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how much would a sound card help me

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I always wondered about this myself. I love good audio, but have not experimented enough to know if I would notice a difference. AND I am too cheap to experiment by buying a soundcard and 7.1 speaker system to find out. My on board sound always seemed fine to me, but I haven't experienced anything different. Anyone recommend a decent budget-priced 7.1 set-up? Or do more speakers even matter?

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I always wondered about this myself. I love good audio, but have not experimented enough to know if I would notice a difference. AND I am too cheap to experiment by buying a soundcard and 7.1 speaker system to find out. My on board sound always seemed fine to me, but I haven't experienced anything different. Anyone recommend a decent budget-priced 7.1 set-up? Or do more speakers even matter?

For most people they would find investing more money into a very decent 2.1 setup better than trying to find a budget 7.1 setup.

Unless you can properly space the speakers around yourself and are willing to spend more money just to get something, that is starting to approach comparable quality to a 2.1 you could get for less. As well as using frequently enough things that take advantage of 7.1 so if your games and movies will only output at 5.1 could save a bit and get that instead.

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Okay sound is my thing and I can tell you there are a lot of variables as is being discussed here. The first thing to consider is the speaker choice. If you get a set of Klipsch or Bose or some of the higher end speakers from other brands you can tell the difference between most onboard sound and discrete. The key here is the quality of the speakers however, budget speakers can reproduce the sound faithfully enough for the quality difference to be noticeable. The same BTW goes for headsets, a good set of cans will really show a difference in sound or a budget set of ear buds..

 

Sometimes however you do not have a choice, the onboard sound for whatever reason might pick up some noise from the surrounding electronics. If this is the case then dump the onboard fast and move to discrete.

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This is just flat out wrong.

 

Um...no? It all depends on your board, and personal preference. To me, I am more of a visual person so I notice graphical things better than I notice audio quality. I use the front audio headers on my pc with some cheap ear buds, and it works great for me.

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If you find someone selling an X-fi (ANY model) cheep (under $50) just grab it.

 

I am using a set of Corsair SP2500 speakers and an X-fi with Crystalizer on. I have heard MANY people say they can't tell a difference, I can, and I don't like the sound of integrated compared to the xfi.

 

The bass sounds tiny, compared to with the x-fi (yes even after tweaking settings) and the volume range is simply not there.

 

 

To each their own, I say if the x-fi is cheep grab it.

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Um...no? It all depends on your board, and personal preference. To me, I am more of a visual person so I notice graphical things better than I notice audio quality. I use the front audio headers on my pc with some cheap ear buds, and it works great for me.

Read the bolded part.

 

You're very full of yourself, new guy. It's pretty irritating.

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biostars are budget boards but the realtek chip you have is decent

 

your motherboard should have came with software for your audio chipset, I recommend you play with the equalizer first and see if you like playing with that

if you do like adjusting the settings or plan to buy some nice headphones then I recommend you get a soundcard

 

one thing you need to understand, just because you buy a 99$ pair of speakers or a sound card doesnt make you an audiophile

alot of people around here throw around that word loosely without a clue

all that means is you didn't buy crappy speakers or are using outdated onboard

good sound is good sound, what it comes down to is your priorities and budget

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Great comments! i agree. if you're an audiophile... or if you have sensitive ears or if you have an expensively awesome speaker system, then maybe spend money for a sound card. If you're on a tight budget, then spend the money on a better graphics card or cpu.

 

maybe try listening to music,etc with your onboard for a short while. If everything sounds off, then consider a sound card

Good luck! :)

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I haven't read all of the posts in this thread so I don't know if this has been said, but a sound card will reduce the noise since it's not part of the motherboard so there is less interference. Good sound cards also have a protective cover to help with the noise as well. This isn't noticed unless you have a really high quality audio output device. Basically the sound card and audio output device need to be fairly similar quality as to not bottleneck each other. For instance, a really good sound card might not be that useful if you have 5$ headphones or speakers since you'll notice zero difference. Same goes if you have very expensive headphones or speakers and no sound card. In that case you'll notice all imperfections in the sound like noise or low quality recordings.

 

As for how much a sound card will help. That depends on what you're looking to do with it, what sort of output device you want to plug into it and how much you actually care about good sound and are able to hear the difference between high quality sound and low quality sound. Also the quality and thus price of the card matters since a low quality card might not be worth it since the differences would be minimal, whereas a high quality card like the Asus Xonar Essence that costs 200$ would probably bring some very noticeable changes (again, as long as you have the proper output device to take advantage of the card) and in effect, helping you quite a bit in enjoying music or gaining an advantage in games where footsteps could be heard more clearly and their location pinpointed more accurately.

 

Just an FYI: For the sound in gaming it's important to have audio output devices with good directional sound. Headphones are the obvious choice there but not all have that since some are built for music and not directional sound. Like the Grado Headphones that can cost up to 1000$. They are very high quality headphones... just not for gaming. Other heaphones are good for gaming, but don't deliver when listening to music. The point I'm trying to make is that the sound card doesn't necessarily decide how good of a directional sound you will get since some devices just don't work that way. This all kind of goes back to the sound card and audio output device being sort of linked together.

 

Bottom line, if you already have your speakers or headphones, try to find a soundcard that will be just the right quality unless you are going to be upgrading in the future in which case you might want to get a slightly better sound card in order to yield the most benefits from it without spending extra money on something that you can't use or don't want to use.

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Read the bolded part.

 

You're very full of yourself, new guy. It's pretty irritating.

 

No what I was saying is you are both right and wrong. To say that the chipset is ALL you will ever need is wrong, but to say it has absolutley wrong is wrong too. Extremism weather positive or negative is usually wrong. I am saying it is about a 50/50. I take it me being full of myself is referring to the AMD vs Intel flame wars? In which no has stepped forward with irrefutable proof that I am wrong? No its full of oneself to discount what I say based on bias without looking at the numbers :P

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