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How much difference do sound cards

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
really make?

I don't have a sound card.. I currently can't get a sound card and have no interest in actually owning a soundcard. (Crossfire blocks my only spare port for a sound card.)

However, I have come to wonder where to draw the line when people claim "I have a great sound set up, thats how I managed to shoot you and know where you were as soon as you appear every single time!"

Especially when they claim their "epic sound set up" is something like razer megalodons..
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post #2 of 26
When it comes to pinpointing an opponent, I think any decent sound card will do. Hell, maybe even an on board sound card. Nowadays mobo's come with decent integrated sound cards. A person having spend $500 on sound equipment isn't going to have better sound positioning than someone who spend $100 on sound equipment. Thats not how the games are made. What game do you play?
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post #3 of 26
While integrated sound cards have gotten tremendously better, in my experience, a sound card is definitely worth it.

My setup is my sig rig. I have a standard audio out connected to a decent 2.1 logitech system. While you might not be able to hear what a sound card actually does as soon as you do a comparison the sound will be much better. When my sound card came in when the rest of the computer was already built and I put it in, it was night and day. The sound was clearer, smoother and the bass was so much better. All the little nuisances of the music were audible and it sounded crystal clear.

But sound quality and clarity is different for every person. Hopefully this post will help you decide on the necessity of a sound card.
    
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post #4 of 26
It depends on what you use.

For example, on my RIIIE mobo I couldn't get full x16 on each card with the sound card in, combine that with the fact that there is no noticeable difference through my speakers and I just had to sell it.

Headphones are another story, as they (for me at least) tend to be more accurate and need more precision.. but for speakers it didn't make a single difference.
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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
My rig is in my sig.

I don't have room to stick in a sound card, and i'm not giving up my xfire.

I am currently using a set of cheap plantronics 377's I got on sale for like 20$ a while back. (wonderful deal and wonderful headphones for the price)

Sound stage is better than anything I've gotten to use before and I love em for that purpose.

With that said I play left 4 dead 2, soon battlefield bad company 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. CoP, Metro 2033, Day of defeat: source and other games.

I won't say I'm an audiophile but, I will say I notice the difference between plantronics and say my Audiotechnica ES7's. I can tell lower quality files from higher ones a lot easier on the ES7's so I'm not entirely deaf to what quality is when it comes to sound.

However, I think what I am driving at is how optimized are these games for sound really? I mean sure Sound cards help and all that..

Where do you draw the line between what is and is not feasible with the use of a sound card?
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post #6 of 26
Like others have said, a sound card will increase sound quality but it won't give you a magical sense of directional hearing. If you're a gamer first and foremost, your money is better spent on a good pair of true 5.1 headphones.
 
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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Makes me think people just use "sound cards" as a way of covering up hacking then x.x
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post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLinky View Post
Like others have said, a sound card will increase sound quality but it won't give you a magical sense of directional hearing. If you're a gamer first and foremost, your money is better spent on a good pair of true 5.1 headphones.
The first half of information you said was completely true, but then you went off and suggested getting 5.1 headphones and it just crashed and burned...
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow_Fox View Post
Makes me think people just use "sound cards" as a way of covering up hacking then x.x
Yep. Heard the same thing from a guy, and he got banned within a few weeks for walling. What game do u play?
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post #10 of 26
Sound cards make a huge difference, take it from someone that's upgraded from onboard audio to sound cards 2-3 times and took the time to compare them. I installed and removed my sound card several times to compare the difference in games and music, and it's a marvelous difference.

On another note, I really dislike playing with headphones. Headphones can't touch having a nice 12" sub pounding with bullets and explosions.

I really dislike that gamers with the wealth to buy nice high end audio equipment have a slight advantage over those with measly 20watt speakers you get at Office Depot, but sadly it's the way it is. What I hated about older games like BF2 is that anyone can lower their game settings all the way to eliminate some of the shadows and shrubs of grass from their game, giving the player with lower settings an advantage. BC2 does a good job against this since it is such a demanding game and lowering the settings doesn't REMOVE anything, it just makes things look less detailed.
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