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Onboard sounds horrible will using digital output make it a non-issue

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am using the integrated sound on my motherboard which is horrible, it isn't even as good as the integrated sound on my $500 dell laptop from 3 years ago. I am wondering if using any of the following will make the quality of my integrated sound a non-issue (because they are digital and would(?) by-pass the audio processing on board): HDMI 1 x HDMI
S/PDIF Out 1 x Optical, 1 x Coaxial
If so how can I convert my green audio jack from my 2.1 speakers to use one of these ports?


If not does anyone know of any sound cards that are cheaper than this:
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card - OEM ~$62 shipped It needs to be PCI-E....I am only looking for SB Audigy 2 ZS or Ipod quality sound....being compatible with linux is a must...
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post #2 of 14
No, onboard is onboard whether it's optical or not. You need a sound card, if you don't care all that much I question why you would want to make a move up form on board in the first place, but any dedicated sound card will sound better than onboard for the most part. If you want Audigy 2Zs sound, why don't you just buy an Audigy 2ZS?
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post
No, onboard is onboard whether it's optical or not.
I thought HDMi was digital...and wouldn't that mean there would be no sound processing happening on the computer itself..?

Quote:
You need a sound card, if you don't care all that much I question why you would want to make a move up form on board in the first place,
Because the sound quality sounds worse than all of the following cassettes, ipods, my cheapo coby mp3 player that is the biggest piece of, my old audigy 2 zs, dollar store generic headphones, anything you can think of ,etc.
Quote:
but any dedicated sound card will sound better than onboard for the most part. If you want Audigy 2Zs sound, why don't you just buy an Audigy 2ZS?
I don't want an audigy 2 ZS I was just using it as a guide as what I consider acceptable sound quality. i have an audigy 2 ZS already the problem is my htpc has 1 PCI-E x16 slot and 0 PCI slots. I have yet to see anything below the X-FI offered in PCI-E and I want to know if I can get a decent sound card for ~$30...or if the one I posted is my best option.
Edited by A Legend of Sorts - 6/9/10 at 6:13pm
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Legend of Sorts View Post
I thought HDMi was digital...and wouldn't that mean there would be no sound processing happening on the computer itself..?
There are a lot of misconceptions with digital transmissions. Just passing along a digital signal causes signal degradation. Read up on jitter and other timing errors if you wish to learn more. Digital and analog both have advantages/disadvantages and neither is perfect.
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post #5 of 14
same card from ncix us but cheaper, not sure about shipping though

http://www.ncixus.com/products/31779...eative%20Labs/
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post #6 of 14
heres an article about on-board sound cards.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...dio-Works/28/1

even if it the sound information is passed through hdmi, it still is processed by the on-board sound card. and in essence, the on board sound card is "emulating" what a true sound card does.

sound cards normally have filter capacitors, opAMPS, and other signal filtering circuitry that make it a true sound card.
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by subliminally incorrect View Post
heres an article about on-board sound cards.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/artic...dio-Works/28/1

even if it the sound information is passed through hdmi, it still is processed by the on-board sound card. and in essence, the on board sound card is "emulating" what a true sound card does.

sound cards normally have filter capacitors, opAMPS, and other signal filtering circuitry that make it a true sound card.
thanks.

hmm it looks like I either need a separate PSU adaptor if I get the asus xonar for like $70 or I need to take my chances with a sound card that has 2/5 stars on newegg with lots of complaints..
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
anyone have any suggestions...?
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post #9 of 14
i say bite the bullet and go for the best you can buy. You will not regret it from where you're coming from right now.

the thing about sound cards is that if you get a good one, it will last you a long time and can be transferred to other builds in the future so long as the expansion slot technology doesn't change. and PCIE will probably be around for a while.
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post #10 of 14
also, the Xonar requires a psu connection that all PSU connections should have from the start (the kind that plugs into your floppy drive).
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