1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Do you use a sound card?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by MxPhenom 216, Mar 19, 2013.

?

Do you use a sound card?

  1. Yes

    56 vote(s)
    58.3%
  2. No, onboard is fine

    40 vote(s)
    41.7%
  1. MxPhenom 216

    MxPhenom 216 Corsair Fanboy

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    9,027 (6.77/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,764
    I have noticed that the options for sound cards are pretty small these days, and some of the better ones are plagued with hardware or software issues. Do you run a sound card, or is onboard at that state now where sound cards are barely justifiable?
  2. james888

    james888

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,931 (3.81/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,122
    Going from a realtech 892 to a $10 xonar dg new seemed trivial enough for a soundcard skeptic like myself to try. I was shocked that it could be that much better, and even more so for the price. Sad to say, xonar dg's have gone up in price since then. There were noises in games, music, etc that I did not even know were there. Onboard is fine but soundcard is nice. I have been reading that an external dac is even better.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. natr0n

    natr0n

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,587 (1.94/day)
    Thanks Received:
    788
    The issue people have with sound card software is they f*ck with them too much. Just set it and forget it is what I do. Never have an issue. Only years ago with the x-fi 4gb of ram driver conflict.
  4. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    39,156 (13.80/day)
    Thanks Received:
    13,608
    I have a few sound cards... I'm currently not using any of them. The onboard on my Maximus Formula is very nice.
  5. droopyRO

    droopyRO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    102 (0.13/day)
    Thanks Received:
    26
    Location:
    Romania
    Xfi XtremeGamer its almost 6 years since bought it, had no major problem with it and the games i played. But i am curious about this newer integrated sound cards and how they compare to dedicated ones like mine.
  6. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    27,711 (11.59/day)
    Thanks Received:
    13,424
    Location:
    Hyderabad, India
    Definitely an upgrade over onboard audio, drivers are quite stable.
  7. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    609 (0.23/day)
    Thanks Received:
    116
    Love my HT Omega. Had it for a good 3 years now. I built this rig around it. I had to have a PCI slot to run it so mobo options were limited and the 690 came to be since I didnt have enough room for 2 separate cards.

    Ill take my sound card as far as I can. Drivers are wicked good and have not found any conflicts with anything else.
  8. adulaamin

    adulaamin

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    613 (0.35/day)
    Thanks Received:
    196
    Location:
    Baguio City, Philippines
    Using onboard but I've been contemplating on buying a soundcard.. :)
    Crunching for Team TPU
  9. Cotton_Cup

    Cotton_Cup

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    378 (0.49/day)
    Thanks Received:
    35
    Location:
    Rizal, Philippines
    planning on getting one but still saving stuff so I can water cool my wife's rig XD.
  10. rtwjunkie

    rtwjunkie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    839 (0.40/day)
    Thanks Received:
    224
    I have definately noticed an increase in both sound volume and sound quality when using a sound card on every motherboard I have owned. My 5 year old X-fi Extreme Gamer is an improvement over the onboard in my Z68, and my son has a GB EP45-ud3p and we put an Asus Xonar in there. THAT was a huge improvement last month. no longer does he have to turn up the volume on speakers all the way just to hear dialogue, and alot of smaller noises he didn't used to hear in games are there. So no, IMO, altho onboard sound is light years ahead of where it is, a sound card that you "set and forget" like Natr0n said is almost always an improvement.
  11. anoobarak New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    102 (0.10/day)
    Thanks Received:
    12
    Location:
    Euroland
    Everything what others said. If you're mainly using headphones on your rig, a sound card upgrade (even a cheap one) will definitely make a difference. The increased sound volume is much needed with headphones. Totally worth it.
  12. radrok

    radrok

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    2,894 (3.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    770
    I've used many Soundcards and some aren't worth upgrading over onboard audio, but if you pick the right one you'll notice night and day difference.

    Some onboard are very good tho, the one that is on my RIVE is miles ahead of what was in the past on motherboards.

