Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Internal vs External Sound Card Digital
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Internal vs External Sound Card Digital

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I just recently purchased a dedicated NIC for my ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 as the onboard one was absolute trash. Needless to say, it got me thinking about what other on board systems I am using that may not be up to the performance par. My question is simple, but I'm sure the answer will be complicated. For a 5.1 surround setup going to a receiver via SPIDIF. Will a dedicated sound card offer superior quality, and if so, is it noticeable? Also, my receiver does not support 192kHz, it's pretty old.
IVB-E Waiting
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K ASRock Z77 Extreme4 EVGA GTX 670 G. Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Force 3 Seagate 7200.14 Pioneer BCD-202 Liquid Cooling (Water + Kill Coil + UltraViolet... 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 Yamakasi Catleap 27' 2560x1440 Razer Tarantula CoolerMasters GOLD 1000W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Logitech G500 None Yamah 5.1 Surround Sound DDII + DTS 
Audio
Logitech G930 
  hide details  
Reply
IVB-E Waiting
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K ASRock Z77 Extreme4 EVGA GTX 670 G. Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Force 3 Seagate 7200.14 Pioneer BCD-202 Liquid Cooling (Water + Kill Coil + UltraViolet... 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 Yamakasi Catleap 27' 2560x1440 Razer Tarantula CoolerMasters GOLD 1000W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Logitech G500 None Yamah 5.1 Surround Sound DDII + DTS 
Audio
Logitech G930 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 9
The ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 is not absolute trash (in my humble opinion),...but if you have a nice receiver and speakers it will hold you back.

A dedicated sound card will only offer you superior quality if your receiver and speakers are of superior quality.

If you are having noise and interference problems, going to SPIDIF should make them go away.

I can hear the difference between 44 KHz sampling rate and 96 KHz sampling rate.....but I can't hear the difference between 96 KHz and 192 KHz rate. Some people claim to hear the difference, but either they have $5,000 sound system or their crazy. (IMHO)

What model receiver do you have? What model speakers do you have?
Deus Ex Machina
(19 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 580M Dell 0R1203 NVIDIA Quadro FX 2800M Samsung 4Gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
TOSHIBA MK3256GSYF  TOSHIBA MK3256GSYF  DVD-Rom HL-DT-ST DVD+-RW GU40N Windows 7 Professional 
Audio
Dell Computer 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Fami... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Athlon 64 X2 6400+  Asus M2N-E Nforce 500 SLi 8800GT  9800 GT 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveOS
OCZ ReaperX WD LG lightscribe Multilayer DVD burner Windows 7 
PowerCase
Antec 500W Smartpower 2.0 Aspire X-Navigator 
  hide details  
Reply
Deus Ex Machina
(19 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 580M Dell 0R1203 NVIDIA Quadro FX 2800M Samsung 4Gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
TOSHIBA MK3256GSYF  TOSHIBA MK3256GSYF  DVD-Rom HL-DT-ST DVD+-RW GU40N Windows 7 Professional 
Audio
Dell Computer 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Fami... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Athlon 64 X2 6400+  Asus M2N-E Nforce 500 SLi 8800GT  9800 GT 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveOS
OCZ ReaperX WD LG lightscribe Multilayer DVD burner Windows 7 
PowerCase
Antec 500W Smartpower 2.0 Aspire X-Navigator 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 9
Obviously sound quality is based on the quality of the DAC and Amp so it all depends on your current setup.

If you are using the onboard aux output on the mobo then yes, a soundcard makes a big difference, but if you are using a USB DAC to amp or something along those lines then a soundcard wont do much if anything at all.

Sent from my R800i using Tapatalk 2
Gangrene Machine
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600k - 4.8Ghz - 1.4v Asus Maximus V Formula 2x MSI GTX 680 SLI 4x4GB Corsair Dominator GT @2133 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Vertex3 + Corsair Force 3 + 10 TB storage LG BD Rewriter EK Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel EK FC680 GTX - Acetal+EN 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Watercool 420mm external + EK 240mm internal Windows 7 Ultimate x64 lg w2363d DAS Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone ST1200-G NZXT Switch 810 With Pedestal Mod Steelseries Sensei Steelseries QcK XL Na'vi 
AudioAudioAudio
Asus Xonar Essence One + Little Dot MKIII Sennheiser HD650 Elektrovoice RE20 
  hide details  
Reply
Gangrene Machine
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600k - 4.8Ghz - 1.4v Asus Maximus V Formula 2x MSI GTX 680 SLI 4x4GB Corsair Dominator GT @2133 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
OCZ Vertex3 + Corsair Force 3 + 10 TB storage LG BD Rewriter EK Supreme HF - Acetal+Nickel EK FC680 GTX - Acetal+EN 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Watercool 420mm external + EK 240mm internal Windows 7 Ultimate x64 lg w2363d DAS Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Silverstone ST1200-G NZXT Switch 810 With Pedestal Mod Steelseries Sensei Steelseries QcK XL Na'vi 
AudioAudioAudio
Asus Xonar Essence One + Little Dot MKIII Sennheiser HD650 Elektrovoice RE20 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 9
No, a sound card will not do anything to improve an S/PDIF signal. I also think people who claim to hear the difference between 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz and 96 kHz are full of it.
 
