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  Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card 
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Michael C May 30, 2010, 02:32pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card
I would see if you can find a cheapish Xtreme Audio card. They sound great for music and games alike.

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LEntless May 30, 2010, 03:21pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card
Not sure on how well the stock mobo would handle surround. However, I'd just gradually buy the equipment. You'll thank yourself later. I would jump on some good headphones first....somewhere around the $100-200 range. Those will make a big difference, if you're currently using a $10-$25 set.

Intel Q6600 @ 3.1 GHz | Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 | 2GB OCZ DDR2 800 mhz | Seagate 320 GB | AuzenTech X-Fi Forte 7.1

G. G. May 30, 2010, 07:24pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card
Do this,

for the time being, go with the onboard sound. Get yourself a set of decent stereo headphones or speakers for general purposes.... If you want surround sound.... then you will need a set that can produce surround on 5.1 different channels... you cannot get 5.1 on two speakers.. If they say you can, then it is "simulated" and not true 5.1... In order to get 5.1 you will need either a speakers set with all the speakers and the source will come from your 5.1 channel analog output or digital output from the motherboard or a 5.1 headset using either USB or analog out from mb.

Use this for a bit... if this is not to your liking.... or if you just want to upgrade for the sake of it or to see if it will improve your audio experience.... then go out and upgrade to a Xonar or X-Fi pci-e add-in card and go from there. Obviously you would need to de-install the onboard audio drivers and disable the onboard audio hw via bios before adding in the add-in sound card.

Me personally, I did this process and to tell you..... with a definate YES.... I could tell the difference between my MB's onboard HD audio and then when I went to the Creative Labs X-Fi Pci-e sound card using the same speaker/headphones sets.

If you go straight to the addin card.... then you wont know the difference if you like it or not between the onboard or add-in....

So go with the onboard for a bit..... then if it is not good enough for you... then go with the add-in at a later time. The Creative Labs X-Fi PCI-e version runs about 90.00 USD... Xonar is probably about the same or a tad less...


Supreet Virdi May 31, 2010, 12:58am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card
I'm extremely p**sed off with Creative. Do you guys remember what happened when Windows Vista launched? They didn't even develop drivers for Creative SB Live! 5.1, just because they want people to upgrade their card, and they keep repeating same technologies (Most of them) over and over with over-rated price with different and various cards. I would urge users to stay away from Creative and their so called flag ship - "Xi-Fi" (Please no offense to any Creative users) and do a Google search on their marketing ploy.

However, NOW we've some serious competition, Asus Xonar delivers exceptionally well, I've heard Xonar D1 with Edifier S550, it was even better than Logitech Z-5500, I'm talking about Xonar D1, Xonar DX is even better.

We're talking about entry level Sound Cards (Xonar D1 and Xonar DX), take a look at their massive Sound Cards if you're an Audiophile as below:


Xonar D1
Xonar DX

Home Theater:

Xonar D2/PM
Xonar D2X
Xonar HDAV1.3
Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe

Laptop Solution:
Xonar U1 Audio Station

These cards seriously rock!

TamTheBam Jun 04, 2010, 07:45pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card

Onboard sound cards are not great. They are only good for basic stuff. Anything complex
and the card just goes t**s up. Depends what you want to do though.
Use on onboard for Reason PropellerHeads, Ableton, Maschine... and you're goosed.
Your card will just struggle. If you're just doing everyday use on the system, then I suppose
you're ok. I'd never settle for an onboard sound card.

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
Michael C Jun 04, 2010, 07:57pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card
Yeah usually even the cheapest sound cards sound much better than onboard sound.

TamTheBam Jun 04, 2010, 08:03pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card

Absolutely. I'll never understand why anyone would use OB Sound. The bit rate is awful

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
Jon THornburg Dec 04, 2011, 02:05pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Use onboard sound or buy a Sound Card
I heard a rumor that having a sound card can increase performance because it relieves the sound duties from other hardware so that they can focus on their job. Nothing to back it up though :)

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