    The best discrete I've had was an Auzentech and I recommend it even now.
    Cybrnook says thanks.
  13. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,583 (6.83/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,760
    Location:
    Concord, NH
    Most of the time the ALC898 works pretty well but there are times when a dedicated headphone amp and a little extra EMI shielding could be nice, but it's certainly not needed.
  14. Cybrnook

    Cybrnook

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    716 (0.43/day)
    Thanks Received:
    144
    Location:
    C:\Kitteh
    Would have to agree. I use the Auzentech Bravuria 7.1 (Built in headphone amp) and it is a flawless card for the past 3 years.
  15. remixedcat

    remixedcat

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,395 (1.66/day)
    Thanks Received:
    467
    saving up for an amp+DAC and some good cans.
  16. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,721 (2.19/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,435
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida, USA
    Agreed, I got the ALC 898 on my ASRock Z77 Extreme6 and I immediately noticed a difference from the older ALC 892 on my ASRock Z68 Extreme4. I use a Roccat Kave 5.1ch headset which has a built-in amplifier, but I have the sliders at about 35% as even with that I usually keep the sound card's volume at 12-30%.
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  17. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    7,623 (3.19/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,752
    Location:
    Chicago
    Well I was a bit surprised to find my Realtek 892 onboard on my Z77e-itx was noticeably better than my X-Fi XtremeGamer...but it is old now. So the chip itself definitely matters (as I guess is obvious); it's not always "sound card is better, period". I am still thinking about a USB sound card though...
  18. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    5,159 (2.35/day)
    Thanks Received:
    637
    Location:
    IRAQ-Baghdad
    yes i have x-fi titanium but i see it's no more useful in windows 7 when use USB headset, only when put my 7.1 speaker seem a bit different over my on board sound card.
  19. happita

    happita

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,346 (0.96/day)
    Thanks Received:
    390
    Still using my 5 year old x-fi extremegamer as well. Still works great. I have a second one I have brand new just for when it finally dies or gives me problems.

    Question: This doesn't exactly pertain to the topic being discussed, but does digital sound like the one that can be transmitted through the HDMI cable from the video card (ex. my 5850) any good? How does it compare to a stand-alone analog card like the x-fi extreme gamer?
  20. TRWOV

    TRWOV

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3,139 (3.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,721
    Location:
    Mexico
    As good as your receiver is. The HDMI port passes an unlatered digital stream so no DAC interferes.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  21. KingPing

    KingPing

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    793 (0.46/day)
    Thanks Received:
    255
    Location:
    Argentina (South America)
    I have 2 sound cards in my system and the onboard Audio: Titanium HD, Xonar DX and the onboard Realtek (it's enable but i never use it). And a second PC with a X-Fi Titanium. Never had an issue with Creative or ASUS (although i use the unified ones) drivers.

    Is justifiable?

    Only if you have good Speakers and Headphones.

    &

    It depends on the person. Me, i'm never using onboard again, with my Headphones (AKG K240 MKII & Audio Technica ATH A700) the onboard sounds lifeless compared to the Titanium HD, and the extra detail you hear in games is way ahead of what the onboard reproduce IMO.

    Onboards i have listened to:

    Abit IP35 Pro (Realteck ALC888), Giagabyte Z68X-UD3-B3 (Realtek ALC889), ASUS P5E Supreme FX2 (Analog Devices ADI1988D)
  22. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    13,077 (5.10/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,081
    Been using a soundcard since i built my first PC. Obviously I didnt use one at first then i got curious and bought a Creative Audigy 2 ZS just to try out and it was one of the best investsments ever - the Audigy 2 ZS now belongs to my dad who loves it and wont give it back lol.

    I used to have a XFi Xtreme Music which was awesome, I sold that to a friend who loves it very much. I had a XFi Titanium Fatality Pro which died in about a year then I went to a Asus Xonar D2X and STX and after that, back to Creative with their Sound Blaster - Z

    As far as soundcards are concerned, this will most likely be my last one as I am moving over to AV recievers and bookshelf speakers in 5.1
  23. itsakjt

    itsakjt

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,049 (0.81/day)
    Thanks Received:
    307
    I am using the onboard Realtek ALC 892 with Creative X-Fi MB2 drivers and sounds good enough for me. :)
  24. claylomax

    claylomax

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,574 (1.07/day)
    Thanks Received:
    255
    Location:
    London
    This. ALC 898 sounds good to me.
  25. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,481 (1.32/day)
    Thanks Received:
    856
    Location:
    East Coast, USA
    Do I own a couple: yes.

    Do I use them: no.

    HDMI pass through to a television for everything except gaming. A Corsair headset and mic for gaming is all I've ever needed.


    Sound quality is better on a discrete card, assuming that you've got a decent mid-range stereo setup. I qualify this statement with mid-range for one reason; mid-range is the only place where the DAC would be from the computer, and not from the stereo system. My surround sound runs through my receiver, and converts the HDMI pass-through into amazing sound.

    As far as headphones, they're hit and miss. USB based ones generally have more than enough oomph to beat out onboard sound. At the same time, they're more expensive than the standard mono-jacked ones that are so often utilized. With a mono output the headphones need a better sound source, that is generally not there with onboard.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page