the new onboard sound such as IDT or Realtek, are the external ones worth it? Personally I got IDT HD on a new compaq notebook(2.2 ghz sempron, 250 gb harddrive, 2 gb DDR2 ram) I got a creative x fi SB1100 USB sound device and I really can't say I notice the difference. It's kind of a shame since it costed 50 dollars. I've tried it with the generic windows drivers and the creative drivers and actually I think the plug and play drivers sound better with it. What exactly is in this card that would make it worth that much? I've noticed there's many other external sound cards going for just a few bucks. Am I weird for not liking the sound? Should I just try to get used to it?
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26 Jul 2010   #46
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1

AaronDude, you listen to whichever one sounds best to you!

there is a high degree of relative judgement here - use the one you prefer.

what about your speakers though? poor quality speakers will always sound poor, even if combined with a $5000 soundcard (if there were such a thing..)
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26 Jul 2010   #47

Windows 7 Home Premium

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte View Post
what about your speakers though? poor quality speakers will always sound poor, even if combined with a $5000 soundcard (if there were such a thing..)
There is!

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26 Jul 2010   #48

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3

I think it's a combination of both the dedicated card and the speakers. You can have a great dedicated card and lousy speakers and have wasted your money. I'm still using a Creative audigy 2zs which years ago was the card to have but I also have Logitech Z2300 speakers and they are great. It's just a 2.1 setup but the quality is really good and even better on blu ray DVDs (THX certified speakers). I also have a set of Quite comfort Bose headphones that were a gift cause I would never have spent 300 dollars for them. Also with the right dedicated card you can have applications avalible with more optons to fine tune the sound to your liking.
Just like everything do your homework and read reviews and comparisons, then decided if it's worth the money. But once again you can have the greatest dedicated card and crappy speakers and have defeated your purpose.JMO. Fabe
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26 Jul 2010   #49

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

I think a sound card is worth it for gaming
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27 Jul 2010   #50

Windows 7 64

I have a two speaker set of some pretty good creative speakers. It sounds great if I plug my mp3 player into it or if I'm playing music off my computer. I have lots of headphones and earbuds that I've been collecting recently, always looking to see why people like certain ones. I gotta say I think the cheap no name generic brands(merkury innovations, meelectronics) sound better then those 100 dollar audio technica headphones I got or even the creative aurvana earbuds.

I'll just continue enjoying the onboard sound on my new laptop. I guess I like cheap sound lol.
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 Are sound cards worth it?

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