To sound card or not sound card?

By megabomination ยท 10 replies
Sep 25, 2012
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  1. I will try to keep this simple.
    - Will a sound card (as opposed to onboard realtek audio) "unload" my cpu/ram to any great degree and if so will this be noticable , particularly in games as an increase in F.P.S.?
  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,703   +171

    No, you'll get better sound though.
  3. megabomination

    megabomination TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 151

    Thanks. I think I will get a card soon and upgrade to a 5.1 speaker setup . Im getting ready for farcry 3!!
  4. herbalfire

    herbalfire TS Enthusiast Posts: 50

    If your lucky you might get 1fps more but if you do want high quality sound make sure you buy one with at least 24bit audio I had a bad experience with a cheapo 16 bit card
  5. megabomination

    megabomination TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 151

    Could anyone recommend a good card/speaker combo that wont break the bank?
    Im looking at logitech Z506 5.1 now. They are cheap at around $70 so wont be the best but will be better than my current logitech R20 2.1 speakers!
  6. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 949   +43

    Logitech Z506 seems to be reasonable for 70 bucks. but for this speaker, skip the soundcard since the difference isn't worth it. that is valid unless you feel that your onboard realtek totally sucks.

    I listened to logitech R20 years ago, and z506 is probably slightly better in terms of sound quality, but with added 3 satellites which will make your gaming much more fun, if placed correctly.
  7. megabomination

    megabomination TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 151

    Yeh the Z506 are 75watt rms verse the r20 12watt rms so they will sound a bit better.
    I am going to get a sound card but and am looking at these two. which do you reckon?
    Asus Xonar DGX PCIE Gaming soundcard, 5.1 Channel, Dolby, Up to 105dB, Built-in Headphone AMP,
    Auzentech X-Studio 5.1 PCI LP Sound Card
  8. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 949   +43

    Xonar dgx should be fine. xonars are better known for its drivers than auzen. although I believe realtek is good enough for the Z506.
  9. megabomination

    megabomination TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 151

    Thanks .I was leaning towards the xonar anyway. Even if it is a bit of a waste its less than the cost of a carton of beer so I havent really lost out lol!
    The way I think of it is it may drive the speakers a bit better such as a amp powering speakers in car audio as opposed to running them off the head unit!?Yes,no,maybe?
  10. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 949   +43

    It's a little different, since I believe head-unit serve as pre-amp so they are better match to an amp. soundcard will give you cleaner sound, as the processing is done better. it will not help you drive your speaker better, but it will definitely drive your headphone much better compared to onboard. the difference is easily noticable on headphone I believe.

    what I suggested earlier was to use onboard, and perhaps spend the 40$ on better speakers. unfortunately the gap between Z506 and Z906 is too much, so you're probably better stay with Z506, regardless with or without xonar.
  11. megabomination

    megabomination TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 151

    Yeh the jump in price up tp the Z906 and a top model card is way much more than what I want to spend.
    I had set myself a budget of $150 , $200 max but theres pretty much only two price ranges in the 5.1 unless you go up to 7.1 there are a few more options! The Z506 will be fine for me and given my budget a decent sound card will do nicley also as I do use headphones sometimes. Thanks for help.

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