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Sound card vs. onboard

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey guy,

I'm currently running a P5B vanilla which features onboard audio to the tune of an AC97 Codec and 8 audio channels. I've read that onboard audio draws resources from your cpu, and I've been thinking of upgrading to a seperate card.

The thing is, I don't know very much about sound cards. I'll be using it mostly for gaming/listening to music. My dad, whom I usually defer to in these matters thinks that my onboard audio should suffice and that any performance gain in going with a seperate card would probably be negligible.

So what I'm aksing is, does it make sense to go with a sound card; what should I know before I begin shopping around, and what do I need to know/look for in a sound card?

Any help is appreciated.
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My System
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E6600 Conroe (3.55Ghz) P5B (Vanilla) EVGA 8800GTS 2GB Kingston HyperX 6400 (512 X 4) 
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320GB WD Caviar Windows XP Pro - SP 2 Raidmax 450W SAGITTA 
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post #2 of 18
one word = X-Fi, you will love it, and it is waaaay better than onboard, and as it has a very good set of electrics, you can use it to enable "Ultra" settings in some new games, and will take *some* load of the CPU (although it wont be noticable)

What speakers do you have?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakg View Post
one word = X-Fi, you will love it, and it is waaaay better than onboard, and as it has a very good set of electrics, you can use it to enable "Ultra" settings in some new games, and will take *some* load of the CPU (although it wont be noticable)

What speakers do you have?
I'll have to get back to you on the speaker types, as I'm not currently home right now. I've heard some mixed reviews on Wi-Fi cards, some reviewers citing "crackeling". Also, how do I know whether my systemboard will support the sound card?
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E6600 Conroe (3.55Ghz) P5B (Vanilla) EVGA 8800GTS 2GB Kingston HyperX 6400 (512 X 4) 
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320GB WD Caviar Windows XP Pro - SP 2 Raidmax 450W SAGITTA 
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Kensington Optical 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6600 Conroe (3.55Ghz) P5B (Vanilla) EVGA 8800GTS 2GB Kingston HyperX 6400 (512 X 4) 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
320GB WD Caviar Windows XP Pro - SP 2 Raidmax 450W SAGITTA 
Mouse
Kensington Optical 
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post #4 of 18
The X-Fi initially had problems with nForce 4 boards, but that issue has been resolved. It's the best consumer sound card for gaming. For music, there are some better choices, though the X-Fi is no slouch in that, either.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRiPNoTiiZ View Post
I'll have to get back to you on the speaker types, as I'm not currently home right now. I've heard some mixed reviews on Wi-Fi cards, some reviewers citing "crackeling". Also, how do I know whether my systemboard will support the sound card?
Wi-Fi cards? i hope thats a typo!

What i mean is that you may have a great sound card, but it will sound the same on $2 speakers!

The X-Fi, like most sound cards, is PCI, so unless your mobo is from mars it will take t
post #6 of 18
A sound card takes some of the burden of the CPU, by processing all the sound itself. Also, sound quality increases, but you'll only hear the quality with decent headphones or speakers. You wont hear any different through a pair of earphones.

I have an audigy 4, which came with a remote. I heard quite a difference with that card.

X-Fi cards arent necessarily Wi-Fi cards. X-Fi are to the Audigy 4's as FX processors are to Athlon processors. More expensive, but better.
post #7 of 18
x-fi for games...defn.

m-audio makes some good cards for music and stuff like that....

Then there's even more expensive stuff that's not worth the pricetag.
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post #8 of 18
sorry to highjack, but would it be worth it to get an X-Fi with my Creative P380 speakers? or are they too crap to notice a difference
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakg View Post
sorry to highjack, but would it be worth it to get an X-Fi with my Creative P380 speakers? or are they too crap to notice a difference
I noticed a big difference going from my old Live! to my X-Fi with my crappy Logitech X530s.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
think of this card?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6600 Conroe (3.55Ghz) P5B (Vanilla) EVGA 8800GTS 2GB Kingston HyperX 6400 (512 X 4) 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
320GB WD Caviar Windows XP Pro - SP 2 Raidmax 450W SAGITTA 
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Kensington Optical 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6600 Conroe (3.55Ghz) P5B (Vanilla) EVGA 8800GTS 2GB Kingston HyperX 6400 (512 X 4) 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
320GB WD Caviar Windows XP Pro - SP 2 Raidmax 450W SAGITTA 
Mouse
Kensington Optical 
  hide details  
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