cheap sound card needed

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atom1kyak

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Joined
Jul 9, 2007
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21
i have the logitech z-2300 2.1 sound system, and it's great. the only problem is, i'm worried that my onboard sound isn't doing it justice.
i know that it's only 2 speakers and a subwoofer, but is there a sound card out there that doesn't focus on being '7.1 surround' compatible?
the main problem i have noticed is that the subwoofer doesn't have the clean..."oomph" of my parent's 30-dollar version.

i have an asus A8N5X motherboard--it has 7.1 onboard.

i suppose my question should be summarized thus: with 7.1 onboard sound, would there be an increase in quality without spending over $50?

any advice is appreciated.

ps. my paren't sound system is hooked up to a sound card, unlike mine.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
243
The simple answer is no.


The thing to look at when getting a sound card is to check the SNR (signal to noise ratio). The higher that number is, the better the sound quality. The highest SNR I can see for a sound card is 118+dB (best...It will always get better). My card that I have is 108dB (better). general rule of thumb is anything over 100dB (good).

But of course with quality comes a price. sound cards with SNR of 100 are about $30. Then for SNR about 108 is $60-100 (I think the sweet spot for sound cards). and then if you have money to burn and have GREAT hearing. SNR of 118+ is +$200

There are SNR all in between, but just keep that in mind higher SNR, the better.

If you want to get the best bang for your buck, spend around $70 on newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102007

That card would be good for listening to music, and watching movies, but not playing video games.

Edit: I did buy my sound card off of ebay around $50 when normally it was $80-$90. BUT there were a few bent pins for a midi device that I would never use. That might be a place to look for a nicely priced sound card for you.
 

atom1kyak

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
21
exactly the advice i needed.

i think i'll mow a few lawns, see if i can scrounge up enough to get one of the nicer sound cards (108db).

thanks!
 
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