Sound - On board vs. Dedicated

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by bowrofl, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

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    A lot of system building guides on the internet seem to suggest that on-board sound in most motherboards is 'good enough'. But what are they measuring this against? My motherboard (gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R) has a Realtek ALC889A for it's onboard and I have to say, it isn't great. I get a lot of pops and hisses during playback of pretty much anything :ugh: Running Vista 7 RC. Looked online a bit and others with the same mobos seem to have similar issues.

    Would a dedicated sound card fix this? I used to have one years ago, a Creative Live! something, but I heard over the past few years their customer service really began to suck, and their drivers were subpar or didn't work/exist. I have Logitech X-530 speakers, it's a 5.1 system. It isn't really set up to give me the best sound and I'd like to learn more on how to do that :o.
     
  2. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Sound cards are always better. A lot of sound cards out there have better components than a lot most low-mid range receivers.
     
  3. bowrofl

    bowrofl New Member

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    Ah yeah, I figured as much. I've been doing some reading, the dedicated card takes a lot of strain off the CPU so it sounds like it is a good investment to make. Plus, I can't take this shtity quality anymore so I guess I should go with a dedicated solution... minus whale :dunno:

    Any good suggestions? I see some ranging from $70 (ASUS Xonar DX) to $140 (Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium FATAL1TY), up to $200 for some :eek3: I'm sure I don't need professional quality sound cards... after all, I'm not doing any recording, just playback from an HD source & PC games.
     
  4. crontab

    crontab (uid = 0)

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    i have the asus xonar dx and it's excellent for my needs. i just wanted crisp clear sound and it provides that.

    my onboard realtek was okay, but the front panel sound was poor and distorted.

    the xonar fixed that.

    i got mine for $50 after rebate about a year ago.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Dedicated is always better than onboard, because you can get one as good as you want and you can replace it separately. Onboard is only a convenience.

    Shit, I remember when my computer had a 4-in-1 I/O card, with an IDE channel and a floppy channel and a parallel port and two serial ports. I had to set the IRQs for each device, manually, using jumpers. And you know what? It worked fine. I still have the card.

    Memory lane aside, I have a Creative Audigy 2ZS or something like that. It does the virtual-surround-sound thing pretty well, and I don't miss the front audio jack because my speakers have one built-in. On-desk > front-panel, when your tower is sitting on the floor.

    If Jolly were here, he would recommend an M-Audio card using a VIA chipset. I see no reason to disagree with that recommendation; M-Audio makes some top-quality stuff.
     
  6. critter783

    critter783 OT Supporter

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    Quick question off-subject, what happened to that dude?
     
  7. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

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    i remember a card like that. a friend of mine had this insanely huge card that a sound card, modem, floppy channel, serial port and the old school keyboard port, the one before ps2
    that was nuts
     
  8. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    The Via Envy 24 was a great chip, but good luck getting them to work in Vista. Although they will work in Windows 7 :dunno:

    You can't go wrong with the Xonar DX. I do not like the software though, layout is silly and Asus tries to make it look too 'nifty'. But besides that there is no other soundcard series I would rather own. I've spent over $600CAD in soundcards the last couple of years, and my top two were the Xonar D2X and the Xonar STX Essense.
     
  9. Atombox

    Atombox New Member

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    Hey Bow, I am curious as to what you have your sample rate and bit depth set to. If you right click on the speaker, and then select Playback Devices, then select the realtek audio device, (should be something like Realtek High Definition Audio) then select properties, select the advanced tab, and what is the sample rate set to there?

    Reason I ask is because I pegged mine to the biggest number when I first got this evga board and I experienced the popping and clicking, I also run a creative labs xifi card and even with that I also experienced the clicking sounds. What I ended up doing was selecting the default setting where it sets it to 24, 48000 Studio and that resolved the issues I was experiencing. I have to say I can not hear a difference between the creative card and the realtek card. Sound is crystal clear.

    Best of luck with that!
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    No idea.

    I've never seen an I/O card that had a keyboard port and modem on it too; at least all of my computers had keyboard ports built-in.
     

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