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  • Do I need a soundcard?

    Some people say you do and other's say just use the onboard sound what should I do?

  • #2
    Recently owned Creative Sound Blaster Z last month and I can really tell the difference. Posted here http://www.kitguru.net/forum/audio-d...soundcard.html

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ADAMPOKE111 View Post
      Some people say you do and other's say just use the onboard sound what should I do?
      Yeah, I think if you get the right one and have the right setup to experience the quality properly then they're definitely worth it.

      Just gotta be weary of the drivers sometimes, they tend to interfere with graphics/capture cards (at least my old-ish one did, it's probably fine now).

      Comment


      • #4
        Depends on how much sound is a factor.

        As stated in other threads, if the main focus is on good sound reproduction, the way it was recorded and meant to be listened to (Stereo or 2.1) for most music then a soundcard is a must. Not cheap ones either. None of this is cheap.

        If not an audiophile, and you have multiple reasons to use the PC gaming for example. On board, or better, virtual surround gaming headphones which are much cheaper than really good headphones are more than enough. The virtual positional sound can be created very well with complex algorithms. The new company Gamdias seems to have got this right with very convincing positional sound, booming base, and a huge volume if ya ears don't start bleeding.

        So for most people who do a variety of things, I would say good on board, plus non expensive virtual surround cans for gaming is the way to go. For christs sake, most of us listen (or used to) to mp3's at 128kbs. Technically that's crap, but realistically it's fine if you are not totally immersed in the music.

        Bottom line. VERY subjective, each his/her own. But if on the fence I wouldn't take the audiophile route due to cost. There are many mixes and levels between that should satisfy everyone.
        Last edited by andyg; 09-09-2014, 04:56 AM. Reason: mp3

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        • #5
          I have to add, On-boards today are good enough. But if you seek "more" out of your audio for gaming, music listening and movie watching then go buy a sound card.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds right.

            Originally posted by FrameSkip View Post
            I have to add, On-boards today are good enough. But if you seek "more" out of your audio for gaming, music listening and movie watching then go buy a sound card.
            Yes, I don't disagree with that. But for something as subjective as music one persons "good enough," is anothers, " I need better." Especially for top quality music listening, and hearing what the recorders want you to hear. A lot of work goes into recording a CD for example just the way they want it to be heard. That's why "gimmicks," such as "crystal sound etc," may make it sound better to the casual listener, but an audiophile will always turn all that stuff off.

            For me games are critical. I don't need a sound card, but the onboard is not good enough to produce "virtual surround," (cans or speakers) so some extra processing algortithm is needed. In my case I use USB 3D "soundcards"connected to the cans all in one unit. Not expensive, and far better for picking out where did that nade go off etc. Better loud base too.

            Of course music is entirely different and using such USB equipment would make the sound less accurate that sticking to the on board.

            It's a very individual, hard to judge, and never one size fits all aspect of sound from a PC.

            I should add: if/when onboard includes bass enhancement and importantly "virtual," surround, these USB devices will not be necessary if onboard does it well.

            For pure music, a good, not cheap sound card will always be essential for proper reproduction. Well, lets say for the for see able future anyway. Onboard doesn't cut it for serious music reproduction.
            Last edited by andyg; 09-12-2014, 11:09 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              It more depends on your needs. In the old days and if was a gamer folks would buy stand alone cards so the system as a whole got better performance because it was less work on the cpu if had a dedicated sound card.

              Now a days it is not so much needed- systems are a lot more powerful and on board sound is near as good if not better than some stand alone. Also In my personal use or opinion I will never buy anything sound blaster creative again- they are notorious for phucking people around.

              I spent like $270.00 for my Audigy2 ZS Plat Pro- soon as creative came out with its next ver they purposefully through drivers messed mine up- I guess in hopes I would buy their next chit.

              Install the new drivers it did not delete the old gui's etc like it should have and was 2 of everything- click on wrong thing in its gui for settings or what ever it would freeze my system and had to hit the reset button and restart my pc. Another thing- I could not just install the sound from its drivers on its page the sound would not work. I had to install from the included disc and then use its wack a doo confusing update manager to update everything and was fine and dandy for a while until creative came out with its next said great thing and they decided to ruin what I had and or try and make it obsolete.

