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Onboard vs Sound Card

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Charper2013, May 23, 2009.

  1. Charper2013

    Charper2013 New Member

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    Will I notice a big difference?.. I plan on gettign a good 60-70 dollar range headset soon. From the looks of it my onboard is pretty decent. What are your thoughts?
  2. Kantastic

    Kantastic

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    Have you ever been dissatisfied with your onboard? Or do you feel the sound is lacking something? I never did.
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i say get the headphones and decide then.
  4. Tau

    Tau New Member

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    going from onboard to what?

    if its to say a creative soundcard (any of them)

    there will be a MINOR upgrade in SQ, as well as a tiny bit wider soundstage.

    It is also doubtful you will hear the diffrence on a headset in that price point.

    I wouldent bother if i was in your shoes.
  5. LittleLizard

    LittleLizard New Member

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    onboard as long as u have the correct outputs.
  6. Kursah

    Kursah

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    Well it depends, I can definately tell a difference between any onboard sound I've used in comparison to my low-end x-fi xtreme music, all ranges are clearer, volume goes waaaaayyy louder, EQ tunes a lot better, overall to me it sounds quite a bit better, sound with onboard sounds almost dithered to me, no matter the EQ tuning or Auto EQ settings their software provides, but it adds a card into my rig. I don't mind it, and I dont' mind onboard, but the X-Fi + Logitech X-230's and Turtle Beach HPA2's = FTW for me! :D

    Some get technical, I go by what I hear, if it sounds better to me, and I can adjust better to my likings then it was worth the price, as I'll use it for a long time. I'd say if you can find a friend with an add-in sound card, definately give it a go, also I'd say get the speakers/headphones first. I did that and really the only reason I got a sound card in the first place was the death of my onboard audio on my old Asus P5B Deluxe, I was happy when I got it over 2 years ago, and I'm still happy with the card, I even compared it with the onboard on my current Asus, no comparison, the X-Fi wins hands down...I only use the EQ in creative's software and newest drivers, no issues, haven't had issues for well over a year. If you can hear it before you buy it, that's the way to go, but most of the time you gotta take the risk, you don't need the best add-in stuff to have good sound, or something that sounds great to your ears, everyone is different in that aspect, which is definately food for thought.

    :toast:
    Kei says thanks.
  7. Studabaker

    Studabaker New Member

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    The main thing about having a Creative sound card for me is the multi-band Equalizer. If I didn't get that then my Creative card may as well be my old ESS ISA sound card. With the mutli-band Eqalizer that comes with the Creative cards however, I can do things above and beyond what Realtek's audio controller can do with its mere presets (which are worthless IMO).
  8. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    agreed, presets = :(


    my auzen has a nice EQ, i'm happy. basically all Cmedia chipsets have the same software, so they all get it.
  9. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    It really depends on what you are listening to, what you are listening with, and your environment. If you are listening to 128k MP3s and the fans on your PC are loud and you're using $10 headphones, then you won't notice much difference between onboard sound and a good soundcard. On the other hand, if you are listening to lossless music or a high res Blu Ray soundtrack and have a very quiet PC with some great headphones, the differences will be very apparent.

    On a different note, keep in mind that any headphones that connect to a USB port are already bypassing your onboard sound, so there's no point at all in buying a sound card if they headphones you want connect via USB--the sound card isn't going to be used by such a set of headphones.
  10. RadeonX2

    RadeonX2 New Member

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    I'm lovin' my Supreme FX onboard it is basically a soundmax AD1988B just needs a little tweaking under Vista the sonic focus is a bonus and it can 24-bit 48000hz
  11. Charper2013

    Charper2013 New Member

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    Well as this being my first build I have never used a sound card.. I could listen to yall all day but I can only take your word... I was seeing if you guys were like go for it or it.. I think it would be a nice addition but it could be a waste of money... What soundcards will eb better than my onboard at a decent price?
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    there are only two things a soundcard can give you: better analogue outputs, or features.


    There comes a point where your headphones and speakers hold you back, not the soundcard when it comes to analogue. Since you arent an audiophile, you should stay onboard for now.

    Features wise, its stuff like band equalizers, EAX, real time digital encoding - things like that. if you dont know what it is, you dont need it.
  13. jamesrt2004 New Member

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    yeah 60/70 dollar headset tbh you wont tell too much as it wont be good enough quality to be worth the extra on the card aswell

    imo save money on card get a set of $$ 130/150 headphones then at a later date add a sound card
  14. kenkickr

    kenkickr

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    Crunching for Team TPU
  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    it should be noted that daniel K has also released a set of drivers for this, and kets dont work in vista/7 while daniel K's do. Choose for yourself which one you use.
  16. Darknova

    Darknova

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    Well, over the past week or so I've been playing with my onboard, and 2 different discrete sound cards.

