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soundcards.. is it a big deal or no?

By truflip ยท 14 replies
Jul 17, 2005
  1. hi, im looking to upgrade some stuff on my PC like the soundcard.. however just want to kno if its a big thing or not.. i listen to a lotta music and i have only a 2.1 speaker.. and at ngiht i put on Headphones so i dont bother everyone else in the house..

    will i see a huge difference from my onboard ac97?
  2. springy101

    springy101 TS Rookie Posts: 28

    well, the new motherboards already come with pretty good onboard sound, and if you are only using 2.1, i dont think a sound card is necessary. on the other hand, i have heard that having a sound card instead of using onboard sound can increase performance by about 5%, nothing much but if you are into heavy gaming and stuff like that it might be worth it.
  3. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Definitely be worth it if you have quality Speakers/Headphones. What you listening with at the moment?
  4. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 390

    i have an older motherboard tho.. an Asus P4SD-LA n i got the PC 2 years ago, so i dono how good the onboard sound is...

    i use logitech x230 for my 2.1 speakers
    and a sony MDR-XD200 for my headphones

    the speakers are mainly used for listening to music during the day n playing some games..

    the headphones are more for my movies and games
  5. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Welcome to TechSpot!

    I have to agree with springy101.
    The cost is reasonable for sound cards,
    it does take some load off the cpu, and sound is cleaner.
    Since you're thinking bout upgrade, there may be other options
    to get more bang for your buck rather than just sound...
    what games are you into or want to get into? This could
    mean an upgrade in MoBo could be better for you. Allowing
    for better ram, video and cpu. You can add or change
    as you can afford it.
    What cpu do you have now?
  6. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 390

    hmm.. i was only thinking of a minor upgrade.. i dont wanna have to change the mobo on this PC yet..

    as for the games.. im not really into too many, jus a few.. such as CS: Source, CS 1.6 HL2 sometimes.. Far Cry, NFSU:2 and some BF2.. thats it..

    i started to think of upgrading because when i tried my headphones on my Home Theatre system (as it was made for using to watch DVD movies and such)... it blasted me away.. the base/treble balance was great n i didnt have to adjust the equalizers.. n when i did.. it sounded even better..

    but when i tried it on my PC, no matter what i did (equalizers, bass boosting programs, sound enhancement progs) and it didnt match my Hometheatre system..

    thats why i thot if upgrading my sound card..

    neway my CPU is a P4 2.4ghz HT (i filled out all the stuff in my profile, incase u need to kno other specs bout my PC n im on online to reply rgiht away)
  7. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    If you dont want to spend too much go with a SB Live 5.1 for $20-30. I have one in my second PC and it sounds almost as good as my Audigy and It also has bass and trebble controls. Cards with the Via Envy chipset are really good too like the Chaintech Excel and they are the same price but 7.1.
  8. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 390

  9. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    Sounds good.
  10. Abraxas

    Abraxas TS Rookie Posts: 157

    I still have Creative Labs PCI 128 (for about as long as I can think)...what do you say now? I use the speakers of a compact AIWA sound system.
  11. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    I second that. You can get a Chaintech AV710, it retails for around 25 USD at newegg, unfortunately they do not ship to Canada. The prices should be roughly around that mark at shops that do ship to Canada. Its uses an Envy Chipset which is way superior than the SB Live Line up and even the Audigy/ Audigy 2 in terms of music reproduction according to a lot of audio enthuasists. In order words, its a great bargain from their point of view.
  12. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 390

    i found it! =]


    33$ cnd..

    however.. according to the reviews.. doesnt have EAX.. or surround sound for gaming..

    as soon as my sister goes to university.. shes taking my speakrs n im getting a 5.1 set.. so isnt this card a bit handicapped? compared to the SB live? the SB live has EAX :S

    if im stuck between the SB live and the Chaintech.. i think i might jus go for the Chaintech.. lool

    however, are there any other good cards around this cheap? jus curious
  13. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    When it comes to Soundcards & gaming, if you're not using a Creative Soundcard (Audigy 2 & newer - they sound better ;)) you'll be missing out anyway.
  14. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 390

    hmm.. isee.. i guess i'll jus wait to earn for ones in 100+ range then.. i was thinking of the audigy 2 b4 but was skeptical cuz of the price.. costs as mcuh as my friggin video card >_< lol

    neway mr admin u can clsoe this thread now.. or everyone forget about it...

    thanks a lot!
  15. Abraxas

    Abraxas TS Rookie Posts: 157

    Btw, is that EAX effect any good? PCI 128 doesn't have it. Or I didn't notice it all these years...
    I really don't care much about that part of gaming. Guess I don't know what I'm missing and it's fine that way.
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