              Again- I think they thought I would go out and buy an all new sound system and I was stupid like that- nope it turned me away and they lost a customer for life. 1 more thing- near 50% of all probs in games as in crashes or blue screen are sound and or its drivers related- people miss that and only look at the video. Also in many games read me' and trouble shooting say turn off eax fx- people miss that. Many game read me' also state system over clocking can cause or be the probs also- they miss that also. Also if recording game play the sound can be half if not more of the total file size and if not converted to say mp3- and mp3 96bit is plenty fine for all in game sound- they miss that.

              As for sound reproduction- 1 it is no better sound vs live- well maybe not- anything through mic and speakers and or recorded is reproduced and enhanced and is why very very few bands or singers in the history of the world or sound sound the same live vs that recorded and is why most on tv etc lip sync. And is a whole lot more to sound reproduction and or listening than just a sound card- speakers and or head phones or the room acoustics and codecs used and every ear is diff and hearing not the same- so what one calls perfect another will say no and each makes his own adjustments through eq and or bass and treb and even when comes to codecs or say mp3 vs others bit rate etc makes a difference but not only that file sizes are smaller larger and some have storage probs and is why they convert to start with.

              The average cd is near 700MBs- if converted to mp3 128 bit which is the best all around for all genres of music that same cd is maybe 70MBs- and for wma the best all around was 96 bit and something else for other codecs and then can argue each genre has its own best bit rate- might you lose some quality some argue yes some no. If other codecs was so great well it would have been wma etc walkman players etc but was not- they was all mp3 players and is still mp3 today- and with eq and other enhancements dsp' I think they are called sound is pretty good. And is another thing- some players have better sound than others and as for pc sound it is no better sound ver jet audio- even its free ver is better than anything out. Some players might have better library or other features but for pure listening to music etc it is none barely close to jet audio- period.

              The same can be said for images on the pc- some argue one codec and tweaks is better than another- and then have to worry about file size and or storage to boot and is why jpeg is the most popular. You can go into video and codecs and on and on.

              All sound unless natural in the raw [no mics speakers- recording devices etc] is reproduced [enhanced]- period. So trying to say you can have perfect reproduction from any device is a myth- period.

              Buy what you think is best or can afford and in your budget- as said onboard is as good as stand alone today and or that extra money you would spend on a stand alone card you can buy a motherboard with better on board sound and more than likely have a better all around mother board also because its other components will more than likely be of higher quality vs a cheaper board with said lesser sound. Far more motherboards are sold vs stand alone sound cards and because of the number of total sells better sound or even say sound blaster creative can be onboard and cost less vs buying the stand alone and is same exact sound and or break out boxes etc- and lets face it creative etc wants to sell its cards being stand alone or onboard and you have millions of fanboys that will argue for one side or the other.

              Any so worried about such high quality sound has millions of dollars and have stand alone amps what ever as in a studio and do not need a computer and they have done such for many many years before the personal pc was ever invented- common sense. Or they can afford a $100,000.00 stereo and argue its better than your $70.00 sparkomatic boom box. That being said- any can use a pc and its programs for music and create and do not even know how to sing or play a single instrument and with out a real studio and make near same or same quality sound as a real studio- again a studio work is still a reproduction and enhancements and can take a chit voice and make them sound like a angel etc- put them live and with out mic etc the real them sounds like a frog unless lip syncing.

              1 more thing- the hardware used for live or studio as in mics and amps etc make a lot of diff also- most studios still use old school mics versus what is used on stage and or is say wireless- you can not get the sound you can from that older mic or older amps with tubes and studios and or computer programs today in its dsp' can near reproduce that old mic and amp sound. Most if not all of what you hear is really smoke and mirrors and is a lot more to it versus one sound card over another or versus onboard.

              1 more thing- any that has ever been to a live show or concert or studio can see the sound man constantly making adjustments on the fly while the show is going on- that in its self proves/ means no 2 shows or sound is exactly the same. The only exact is the studio recording you buy or hear over the radio etc etc. Not only singers lip sync- many bands are not really playing his instrumentals either. A good sound man can make or break ya- and you can not just have a sound man walk in today and you sound like you should- you have to practice together just like choreographing dance moves etc.

