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Is a dedicated sound card worth it?

post #1 of 37
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So I like to listen to MP3s like the rest of the world, and I'm wondering if with a ~$50 pair of 2.1 speakers, which sound ok, if it would be worth it to move off the onboard sound on my MSI mobo (Realtek something or other).

If so, do I go to Creative (whom I loath for crushing the competition from Aureal). If Creative, which card gets the most bang for the buck?

TIA!
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post #2 of 37
Dedicated Sound Card > On board
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post #3 of 37
It would be worth it yes because it also take the strain off your cpu and puts it on the card and you dont have to go for creative go for turtle beach, I have heard there new card rocks
 
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post #4 of 37
A sound card will alway beat onboard sound, no doubt. If you want to go down Creative's route, then the Audigy 4 SE is the best bang for buck card you can get. You'll get a huge jump from onboard with that card for both music and gaming (EAX 4.0). There are better alternatives if you don't want to go Creative though, but they don't support anything higher than EAX 2.0 for gaming. Creative doesn't make bad products, but they overshadow other companies that make better sound cards.
    
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post #5 of 37
As said the the pci soundcards will be worth it you will get a boost in fps and in sound quality, more info can be found in my FAQ in my sig
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post #6 of 37
Ive seen first hand the creative card with x-ram increase the fps in 2142 ,It takes some stress off your cpu and ram in game.
http://www.creative.com/products/pro...&product=15854
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post #7 of 37
IMO it depends on the users discretion. IT doesnt really take that much of a load off of the cpu. I never noticed any real difference from onboard to my audigy. Only difference i saw was that bullets sound more real, but as far as mp3's are concerned i noticed no difference at all.

I would say go for it just to take the small load off your cpu. But if you are tight for money then i cant justify buying one.
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post #8 of 37
I replaced my onboard solution with a dedicated card only because Oblivion really hates realtek onboard audio. The sound quality is better on the X-fi, louder and clearer, and I am probably getting more fps, though I can't really tell because this rig already dished out crazy frames with the onboard audio. Dedicated is nice, but its not really that neccessary unless you are having problems with the onboard like I was.
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post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos40 View Post
So I like to listen to MP3s like the rest of the world, and I'm wondering if with a ~$50 pair of 2.1 speakers, which sound ok, if it would be worth it to move off the onboard sound on my MSI mobo (Realtek something or other).

If so, do I go to Creative (whom I loath for crushing the competition from that company whose name I can't remember right now.. grrr). If Creative, which card gets the most bang for the buck?

TIA!
It very much depends. On-board sound used to be really rubbish, but a lot of the on-boards are much better than they used to be now.

If you're happy enough with how your on-board sounds, stick with it. The amount of system resources on-board sound uses on a system with a modern CPU isn't worth the money a dedicated sound card costs to free up. People say you'll see X many extra FPS in games when you have a dedicated sound card rather than on-board, but I've never seen any proof of this and in my experience, I got the exact same FPS in games with a dedicated sound card, as I did with on-board sound...

I think the bottom line is that; if you're happy with how your on-board sound, sounds, just stick with it, because the amount of system resources freed-up by using a dedicated sound card, does not justify the cost of having one. If you're some kind of audiophile, a dedicated sound card is undoubtedly the way to go, otherwise, as long as your on-board sounds OK, there's not really any logical reason to upgrade.

Highly-Annoyed
    
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post #10 of 37
i love my fatality soundcard
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