Quiet Desktop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-970 MSI X-58 Pro-E 8600GT 6 GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 32GB Patriot SSD Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Ubuntu Server 
PowerCaseOtherOther
COOLMAX 700 watt modular Norco RPC-3216 Areca ARC-1222 w/ BBU 4 SFF-8087 Cables 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5-2500k ASUS P8Z68-M Pro 16 GB (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR... 64GB Kingston SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD burner combo drive Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Windows 7 Ultimate x64 1440x900 old LG LCD with anti-glare film peeled... 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dusty old Dell PS/2 Seasonic 560 watt modular Lian-li PC-V354B Some generic one from Best Buy 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Plain black ASUS Xonar Essence STX Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Quiet Desktop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-970 MSI X-58 Pro-E 8600GT 6 GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 32GB Patriot SSD Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Ubuntu Server 
PowerCaseOtherOther
COOLMAX 700 watt modular Norco RPC-3216 Areca ARC-1222 w/ BBU 4 SFF-8087 Cables 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5-2500k ASUS P8Z68-M Pro 16 GB (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR... 64GB Kingston SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD burner combo drive Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Windows 7 Ultimate x64 1440x900 old LG LCD with anti-glare film peeled... 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dusty old Dell PS/2 Seasonic 560 watt modular Lian-li PC-V354B Some generic one from Best Buy 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Plain black ASUS Xonar Essence STX Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 9
Just because the sample rate is higher on the sound card or onboard doesn't mean the audio quality will be higher. It's best to match the sample rate of the audio. Using 96khz on a 44.1khz MP3 file will introduce distortion.

Now using a soundcard and using digital out one of the benefits is less jitter, 5.1 through DTS or DDL, less interference from the motherboard. Now the 5.1 audio is compressed using digital out. Stereo isn't.

Because you are using your receiver as the DAC. The quality of the audio will ultimately depend on the receiver, well before it gets to the speakers anyway. The sound card is only transferring the digital signal.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k Gigabyte Z77X-D3H MSI R9 270 2x4GB G.skill Ripjaws X 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 250GB. Samsung F3 1TB, Seagate 2TB LP Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 LG M2352 23" IPS 
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair VX550 Lian Li PC-P50WB KEF iQ10 driven by TCA Gizmo source by Aune T1 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k Gigabyte Z77X-D3H MSI R9 270 2x4GB G.skill Ripjaws X 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 250GB. Samsung F3 1TB, Seagate 2TB LP Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 LG M2352 23" IPS 
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair VX550 Lian Li PC-P50WB KEF iQ10 driven by TCA Gizmo source by Aune T1 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 9
Using 96 kHz on a 44.1 kHz MP3 is the least of your worries...playing MP3 is the weak link there. With a proper resampler I doubt anyone can hear any ill effects. The tiny amounts of jitter present in today's electronics means any speak of it is audiophoolery, especially seeing as DACs pretty much have internal things to cleanse the signal. 5.1 encoded through DTS or AC-3 isn't going to pick up any interference from the motherboard...only analog outputted from the computer can suffer those effects. It will either work or it won't (a 0 is a 0 and a 1 is a 1).
 
Quiet Desktop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-970 MSI X-58 Pro-E 8600GT 6 GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 32GB Patriot SSD Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Ubuntu Server 
PowerCaseOtherOther
COOLMAX 700 watt modular Norco RPC-3216 Areca ARC-1222 w/ BBU 4 SFF-8087 Cables 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5-2500k ASUS P8Z68-M Pro 16 GB (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR... 64GB Kingston SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD burner combo drive Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Windows 7 Ultimate x64 1440x900 old LG LCD with anti-glare film peeled... 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dusty old Dell PS/2 Seasonic 560 watt modular Lian-li PC-V354B Some generic one from Best Buy 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Plain black ASUS Xonar Essence STX Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Quiet Desktop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-970 MSI X-58 Pro-E 8600GT 6 GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 32GB Patriot SSD Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Ubuntu Server 
PowerCaseOtherOther
COOLMAX 700 watt modular Norco RPC-3216 Areca ARC-1222 w/ BBU 4 SFF-8087 Cables 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5-2500k ASUS P8Z68-M Pro 16 GB (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR... 64GB Kingston SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD burner combo drive Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Windows 7 Ultimate x64 1440x900 old LG LCD with anti-glare film peeled... 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dusty old Dell PS/2 Seasonic 560 watt modular Lian-li PC-V354B Some generic one from Best Buy 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Plain black ASUS Xonar Essence STX Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 9
Yup. All of it is negligible.

