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Sound card vs DAC

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
what is the difference between the two?

which is better for music?

which is better for gaming?

was considering "Asus Xonar DX", should i reconsider to a DAC that is around the same price?

Will be using Audio Technica AD700 headphone for all hearing.
:)
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:)
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post #2 of 25
There really is no difference. DAC stands for digital-audio-converter, which is what a sounds card/external DAC is.

What is better for music? External DAC's.

What is better for gaming? Sound cards, because they have all of that CMSS-3D/EAX garbage.

I'm not too familiar with the Xonar cards, so I don't really want to comment on that. But if you're considering an external DAC, think of your needs. Do you primarily listen to music or play games?
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post #3 of 25
get Asus Xonar Essence STX, good for both gaming and music.
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post #4 of 25
Basically, the external DAC can be a lot larger, which can lead to better components, especially as you get more high-end. Also it doesn't take up a slot inside the PC usually, which may allow you to put something else nice inside the PC, like a RAID controller.
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post #5 of 25
not all external DAC perform better, and those who are usually sounds flat, while it's good for some ppl, others may prefer more refined sound.

to get best result from your external DAC, it will take months just to mix and match the setup and cables in between, and probably will cost you a bomb too.
Edited by DJ.BigBear - 4/10/10 at 1:40pm
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post #6 of 25
If you are on a tight budget, i think the soundcards is the way to go. Specially if you are a gamer... the soundcard is better IMO.
I would consider Bigbear suggestion.
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post #7 of 25
Well, for music, external DACs. There are some great budget external DACs out there which are compact as well. Gaming = X-fi cards. Movies = Xonars
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
So say i get a external DAC, how would i be able to adjust the Equalizer?

i know that with a sound card i can use the program that came with it to do that. so far, i think i will be going for a sound card, my main priority is music but i do watch movies and play games too.

also, will there be improvements of sound quality in mp3 files with a good sound card? or do i have to move to FLAC to hear the difference.
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post #9 of 25
don't go for external DAC just for music, if u don't really music maniac....
the best DAC for all around is receiver i think....and like bigbear said, going for eksternal DAC will cost u a bomb it's true !!
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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugiik View Post
don't go for external DAC just for music, if u don't really music maniac....
the best DAC for all around is receiver i think....and like bigbear said, going for eksternal DAC will cost u a bomb it's true !!
Yeah my reciever sounds tons better then any sound card or dac i've ever used. I would't even consider getting one now.
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