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Advantages using a sound card over my built in?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am just not sure of the difference. You can see my sig rig and im thinking about adding a sounds card but only if it will make a clear difference. I also want to buy a headset so will it be better for that also? Any recommendations and PCI or USB?
Edited by squishy18 - 10/31/13 at 8:36am
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post #2 of 10
For gaming some of the features will present a difference. In terms of audio quality it will be dependent on the quality of the audio and speakers or headphones.

What's your budget?
    
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmmm im thinkin maybe 200ish for Headphones and Sound card. I like this just because of the front I/O panel for ease. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102040
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post #4 of 10
No question that most motherboards today have much better onboard sound solutions than they did in the past. However, I always use a discrete sound card, regardless of the onboard solution.

Benefits that may help you make a decision;

Offloading CPU cycles to the discrete processor on the sound card
Headphone amplification (especially if you buy a card that has a headphone AMP - like some Asus cards for example)
Usually more finite and granular level control of the sound solution
Depending on the hardware; improved acoustics and sound reproduction (frequency response, signal to noise ratio etc.)

As for your question about USB or PCI/PCIe

I always go with PCI/PCIe because I'm strictly analog when it comes to my audio hookups (both speakers and headphones). I personally feel that gives me the most natural - unaltered sound. That's just IMHO though.
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post #5 of 10
unless you're using audiophile equipment i doubt you'll notice a difference.
my 990fxa has a slight buzz with my sennheiser headphones, but not enough to warrant another 100$ purchase.
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post #6 of 10
here's a review of your board's sound qualtiy http://www.legitreviews.com/gigabyte-ga-z77x-ud5h-wifi-ga-z77x-ud3h-motherboard-reviews_1890/10 You can probably do better with a card, the question is will you hear the difference?
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by wevsspot View Post

I always go with PCI/PCIe because I'm strictly analog when it comes to my audio hookups (both speakers and headphones). I personally feel that gives me the most natural - unaltered sound. That's just IMHO though.

A DAC takes a digital signal and converts it into an analog signal. Sound cards and external DACs do the same thing so one is not going to sound more natural and unaltered than the other based on that alone.

External DACs go well beyond the capabilities and qualities of sound cards and they're always going to take a USB, optical, or coax signal (all digital signals) from your computer.
post #8 of 10
Not a fan of the Creative Recon series, and in fact regardless of what they might say on paper, I think they sound worse than the previous generation X-Fi cards.

You would be better served to choose one of the new Creative Z series cards, or even look for a value on a used Creative X-Fi Titanium HD.

Even though you don't have the convenience of a front panel, it would be hard to beat the value of the Asus Xonar DX right at $80 most places.
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Crucial C300 128Gb x2 RAID0  SK Hynix SH910 128Gb x2 RAID0 Western Digital Black Edition 1Tb Western Digital Black Edition 640Gb 
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Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
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post #9 of 10
I didn't get from the OP that he was going to invest in an offboard solution for DAC / amplification. According to his post he is willing to spend $200 on sound card and headphones. That will pretty much eat up his budget if he buys anything decent.

Thanks for the education though. I had no idea what a DAC was or what it did.
Edited by wevsspot - 10/31/13 at 9:02am
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Crucial C300 128Gb x2 RAID0  SK Hynix SH910 128Gb x2 RAID0 Western Digital Black Edition 1Tb Western Digital Black Edition 640Gb 
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Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
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wevs rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H MSI GTX 670 PE OC x2 SLi Team xTreem 16Gb (2x4Gb) DDR3 2400Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial C300 128Gb x2 RAID0  SK Hynix SH910 128Gb x2 RAID0 Western Digital Black Edition 1Tb Western Digital Black Edition 640Gb 
Optical DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer P243Waid Razer Black Widow Ultimate Corsair HX1000 Corsair C70 White Edition 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer DeathAdder SteelSeries Creative Soundblaster X-FI Titanium HD 
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post #10 of 10
I recommend SBZ for much better quality compared to the Recon3D facepalm-quality.
Or the usual Xonar DGX.

And we have this sticky for a reason: OCN's Most Recommended Audio Products
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Silent Hawk
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