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Low-end sound card vs. onboard

post #1 of 7
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I work for a IT consulting company that provides services to local small/medium businesses. We have a bunch of older components in our workshop area that are just collecting dust. Among these parts are a few older PCI sound cards (best I've found so far is a PCI X-Fi Xtreme Music).

I have never used a dedicated audio card in any of my personal systems. Would it be worth it to install one of these older units or will my onboard HD audio be fairly similar in quality?

I game and listen to music through my JVC cans or garbage Logitech 2.1 setup since the girlfriend stole my Yamaha receiver, sub and vintage Koss speakers for our home theater setup.
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post #2 of 7
onboard has gotten so good in recent years that you really don't need a soundcard unless you are a really hardcore gamer or do a lot of sound work.
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post #3 of 7
The Xtrememusic is a good card. Definitely an upgrade from any onboard.
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sLowEnd View Post
The Xtrememusic is a good card. Definitely an upgrade from any onboard.
So is the Xtreme Gamer card
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post #5 of 7
It depends on the speakers being used.

Cheap crap speakers will only produce cheap crap sound.
High quality speakers will benefit from a good sound card. Usually the card has wider sound production and better frequency control so sound is more crisp with better registration of high and low tones.

But it is a waste to use a $1000.00 sound card on $0.01 speakers. The speakers simply can't produce the tones the card is producing.

Hope that helps.
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post #6 of 7
If the sound card is free then why not? the more hardware you have experience with, the better.
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post #7 of 7
the soundcard is free so yes, install it. Nothing wrong with a free upgrade, no matter what you plug into it.
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