PC Soundcards

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Threat, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Threat

    Threat Lord of the Files

    Feb 23, 2014
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    In this day and age, our desktops are all beefed up with high end graphics cards for games ... but what ever happened to having decent soundcards?

    Back in the day there was SoundBlaster 2.0 / SoundBlaster Pro, then the newer series (16,32,AWE32,AWA64).

    After that I kinda lost track. One PC has a later Creative Labs Audigy 2zs card in it (it's a low end P4 3.2 for old XP stuff)

    On-board sound used to be a no no, but now I just use it and never even consider soundcards.

    Does anybody else actually use a separate soundcard these days?

    Just curious...
     
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  2. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    The only few times I've had to use a sound card is when I installed a Linux distro on an older pc that I couldn't find the on board drivers for
     
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  3. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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  4. bpwnes

    bpwnes MDL Member

    Aug 11, 2015
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    I use an HT Omega Claro Halo XT that I bought a few years ago for more I/O. It has Dolby Headphone too, which is a really nice feature if you have good cans.

    This card is still better than motherboard audio, but it's more common these days to use an external amp instead.
     
  5. Threat

    Threat Lord of the Files

    Feb 23, 2014
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    So does everybody else use onboard sound these days?
     
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  6. GezoeSloog

    GezoeSloog MDL Addicted

    Feb 10, 2012
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    I'm using onboard, but only 'cause I don't have money for a good loudspeakers :stereo:
     
  7. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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  8. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    many of the newer boards have good audio natively, The Gigabyte Z170X Gaming boards have an option to upgrade the audio chips, and the gaming 7 board has Creative Sound Core 3D Quad core audio. The Asus boards have Supreme FX audio too, which is a much improved audio over their older boards
     
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  9. MS_User

    MS_User MDL Guru

    Nov 30, 2014
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    u know HD is getting so good and powerfull that my believe is in 10-15 years or so .... u will just buy a top of the line gaming MOBO and thats it everything will be included with out having to buy a video or sound card or even memory or CPU....just get the case u like PSU and your SSD or what is around at that time....who knows...the tech is changing very fast now;)
     
  10. cdavisdeco

    cdavisdeco MDL Senior Member

    Jul 8, 2015
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    What about like Mac Pro? :rolleyes:
     
  11. bpwnes

    bpwnes MDL Member

    Aug 11, 2015
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    For the most part yes. Current gen onboard sound is leagues ahead of what it was ~15 years ago (when sound cards were still popular). The only exception these days is HiFi sound, which the preferred method is external. Taking the amplifier outside of the computer case "effectively" negates the electrical noise a computer generates. There are caveats to almost any situation...

    The real question is, what do you want from your PC audio?
     
  12. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    It's all about comfort level.

    The jump from 'piezo beeps' to analog music and effects was a giant one. That made soundcards relevant. In the early days there was obviously still substantial improvement in technology and cost. Then the onboard audio codecs came. They were a nice tradeoff for the manufacturers in terms of them offering something extra at a reasonable cost. However people tended to avoid them because initially they weren't on par with what people had gotten used to in separate cards and more importantly there was substantial performance hit from using CPU cycles. Once quality was brought up to a decent standard and performance hit became irrelevant due to the ever rising performance of CPU's we were at a standard that most of the general public was comfortable with.
    That's were progress more or less stopped. Of course there are always people that want more. For those people there are still separate audio boards with ever increasing quality and overall specifications.