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Is it worth it to get a cheap sound card?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
First off, I have the on-board sound from my motherboard which is the Realtek ALC662. I use it on my Logitech X-540 5.1 speakers. I am planning on buying a decent gaming headset soon too. (less than $50)

With that in mind would I benefit from buying a dedicated sound card?

My current choices (PCI):
Sound Blaster 5.1 VX
Asus Xonar DS
Asus Xonar DG

If you can suggest other better cards for the same price point please do so too.

Last question, are PCI cards deliver the same sound quality as the PCI-E x1 ones, or does the bandwidth bottleneck it?
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post #2 of 17
Definitely worth it.

PCI PCIe - all intents and purposes no bottlenecks either way.

Would you hear a difference on your speaker setup? Maybe.

Would you hear a difference on your headphones? Definitely.

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post #3 of 17
Check out my headphones for sale. No soundcard needed.

/end shameless plug

Having said that, an upgrade over onboard is certainly noticeable. I own a xonar dg and its a nice value for the price.

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post #4 of 17
I probably shouldn't chime in here because I'm far from an expert, but the onboard sound from my recent motherboards is just as good if not better than my 4 year old Creative sound blaster card. My vote is save your money.

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post #5 of 17
Entry level Xonar cards are a good upgrade from any onboard.
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post #6 of 17
It depends on how good the integrated sound card is. Do you have any issues like hissing or the like. I hate to be the one telling you this but Logitech X-540 is crap (all PC labelled stuff are) compared to anything even remotely worthy of been called HI-FI. Any improvement you get will be for your head phones only assuming you run them directly from the sound card itself.
    
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

Check out my headphones for sale. No soundcard needed.
/end shameless plug
Having said that, an upgrade over onboard is certainly noticeable. I own a xonar dg and its a nice value for the price.
Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
That's a pretty good deal you got there mate biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavey00 View Post

I probably shouldn't chime in here because I'm far from an expert, but the onboard sound from my recent motherboards is just as good if not better than my 4 year old Creative sound blaster card. My vote is save your money.
Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

I was also wondering about this one, as I would soon be upgrading my system (hopefully) with a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard which I've read has good on-board audio itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

It depends on how good the integrated sound card is. Do you have any issues like hissing or the like. I hate to be the one telling you this but Logitech X-540 is crap (all PC labelled stuff are) compared to anything even remotely worthy of been called HI-FI. Any improvement you get will be for your head phones only assuming you run them directly from the sound card itself.

I believe I had one instance where I heard the hissing sound once but I can't remember if it was from the crappy audio file or my on-board sound card. or when my speakers were cracked up in volume but there wasn't anything playing. I'll check when I get home. But generally I don't have any issues regarding the sound.

No worries, I know that the X-540 isn't that great but I got if from a pretty good value when I bought it, so it's fine by me.

So I wouldn't really notice any difference for my X-540's? that's disappointing guiltysmiley.gif
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberpunkz View Post


No worries, I know that the X-540 isn't that great but I got if from a pretty good value when I bought it, so it's fine by me.

So I wouldn't really notice any difference for my X-540's? that's disappointing guiltysmiley.gif

You know, the DG is $20~ or less usually - a pretty cheap way to actually see for yourself if you can hear a difference. You might notice better audio in a 5.1 setup. I would love to tell you that I noticed it, but I'm only running 5.1 audio via digital, so I don't get the analog out like a PC 5.1 speaker setup would give. tongue.gif
    
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post #9 of 17
If on a budget, prioritise the money towards headphones/speakers that you would have spent on sound card.
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberpunkz View Post

**Snip**
So I wouldn't really notice any difference for my X-540's? that's disappointing guiltysmiley.gif

Very doubtful unless you have a hissing problem under normal volume settings. A dedicated sound card will in many cases fix source signal hissing but there is very little hope for actual improvement in sound clarity/quality as long as you are using logitech speakers (or other similar stuff).
    
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