Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Do I -really- need a sound card?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do I -really- need a sound card?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to upgrade to a Sandy Bridge system but my only issue at the moment is the sound card.

The boards of choice are either a Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 (ITX) or an ASUS P8H67-M Pro (MATX) (no overclocking! )

Whilst the Gigabyte board gives me the option to downsize to an ITX case in the future it only has one PCIe slot so I can either use a dedicated sound card or a dedicated graphics card.

The Gigabyte board uses a Realtek ALC889 chip (108db SNR) and the ASUS the Realtek ALC892.

I currently have a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music card in my system connected to a set of Logitch Z-2300 speakers and I also own a pair of Beyerdynamic DT770-80 headphones.

If I mainly intend to use the system for music/movies will I benefit from having a dedicated soundcard? I was considering upgrading to an ASUS Xonar if one was really required. I also have a Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS decoder which I used for my XBOX 360/PS3.

Would I see any noticeable difference in sound quality if I used the onboard sound for listening to music on my speakers, and the Ear Force DSS with my headphones for movies (with possibly using a FiiO E9 to provide more power for the headphones) compared to a dedicated sound card?

I don't have any plans for gaming right now but that may change in the future and I'm sure I could use the Ear Force DSS with any PC game, but I'm not sure if a dedicated sound card would be the better option.

If no sound card is needed then I can get the Gigabyte board but if a sound card would be the better option then I'll get the ASUS board.


Opinions and recommendations will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks
SG05
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2400 ASUS P8H67-i 2GB MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 8GB Vengeance Low Profile 9-9-9-24 1.5v 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 Pro Thermalright AXP-140  Windows 7 64-bit BenQ EW2420 
PowerCaseAudio
Silverstone ST45SF Silverstone Sugo SG05 Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
SG05
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2400 ASUS P8H67-i 2GB MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 8GB Vengeance Low Profile 9-9-9-24 1.5v 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 Pro Thermalright AXP-140  Windows 7 64-bit BenQ EW2420 
PowerCaseAudio
Silverstone ST45SF Silverstone Sugo SG05 Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 8
If you felt it was important enough to get yourself a decent set of Beyerdynamics then it should be just as important to have a sound card too.

Just my
Stugots III
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 4.5GHz ASUS Maximus V Gene EVGA GTX 780 SC 2x8GB G.Skill 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
250GB 850-EVO | 1TB EZEX | 2TB F4 It BURNS! H100i | NB Pros Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VE258Q Filco Majestouch I Seasonic X-560w Fractal Arc Mini R2 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G502 Vengeance MM200 HT Omega eClaro SHURE SRH-840 | Audioengine A2+S8 
  hide details  
Reply
Stugots III
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 4.5GHz ASUS Maximus V Gene EVGA GTX 780 SC 2x8GB G.Skill 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
250GB 850-EVO | 1TB EZEX | 2TB F4 It BURNS! H100i | NB Pros Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
ASUS VE258Q Filco Majestouch I Seasonic X-560w Fractal Arc Mini R2 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G502 Vengeance MM200 HT Omega eClaro SHURE SRH-840 | Audioengine A2+S8 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 8
Yes, a better DAC chip is always better.
post #4 of 8
Not necessarily, especially if you have a receiver (DAC + Amp + Receiver).
Trinity
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A10-5800K Biostar Hi-Fi A85W APU Integrated Graphics G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64GB Western Digital WD Blue 500GB Lite-On iHAS124 CD/DVD Burner Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (Pull Configuration) 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX Filco Majestouch Black w/ Cherry MX Blue (JIS l... 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair CX430 NZXT Source 220 Logitech Click! Mouse SteelSeries QcK Mini Diablo III Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Sony SRS-T10PC USB Portable Speaker Realtek Onboard Audio Intel Centrino Desktop Wireless 
  hide details  
Reply
Trinity
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A10-5800K Biostar Hi-Fi A85W APU Integrated Graphics G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1600MHz CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 64GB Western Digital WD Blue 500GB Lite-On iHAS124 CD/DVD Burner Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (Pull Configuration) 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX NEC MultiSync LCD1970VX Filco Majestouch Black w/ Cherry MX Blue (JIS l... 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair CX430 NZXT Source 220 Logitech Click! Mouse SteelSeries QcK Mini Diablo III Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Sony SRS-T10PC USB Portable Speaker Realtek Onboard Audio Intel Centrino Desktop Wireless 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
Not necessarily, especially if you have a receiver (DAC + Amp + Receiver).
All sources have DAC chips
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by candy_van View Post
If you felt it was important enough to get yourself a decent set of Beyerdynamics then it should be just as important to have a sound card too.

