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Cheapest sound card that has equal or better quality than my Realtek onboard chip

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
It seems like I'm going to have to buy a sound card, the onboard audio jacks on the back of my computer seem to be acting up.

It's a contact problem, I've got to constantly make sure the audio cables don't get touched, otherwise I get "connect/disconnect twitching" problems. It's a pain to deal with...

So, what is out there? I'm not looking for better sound really, I just want something cheap, reliable, and that has the same (or better) quality as my current Realtek chipset, as I'm satisfied with the sound quality the chipset has.
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post #2 of 26
How cheap is cheap?
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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post
How cheap is cheap?
Don't know really, as I don't know what are the usual sound card prices... But I'm open for anything, as long as it's at least as good as my Realtek chipset.

I just want it to be as cheap as can be as long as it's reliable and has same or better sound quality as my Realtek chipset.
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post #4 of 26
Any sound card really.... you can get "X-Fi" XtremeAudio for $10 on eBay.
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post #5 of 26
You can grab a Xonar DG off amazon for $26 dollars.
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post #6 of 26
ASUS Xonar for $25 after rebate.
   
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post #7 of 26
can we really tell the difference? (I actually don't know)

enlighten the ignorants, please?
   
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post #8 of 26
The Xteme audio or the Xonar DG as mentioned above are good
cause frankly any card you will get is way better than the ALC888 you got

i think to go over to the 100$ cards so you will feel the upgrading result Xtereme Gamer maybe
    
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiZ51 View Post
It seems like I'm going to have to buy a sound card, the onboard audio jacks on the back of my computer seem to be acting up.

It's a contact problem, I've got to constantly make sure the audio cables don't get touched, otherwise I get "connect/disconnect twitching" problems. It's a pain to deal with...

So, what is out there? I'm not looking for better sound really, I just want something cheap, reliable, and that has the same (or better) quality as my current Realtek chipset, as I'm satisfied with the sound quality the chipset has.
You might want to make sure there isn't a grounding problem with the board, either via the I/O plate or the screws/stand-offs attaching it to the case.

Also, cleaning the ports and making sure than the pins/springs in them aren't bent might do the trick.

Otherwise, there are cards superior to your on-board that can be had very inexpensively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InterestedThirdParty View Post
can we really tell the difference? (I actually don't know)

enlighten the ignorants, please?
I've had dozens of boards and sound cards over the years, and while the raw quality of onboard solutions has increased quite a bit over the years, dedicated cards have come down in price for what they can do.

My current Xonar DS (which was 35 dollars after rebate) is noticeably better in audio quality, and is capable of four times the number of simultaneous audio streams, as the on-board on my X58A-UD5, which has one of the better realtek codecs and good support hardware.
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post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by InterestedThirdParty View Post
can we really tell the difference? (I actually don't know)

enlighten the ignorants, please?

Better signal to noise ratio for starters.

On-board codecs are generally mixed up with the other mb components and it's rare for them to have a perfect noise free signal. Sometimes you can hear a slight hiss in the background - sometimes you can even hear electrical noise - you'll notice that it fluctuates according to the CPU workload, for example. This all denotes components that are: 1. of less quality; 2. are not properly isolated from interference - integrated solutions will always be more susceptible to this problem. That is also why the best Xonar soundcards have a shield over the card's components - to further reduce the chances of interference and deliver the best signal possible.
 
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