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Thread: Sound Cards

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    3 times in 3 posts
    • helpiveimploded's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Sound Cards

    Hey guys,

    I'm just finalising my build and I would like some clarification on sound cards. I have a Creative X-Fi Xtreme in my current rig, and I'm at a loss as to why anyone would buy a more expensive card. Perhaps it's one of those things like hoovering the carpet, where you only realise how dirty it was after you've cleaned it, but the sound quality seems absolutely fine. The only problem I currently have is interference from my wireless PCI card, but that's an issue of proximity, I think, and definitely not because my card wasn't expensive enough.

    I do some music recording and mixing/mastering on my current PC, but again, the quality definitely isn't lacking, so can anyone tell me what benefits one gets, exactly, from a £70 sound card that one doesn't get from a card costing £30?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    North East
    12 times in 12 posts

    Re: Sound Cards

    Back in the good old days when PCs didn't have onboard sound, the better sound cards had better quality sound (e.g. 16 bit sound vs 8 bit sound) eventualy you started to get better onboard processing (e.g. SB16ASP or SBAWE32). Motherboards started to get onboard sound which wasn't always good quality, so an additional sound card would improve quality a little and could features like 3D (e.g. A3D or EAX).

    The current situation is that onboard sound is good enough quality for most tastes and a soundcard doesn't give you much featurewise, it may improve signal to noise ratios a little. More expensive cards tend to have better choices of inputs, e.g. RCA instead of 3.5mm jacks and will have better signal to noise ratios than cheaper cards. There are cards aimed specifically at studio use, again these add more inputs and outputs.

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    helpiveimploded (06-05-2011)

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