Just my
Fair point but I bought the headphones mainly for console gaming (with the Ear Force DSS) and movie playback

Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
Not necessarily, especially if you have a receiver (DAC + Amp + Receiver).
I don't have an amp and receiver but did consider buying an external DAC for music playback but I've heard they aren't great for movies/gaming especially when wanting to use any surround sound
SG05
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2400 ASUS P8H67-i 2GB MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 8GB Vengeance Low Profile 9-9-9-24 1.5v 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 Pro Thermalright AXP-140  Windows 7 64-bit BenQ EW2420 
PowerCaseAudio
Silverstone ST45SF Silverstone Sugo SG05 Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
SG05
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2400 ASUS P8H67-i 2GB MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 8GB Vengeance Low Profile 9-9-9-24 1.5v 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 Pro Thermalright AXP-140  Windows 7 64-bit BenQ EW2420 
PowerCaseAudio
Silverstone ST45SF Silverstone Sugo SG05 Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 8
Don't worry about a sound card and just get an E7 (E7 connected through the usb to act as an external sound card) to drop in the E9 and you'll be good, use that set up with my lappy and its great (even use it with my games and still sounds great).
Thuban
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX GIGABYTE GV-R697OC-2GD Radeon HD 6970 Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveMonitorKeyboard
Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 SONY Black Blu-ray Burner SATA Acer G245HBbd Black 24" QUMAX Xarmor U9Plus Black Wired Mechanical 
PowerCaseMouse
COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSC00-80GAD3- Fractal Design Define XL Black ATX Full Tower R.A.T. 9 
  hide details  
Reply
Thuban
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX GIGABYTE GV-R697OC-2GD Radeon HD 6970 Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveMonitorKeyboard
Western Digital Caviar Black WD7502AAEX 750GB 7200 SONY Black Blu-ray Burner SATA Acer G245HBbd Black 24" QUMAX Xarmor U9Plus Black Wired Mechanical 
PowerCaseMouse
COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSC00-80GAD3- Fractal Design Define XL Black ATX Full Tower R.A.T. 9 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
After doing some more reading I think I will benefit more from a dedicated soundcard. The E7 + E9 combo will cost £150+ so it's not really worth it considering I could get a Xonar STX for that price.

Plus I've read the DAC is better suited to music and not movies/gaming so I don't want to lose out on features such as Dolby Headphone.

I think I'll just get the Xonar DG for now mainly for the headphone amp and upgrade to a STX or similar later on.

ITX project has now gone out the window lol


Thanks again for the help, amazing how many people contribute on here!
SG05
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2400 ASUS P8H67-i 2GB MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 8GB Vengeance Low Profile 9-9-9-24 1.5v 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 Pro Thermalright AXP-140  Windows 7 64-bit BenQ EW2420 
PowerCaseAudio
Silverstone ST45SF Silverstone Sugo SG05 Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
SG05
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2400 ASUS P8H67-i 2GB MSI GTX 760 Twin Frozr Gaming OC 8GB Vengeance Low Profile 9-9-9-24 1.5v 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 830 Pro Thermalright AXP-140  Windows 7 64-bit BenQ EW2420 
PowerCaseAudio
Silverstone ST45SF Silverstone Sugo SG05 Onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Do I -really- need a sound card?