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Thread: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

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    Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    Hi

    I know this is a much discussed question. I have an old auzentech xplosion connected to hifi amp and speakers I then connected them to my on board sound a Realtek ALC889 and couldn't tell any difference when playing back music.

    I'm now updating motherboard and has Realtek ALC898 so do i really need a dedicated soundcard anymore? I listen to music and do some gaming.

    Thanks

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    i went for the top end asus card just to get the inbuilt headphone amp to make the most of my sennheiser pc350's, and did it make the most of them!!!

    also the noise reduction via the breakout box is rather good

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by rob4001 View Post
    Hi

    I know this is a much discussed question. I have an old auzentech xplosion connected to hifi amp and speakers I then connected them to my on board sound a Realtek ALC889 and couldn't tell any difference when playing back music.

    I'm now updating motherboard and has Realtek ALC898 so do i really need a dedicated soundcard anymore? I listen to music and do some gaming.

    Thanks
    If you can't tell the difference then no. If you're using the DAC on the amplifier rather than the sound card then also no.

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    When playing something I really care about sound wise I'm using a seperate headphone amp and my astro a40's - otherwise its onboard and PC speakers and I wouldn't really be able to tell the difference on different cards

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    It depends on various things, the stuff you're playing, the stuff the sound is coming out of, and the stuff the sound is going into (your ears )

    I'd be very tempted to say no

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    If your only gaming and listening to music and not producing then the onboard is fine........

    I do use separate cards for music production. I find that most onboard and off the shelf cards have a high midi latency which if recording a sequence using midi can create bad timing errors. I have in the past been able to get away with Soundblasters running asio drivers.... Also the asio for all driver can cause problems with certain cards......

    Also do not be fooled by the Bling factor, IE gold connectors... Gold has a higher resistance when compared to metals like silver and copper. Gold is only good as it does not corrode I have however noticed that i have had to replace the plug on my Sony mdr700's twice over the years as pulling the plug in and out at various venues i have played at caused wear and loss of connection. I now use a solid silver plug on the headphones and have yet to replace it because of wear....

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    A proper soundcard definitely makes a difference, but you need good quality speaker/headphones to back it up. It also takes load off the ram and cpu (assuming it's one that has it's own), so can slightly improve performance of the rest of the system.

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    I looked into this when I bought my mobo a few years back and came to the conclusion it wasn't really necessary. However a few months later I went ahead and bought a little Xonar DG anyway. The dolby vitrual surround is decent on it.
    I wouldn't spend more than £25 or so if its just for gaming though.

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    Primarily it depends on what you have it plugged in to as to whether you'll be able to tell the difference
    Gaming, not so much.
    Proper sound in gaming has gone out the window when Microsoft removed directsound3d, and hardly anybody moved over to openal. Coupled with the fact that on board sound has got much better.

    For music you'll want a half decent DAC, a soundcard can be that, but so can lots outboard devices.

    Creative soundcards have some pretty nifty features, virtual surround et-al which can be useful but can also be a nightmare to set up as every game is different. Asus have similar ones based on Dolby.

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    Re: Soundcard for gaming and music are they needed?

    I am using an old PC right now with an Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe motherboard. Compared to the X-Fi Elite Pro, it is a no contest when using the analogue out to connect to my headphones (especially AKG K701 - my Grados HF-1 are slightly more forgiving). If you are using an optical out (and your amp doubles as a DAC), then it won't matter much if at all, but unless things have moved on, the DAC/op-amp on onboard motherboards are noticeably behind when used with more revealing equipment. IMHO, the source matters more than the amp, and almost as much as the speakers/headphones as far as overall SQ is concerned.

    If I was to build a new PC, I would definitely set money aside on a decent sound card. That, or invest in a dedicated DAC.. but probably a sound card anyway for the gaming features. But I am pretty hesitant with Creative products as I've experienced three failures already.

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