              It has only been a hand full of singers that sound as good live and no mic etc as do over mic and with enhancements. As a fact Ray Charles and multi tracs was such a great singer he could even change his voice and record a diff trac for each and put them all together and sound like his normal self and 3 or 4 women that backed him up and if no one told you you would not have known he did all the vocals
              Last edited by ezeht; 03-21-2015, 05:29 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have better than perfect hearing- as a fact better sense of smell and taste and at one time better than perfect eye sight also- now need reading glasses to read text and or my pc monitor not blurry. But some are tone death or diff sounds or tones or even volume.

                I have like 50GBs of converted to mp3 128bit now of many diff genres and even Jpop what ever and music not even in my language and can not understand what they are saying- but I like the sound and or song or beat as a whole. I can listen to a diff song 24/7 for like 4 months straight if I wish.

                The player I use- I can not really hear much a diff if any at all from just playing the cd or after converted and or am not nit picky enough to worry about it and the file sizes are smaller and do not need put the disc in every time I wish to listen to the music on it. But lots of people like to make a lot to do about nothing just like they need 60fps or more high playing games when 30 is plenty fine- its mostly something they made up in there heads and to complain about because his hardware and maybe none on earth can give him 60 or more fps with all maxed out settings in every game on earth.

                To each his own- the short answer is- it is no cookie cutter answer that fits all people no matter how much you spend- and is life

                LOL some can argue a bmw is better than a yugo- but if a set speed limit of 60 miles per hour and both get you where you need to go and both can only carry 4 people- well. The pc is a micro of the world- seems to me the most anal are concentrated on the net :P
                Last edited by ezeht; 03-21-2015, 05:29 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To date unless I am very wrong- the best all around onboard sound and or for gaming is found on Asus mother boards and is exclusive to them only- like its in game sonic radar and some is 115db snr- its higher end boards is 120db snr- which unless I am wrong is the best you can get and is only on Asus and I think is only on their ROG boards which cost like 300 dollars of more.

                  Which again if a gamer and an Intel user which if you want the better experience you are a Intel and Nvidia user- you can spend maybe 200 dollars for a mobo and buy a 60 to 300 dollar sound card or buy the ROG mobo and have a better all around mobo and if an overclock-er or said audiophile etc etc its all built into the mobo and even maybe save you some money and even last longer and better handle abuse if wish to call it that.

                  A lot goes into such decisions and actual facts as far as hardware goes. Like the said budget and or amd gamer- well AMD can not multi thread in windows- thus the hotfix built into every os since xp sp3 so amd half works right. In a word amd has to trick the os into say its 4 core cpu at say 2gb each is really just 1 8gb core. No multi threading and or no Hyper Threading which Intel uses to trick the os into seeing its say 4 core as 8 cores but being Intel can multi thread in windows with multi core be it HT or not you have less over all probs with multi tasking or threading and better performance. AMD pretty much has to brute its way through Windows and its said more gaming cores is a joke- it is maybe 4 games on earth that use 2 cores or more and the fact of the matter is if playing in Windows amd is seen as 1 large core the total of all its cores together - Period.

                  1 core vs multi cores means less performance no matter how you cut it- and ya some programs that actually can use multi cores might have work a rounds so amd performs better but is not native and all amd products have more probs in general and more down time and lost productivity and use more energy and cost you more each month in energy bills- so over the long haul- you actually lose money is the fact of the matter.

                  Can go into amd gpus vs Nvidia but has nothing to do with onboard or stand alone sound cards- and I do not use vid card onboard sound and do not need it putting a hit on my high maxed out graphics quality. The world and or market shares if facts mean anything and for good reasons are- 90% use Intel- 70% use Nvidia discrete and 90% use Windows- of the 30% left in the gpu world amd shares that with Intel and others- they do not even hold 30% of the market- period. So even going Intel vs amd can mean a lot over all when comes to your pc sound or over all system performance.

                  Then headphones and or the quality of connectors can be hell or make a big diff- personally I use usb- far less probs and my Corsair Vengeance 1500 have large fit over my ears cans with large 50mm speakers and imo sound pretty great tho I barely use them unless need use the mic in game or chatting with a lady friend on Skype or is late night and not wish wake or keep up everyone in the house- which if I remem right my system speakers put out 560 total watts and can make the whole house and windows rattle and are Thx if the sound can do it. I prefer not using the headset at all but they are comfy enough for me I can wear them some 17 hours at a time or more because that is how I normally game- other than breaks here and there.