    The Auzentech X-plosion (Cmedia 8770 chipset) and the Razer Barracuda AC-1 (Cmedia 8788 chipset).

    The best sounding is definitely my Razer, sound is clearer, I can hear "more", less distortion, and voices sound less....mumbled.

    The X-plosion is an oddity. In games it sounds worse than the onboard, but for music and games, it's brilliant. In games, the sound is kind of muted, and no where near as clean as the Razer or my onboard.

    You can only go by what you can hear.
  17. Paintface

    Paintface New Member

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    everyone who didnt hear a dedicated asus or creative soundcard before will tell you onboard sounds just fine, cause they have nothing to compare it to.

    I find it a shame when people buy super quadcores and crossfire setups for +$1000 but dont spent any money on a soundcard or networkcard.

    I built soundcards in every gaming machine, even my brother who went from onboard to an audigy 4 i got him cheap noticed a huge difference, and it helps with a few fps in game.
    Especially when you use quality sennheiser headsets or a few hundred bucks surround setup, spent the extra 70 bucks on a soundcard, you wont go back to onboard.
    Kei says thanks.
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i've got realtek 885, realtek 889A, audigy 1, audigy 4, and auzentech X-mystique. you can trust my opinions.

    When using cheap headphones, there is next to no difference. from the audigy 1 and up, my sennheiser HD555's sound pretty much the same with the exception of bass - the audigy 4 had better bass by default, but nothing an EQ tweak couldnt fix on the auzen.

    The creative cards were always nightmares with drivers unlike the others, with the quality of the sound varying drastically between driver versions, needing hacks and driver mods to get the best quality and so on. sure, creative cards can sound the best - but it takes a level of effort the other brands do not require to reach their best.

    In the end, i chose the auzentech - it sounds the best on my HD-555's and Z-5500's, while the realteks w/ X-fi mod is best on my X-540's simply because the updated CMSS-3D does make 2 channel music/movies sound a lot better.
  19. Paintface

    Paintface New Member

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    i have used Creative all my life, i never had driver issues on any card, but i never used vista...

    Using win 7 x64 7100 now and my audigy 2 zs worked with the drivers that came with windows, i installed a custom driver pack from creative forums after that and it works perfectly fine also....

    But that doesnt mean my next card will be creative, asus xonar has superior soundquality and thats what i will be heading for as my next choice.

    In the end, cant get worse sound quality than onboard.
  20. Kenshai

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    They worked in my 64 bit vista just fine, when I was using a p35ds3l.


    Have you tried the x-fi drivers? I couldn't tell much of a difference between those and the audigy card I have laying around, I'm waiting for my onboard to bother me. Not a chance with those drivers.

    All a gaming network card will do is prioritize differently, a 5-10 ping difference won't make a difference while you're playing online.
  21. Paintface

    Paintface New Member

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    i can even feel the speed difference while browsing the net, and i would say 10-15ms decrease of ping when you usually have 60 on the same server is worth alot.

    not to mention for $25 you have the best of the best already NIC wise
  22. silkstone

    silkstone

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    The only difference i noticed when changing to a pci soundcard was a louder volume, and better mixer. The sound quality was the same. And i lost the connector re-tasking function , allowing me to use headphones and speakers at the same time :( Also the PCI soundcard didn't fix the microphone issue like a thought it would.
  23. G-wiz

    G-wiz New Member

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    i find sound card to be unnecessary as i don't hear any difference in sound quality of the onboard sound device.
  24. Tau

    Tau New Member

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    Like meantioned above if your not runn a few $$$ worth of audio kit, and you cant hear the diffrence then a cheap card will do you just fine. For the people that can hear the diffrence they will benefit from the card.

    I would say get a basic Audigy 4 or equal and give that a go, you will be happy with that. Then if you have someone with say a modded x-fi or a Xonar STX (PHENOMINAL CARD IMO, pm me if you want to know why) and see if you can hear the diffrence.

    Audio is a very personal thing, one persons setup might sound great to them but bad to you, all depends on your ears.
  25. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    i use my on board sound it is cool and set creative 7.1 speakers on it surround sound work well , also creative headset , so i see there no need for expensive sound card

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