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I'm confused about sound cards.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Simply put, do most motherboards have sound built in? And if so, do sound cards just enhance the sound or something? I was also wondering the same thing about networking cards while I'm at it.
post #2 of 8
Yes, motherboards have sound built in, while sound cards can be purchased and installed for better quality audio (sort of like integrated video vs. dedicated GPU). Network cards, on the other hand (wireless), must be purchased separately.
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post #3 of 8
soundcards enhance the sound quality. But they really pay dividends when you have a pair of quality headphones to pair with them. If you plan on buying a soundcard also research headphones to go with it.
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post #4 of 8
Most motherboards (if not all) have onboard sound. And sounds cards make everything much more clear, crisp, etc. You can basically hear things you haven't before, it also makes some things sound even more toned. It's hard to explain.

Another important thing is it also slightly improves performance (since you won't be using onboard). The only downside to a sound card is you need a decent speaker system and or a decent pair of headphones for the money you spent to really be heard. Otherwise it's a waste and mostly placebo.
post #5 of 8
The argument is: what sort of onboard chip does your mobo sport? Some say the highest end Realtek ALC89X are a big step from older onboard audio so if one is hitting a discrete sound card it better be a step up from highest end current Realtek else.....

Asus' Xonar DG and Xense sound cards
Do you really need discrete audio?
http://techreport.com/articles.x/19997/1
Edited by trog - 8/20/11 at 3:31am
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, so a sound card seems good. I'm big into sound whoring in games, and also music. I have Klipsch Image One's, so I won't ever have to worry about headphones.
post #7 of 8
In 2020 hard drives will have built in sound cards and speakers which output a sound opposite to what the hard drive makes TO CANCEL IT OUT OMG. But everyone will be using ever so silent SSDs so my amazing idea is now irrelevant :X
    
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyroh View Post
In 2020 hard drives will have built in sound cards and speakers which output a sound opposite to what the hard drive makes TO CANCEL IT OUT OMG. But everyone will be using ever so silent SSDs so my amazing idea is now irrelevant :X
Ah, what?
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