                  * Saving my money now- next few months and might not buy all at same time but am buying a Asus VII Hero and 4790K and 8Gb kit 1600 cl8 mem- new WD black HDD' maybe a Samsung 500GB SSD and either a 970 or 980. I think the 970 will be fine and being I use 1 monitor and DX12 will or is said will net some 60% more fps in DX12 games and is said DX12 can be ran on said DX11 vid cards tho a few features will be disabled because a few added components is needed on the vid card. So with in a year of W10 coming out I will get the free upgrade from W7 and let my 670 card ride as long as can and hope 970 980 prices drop more and will be a year before NV can use the stacked memory amd' new vid cards can use and who knows might even buy next series NV card when they come out with the new mem on them. Just the new PCIE3.0 and 1600 mem and 4790k should give me a lil better performance and or fps with my 670- so the vid card is the last thing I am worried about and as long as my hardware lasts- which even later will worry about a new monitor.

                  From all ive read and seen- Asus has the best sound- uses only Intel Nics- has the best onboard fan controls and by far the best bios- then is said the ROG boards are of the best- so. This will be my first Asus build- I hope its great and last and no probs for a good 5 years or so- maybe upgrade a vid card in that time but is it. Hmm maybe a lil OC on my 4790k 4.6GB' of goodness on 8 HT cores- I think will be just fine for my gaming and recording my game play and or converting my videos etc etc

                  Best I read or understand come Cannon lake mobos and cpu' will be changed as we know it- the cpu die will be made onto the mobo pcb and can not upgrade it and limited overclocking also- but will have 2011 and Haswell E runs for a long time for enthusiasts or so said. Maybe cannon lake will not be so popular and Intel will fall back to the old days as of now and make enthusiast cpu' again- who knows. Seems to me they have retards working for them and have no practical sense- maybe the same ones that made w8 is also designing cpu' etc for them now- lol..... Being all of that said maybe I should go Haswell E and DDR4. I am not pressed as long as what I have lasts and a year after W10 comes out and upgrade to it. I can save and wait. Well I do need HDD' they are out of warranty now- I normally retire them or use them for external plug them in when needed storage drives or give them away.
                  Last edited by ezeht; 03-21-2015, 06:24 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ezeht View Post
                    It more depends on your needs. In the old days and if was a gamer folks would buy stand alone cards so the system as a whole got better performance because it was less work on the cpu if had a dedicated sound card.

                    Now a days it is not so much needed- systems are a lot more powerful and on board sound is near as good if not better than some stand alone. Also In my personal use or opinion I will never buy anything sound blaster creative again- they are notorious for phucking people around.

                    I spent like $270.00 for my Audigy2 ZS Plat Pro- soon as creative came out with its next ver they purposefully through drivers messed mine up- I guess in hopes I would buy their next chit.

                    Install the new drivers it did not delete the old gui's etc like it should have and was 2 of everything- click on wrong thing in its gui for settings or what ever it would freeze my system and had to hit the reset button and restart my pc. Another thing- I could not just install the sound from its drivers on its page the sound would not work. I had to install from the included disc and then use its wack a doo confusing update manager to update everything and was fine and dandy for a while until creative came out with its next said great thing and they decided to ruin what I had and or try and make it obsolete.

                    Again- I think they thought I would go out and buy an all new sound system and I was stupid like that- nope it turned me away and they lost a customer for life. 1 more thing- near 50% of all probs in games as in crashes or blue screen are sound and or its drivers related- people miss that and only look at the video. Also in many games read me' and trouble shooting say turn off eax fx- people miss that. Many game read me' also state system over clocking can cause or be the probs also- they miss that also. Also if recording game play the sound can be half if not more of the total file size and if not converted to say mp3- and mp3 96bit is plenty fine for all in game sound- they miss that.

