Sound cards, worth the upgrade?

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80Warrior

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Nov 29, 2006
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Hello. I am an avid gamer playing on a fairly nice PC I built myself. I never added a sound card as my motherboard has onboard "High Definition" audio. I've been shopping sound cards and they are not that expensive but I am not excited about giving up the PCI slot if this will not be a significant upgrade. I know back in the day onboard anything has been sub par but now the audio is "High Def" and comes with digital outputs. I have a nice set of 2.1 speakers however I use headphones most of the time in gaming.

So, am I holding back my PC by not making this upgrade? Here is a link to my mobo's website...

http://www.evga.com/products/moreinfo.asp?pn=122-M2-NF59-TR&family=400

Thanks!!
 

guitar

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Jan 15, 2006
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414
unless you are recording in multitrack which you need full duplex you can do without it
 
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Apr 11, 2006
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If it's just 2.1 speakers, you're fine with integrated audio. The main reason to buy a sound card would be if you have 6 or 8 channel surround sound.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
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458
I have the xfi xtreme gamer and the same mobo. It has better hardware than the xtreme audio (which uses software instead) for about $30 more.

I have always had a sound card because they produce better sound than onboard (yes, HD as well) and use less of the cpu.

A lot depends on your speakers though, as you would still have terrible sound with the $10 speakers that come with most pc's. I'm not sure about your 2.1 speakers or headphones, but if they are decent enough you should notice a difference. I am now using a logitech 5.1 system which sounds great, but not everyone has the space for extra rear speakers.

Also, make sure you enable the EQ and set it up, this will also give you better highs and lows
 
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