Sound card? Never heard of it, what's it for?

Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2011 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: audio

It is becoming difficult to discuss the quality of soundcards with anyone, since very few people use them.  We've gone from needing a sound card to play back a reasonable amount of channels since the onboard audio could not handle it, to saving CPU cycles by pulling the responsibility of processing audio onto a sound card, to a point where they seem obsolete.  Putting aside the fact that many PCs are outputting audio and video over a single HDMI cable or onto a USB headset, most non-audiophiles will be satisfied with the variety of outputs available on the back of a motherboard and the processing power that the onboard audio Codec needs is minuscule.  At The Tech Report you can read about one technophiles experiences with sound cards and his recommendation focuses more on the importance of providing yourself with a decent sound system and top of the line speakers before in preference to upgrading your sound card.

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"In his latest blog post, TR's David Morgan upgrades his integrated "In his latest blog post, TR's David Morgan upgrades his integrated motherboard audio and wonders whether discrete sound cards are still relevant."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

October 3, 2011 | 05:34 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Dear SoundBad, how do you type with boxing gloves on?

October 3, 2011 | 07:07 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Tech Report has become apple-centric, and are no longer pc enthusiasts. That is why I am no longer interested in that site or what they have to say. "A" company does not use discrete soundcards, so it figures that TR would decide, since they think what "A" does is what everyone else should be doing, that discrete soundcards are not relevant.

October 5, 2011 | 06:47 AM - Posted by cyow

I have use a sound car in a long time just on broad last one I had was a Sound blaster Live Value card which was great I still have it but have put it indue to not have diver that work for it anymore.

I keep long at get a new sound card but ever time I look I stop and think why when the sound on my MB is hold up OK. and I don't know what a good brand on is any more.

and are discrete sound cards are still relevant. any more ? It real hard to say.

I think maybe of you got a kick ass game system it might be but that be about it would it?

October 5, 2011 | 03:51 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Well, in my opinion even the high end gamers will not benefit much from the soundcard. Now if you do audio editing or producing, or even video content with audio accompaniment; then you would be smart to pick one up.

If you get excited about swappable OPAMPs then go for it, otherwise you'll be tossing money at something you won't benefit from.

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