                    As for sound reproduction- 1 it is no better sound vs live- well maybe not- anything through mic and speakers and or recorded is reproduced and enhanced and is why very very few bands or singers in the history of the world or sound sound the same live vs that recorded and is why most on tv etc lip sync. And is a whole lot more to sound reproduction and or listening than just a sound card- speakers and or head phones or the room acoustics and codecs used and every ear is diff and hearing not the same- so what one calls perfect another will say no and each makes his own adjustments through eq and or bass and treb and even when comes to codecs or say mp3 vs others bit rate etc makes a difference but not only that file sizes are smaller larger and some have storage probs and is why they convert to start with.

                    The average cd is near 700MBs- if converted to mp3 128 bit which is the best all around for all genres of music that same cd is maybe 70MBs- and for wma the best all around was 96 bit and something else for other codecs and then can argue each genre has its own best bit rate- might you lose some quality some argue yes some no. If other codecs was so great well it would have been wma etc walkman players etc but was not- they was all mp3 players and is still mp3 today- and with eq and other enhancements dsp' I think they are called sound is pretty good. And is another thing- some players have better sound than others and as for pc sound it is no better sound ver jet audio- even its free ver is better than anything out. Some players might have better library or other features but for pure listening to music etc it is none barely close to jet audio- period.

                    The same can be said for images on the pc- some argue one codec and tweaks is better than another- and then have to worry about file size and or storage to boot and is why jpeg is the most popular. You can go into video and codecs and on and on.

                    All sound unless natural in the raw [no mics speakers- recording devices etc] is reproduced [enhanced]- period. So trying to say you can have perfect reproduction from any device is a myth- period.

                    Buy what you think is best or can afford and in your budget- as said onboard is as good as stand alone today and or that extra money you would spend on a stand alone card you can buy a motherboard with better on board sound and more than likely have a better all around mother board also because its other components will more than likely be of higher quality vs a cheaper board with said lesser sound. Far more motherboards are sold vs stand alone sound cards and because of the number of total sells better sound or even say sound blaster creative can be onboard and cost less vs buying the stand alone and is same exact sound and or break out boxes etc- and lets face it creative etc wants to sell its cards being stand alone or onboard and you have millions of fanboys that will argue for one side or the other.

                    Any so worried about such high quality sound has millions of dollars and have stand alone amps what ever as in a studio and do not need a computer and they have done such for many many years before the personal pc was ever invented- common sense. Or they can afford a $100,000.00 stereo and argue its better than your $70.00 sparkomatic boom box. That being said- any can use a pc and its programs for music and create and do not even know how to sing or play a single instrument and with out a real studio and make near same or same quality sound as a real studio- again a studio work is still a reproduction and enhancements and can take a chit voice and make them sound like a angel etc- put them live and with out mic etc the real them sounds like a frog unless lip syncing.

                    1 more thing- the hardware used for live or studio as in mics and amps etc make a lot of diff also- most studios still use old school mics versus what is used on stage and or is say wireless- you can not get the sound you can from that older mic or older amps with tubes and studios and or computer programs today in its dsp' can near reproduce that old mic and amp sound. Most if not all of what you hear is really smoke and mirrors and is a lot more to it versus one sound card over another or versus onboard.

                    1 more thing- any that has ever been to a live show or concert or studio can see the sound man constantly making adjustments on the fly while the show is going on- that in its self proves/ means no 2 shows or sound is exactly the same. The only exact is the studio recording you buy or hear over the radio etc etc. Not only singers lip sync- many bands are not really playing his instrumentals either. A good sound man can make or break ya- and you can not just have a sound man walk in today and you sound like you should- you have to practice together just like choreographing dance moves etc.

                    It has only been a hand full of singers that sound as good live and no mic etc as do over mic and with enhancements. As a fact Ray Charles and multi tracs was such a great singer he could even change his voice and record a diff trac for each and put them all together and sound like his normal self and 3 or 4 women that backed him up and if no one told you you would not have known he did all the vocals
                    very complete
                    thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hello i'm new user.please tell me anyone which soundcard is perfect.


                      regards
                      john worne
                      writer at best dissertation help
                      Last edited by johnworne; 03-22-2017, 05:38 AM. Reason: full information my company

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello johnworne. it depends on your budget, i listen to music and play games and i want a balanced sound card, if you want you can get the asus xonar DX, don't get the sound blaster z, i have that sound card and sold it. It distorts to some audio genre, and replaced it with the xonar and it sounds excellent.

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