On-board audio or dedicated sound card - pros and cons

By Havok
Aug 31, 2009
  1. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,197   +171

    It's not quite the same as switching from on-board video to a discrete video GPU card, but it's the best comparison that I can think of. At least with the video you can see a significant difference. With audio it's a little harder to hear a difference, especially since you need a good speaker set to reference from. If your CPU is a little down in power then you'll notice some improvement in games too. A lot of the crackling and poorly addressed effects will be cleaned up. For me, I was also able to hear other players further in a map than I could with on-board audio.

    One thing to add to this brand of card that you're buying: The manufacture makes different audio profiles available in their software for this card. These profiles are designed for entertainment, games, etc... Enabling or disabling a profile might make the difference if EAX is available in-game or not. If it does not come with the manufacture's software, I would suggest looking for a disc ISO since this software would be necessary to configure the card for these options. And the updates at the manufacture's website might be incomplete.
  2. Havok

    Havok TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46


    Hey Nails,
    Sorry that I wasn't able to reply sooner- beginning of school week is kinda crazy. =p
    Anyways, I went ahead and got the card-its an amazing addition to my P.C! I love the EAX sound quality and crystallizer. Its all in all very cool. =)

  3. teklord

    teklord TS Guru Posts: 480

    The sound card is supposed to relieve the duties of the CPU of processing sound and improve the sound quality at the same time. This means higher FPS in games. X-Fi has excellent quality and I really like mine a lot.
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