That being said it doesn't take a lot to have a far better audio setup than one of cheap HTIB or PC speakers.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k Gigabyte Z77X-D3H MSI R9 270 2x4GB G.skill Ripjaws X 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 250GB. Samsung F3 1TB, Seagate 2TB LP Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 LG M2352 23" IPS 
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair VX550 Lian Li PC-P50WB KEF iQ10 driven by TCA Gizmo source by Aune T1 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 2500k Gigabyte Z77X-D3H MSI R9 270 2x4GB G.skill Ripjaws X 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung EVO 250GB. Samsung F3 1TB, Seagate 2TB LP Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 LG M2352 23" IPS 
PowerCaseAudio
Corsair VX550 Lian Li PC-P50WB KEF iQ10 driven by TCA Gizmo source by Aune T1 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for replying. In response to crimsontears, I don't think the Extreme 4 is trash, I think it's great, but the board is currently being RMA'd for a faulty LAN card. The receiver I am using is a Yamaha HTR-6030 with the generic speakers and base that came with it. I know for sure the base is awful as I've swapped it out with my moms and it was 1000 times better. I'm using 12 AWG wires throughout the room. After reading the specs on my box, it looks like it does support 192kHz/24-bit, that's really odd b/c it will display NOT SUPPORT on the screen why I try and use that.
IVB-E Waiting
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K ASRock Z77 Extreme4 EVGA GTX 670 G. Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Force 3 Seagate 7200.14 Pioneer BCD-202 Liquid Cooling (Water + Kill Coil + UltraViolet... 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 Yamakasi Catleap 27' 2560x1440 Razer Tarantula CoolerMasters GOLD 1000W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Logitech G500 None Yamah 5.1 Surround Sound DDII + DTS 
Audio
Logitech G930 
  hide details  
Reply
IVB-E Waiting
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3770K ASRock Z77 Extreme4 EVGA GTX 670 G. Skill 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Force 3 Seagate 7200.14 Pioneer BCD-202 Liquid Cooling (Water + Kill Coil + UltraViolet... 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Professional x64 Yamakasi Catleap 27' 2560x1440 Razer Tarantula CoolerMasters GOLD 1000W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
ThermalTake Logitech G500 None Yamah 5.1 Surround Sound DDII + DTS 
Audio
Logitech G930 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 9
When it says it has a 192 kHz DAC it most likely means it upsamples everything to that. Only up to 20 (sometimes 24) bits and up to 48 kHz are officially supported over S/PDIF and TOSLINK. Everything you see that does more than that are not compliant to any standard. A receiver like this one is going to conform to those standards. TOSLINK actually expanded to 125 mbps later, so it technically could do multichannel PCM and all of the new lossless blu-ray formats, but it's just a matter of legality for copy protection.
 
Quiet Desktop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-970 MSI X-58 Pro-E 8600GT 6 GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 32GB Patriot SSD Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Ubuntu Server 
PowerCaseOtherOther
COOLMAX 700 watt modular Norco RPC-3216 Areca ARC-1222 w/ BBU 4 SFF-8087 Cables 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5-2500k ASUS P8Z68-M Pro 16 GB (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR... 64GB Kingston SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD burner combo drive Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Windows 7 Ultimate x64 1440x900 old LG LCD with anti-glare film peeled... 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dusty old Dell PS/2 Seasonic 560 watt modular Lian-li PC-V354B Some generic one from Best Buy 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Plain black ASUS Xonar Essence STX Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Quiet Desktop
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-970 MSI X-58 Pro-E 8600GT 6 GB (3 x 2GB) Corsair DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 32GB Patriot SSD Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Ubuntu Server 
PowerCaseOtherOther
COOLMAX 700 watt modular Norco RPC-3216 Areca ARC-1222 w/ BBU 4 SFF-8087 Cables 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
i5-2500k ASUS P8Z68-M Pro 16 GB (4 x 4GB) Mushkin Enhanced Silverline DDR... 64GB Kingston SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Blu-ray reader and DVD/CD burner combo drive Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B Windows 7 Ultimate x64 1440x900 old LG LCD with anti-glare film peeled... 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Dusty old Dell PS/2 Seasonic 560 watt modular Lian-li PC-V354B Some generic one from Best Buy 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Plain black ASUS Xonar Essence STX Bottlehead Crack w/ Speedball 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Internal vs External Sound Card Digital