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Thread: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

  1. #11
    woy...collokweee...weeble weeble blaaaat artoodeeto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    I have an older Creative X-Fi card in my system, and it's really only there for one reason: so I can record audio from, say a film clip into an audio file. You can only do that if you have two sound cards, or in my case built-in audio and a sound card, since it uses one for output and the other to record that output. I don't do it much, but it's nice once in awhile to have the capability. That being said, the main reason I'm not especially interested in a separate sound card is simply that I'm not willing to spend the money on amazing speakers.

    The speakers I have sound the same on the built-in vs. the Creative (they're 400W logitech THX something-or-other, the ones with the giant subwoofer & 4 satellites). That being said, I *do* have them plugged into the Creative card. I wouldn't turn down awesome speakers if they fell in my lap, but what I have sounds good enough and for me it's not worth the extra money to upgrade. I'm also not overly picky about audio quality - now that hard drive space isn't an issue anymore, my mp3's overall are larger files than they used to be, and I don't notice the quality loss compared to uncompressed.
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  2. #12
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    It seems to me that the general consensus on this subject is that sound cards are less competitive than are video cards because most users are more concerned with their computers' video than they are with their computers' audio, and the integrated audio of most motherboards is acceptable to most users.

    I can accept those explanations, but I have heard, with my own ears, a considerable difference between onboard sound and the sound of a dedicated sound card, so I shall always use a dedicated sound card in any computer that I have, even if I must spend additional money to obtain that superior sound.
    Yes, there very well may have been a large quality difference. But what hardware were you comparing? If you compare the on board sound of a $70 mobo to that of a $200-300 sound card, then it isn't a fair comparison. You also have to consider audio settings such as resolution and equalizer...and also speaker response and range. And room acoustics! And personal taste since "superior" is a subjective judgement and not a concrete setting. There is no "better button" for a reason.

    If you buy a high end mobo, you typically get good sound as part of the package. But you also get better performance out of the rest of the board as well. So instead of buying that dedicated sound card, put that money towards a better mobo!
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

  3. #13
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by mDust View Post
    Yes, there very well may have been a large quality difference. But what hardware were you comparing? If you compare the on board sound of a $70 mobo to that of a $200-300 sound card, then it isn't a fair comparison. You also have to consider audio settings such as resolution and equalizer...and also speaker response and range. And room acoustics! And personal taste since "superior" is a subjective judgement and not a concrete setting. There is no "better button" for a reason.

    If you buy a high end mobo, you typically get good sound as part of the package. But you also get better performance out of the rest of the board as well. So instead of buying that dedicated sound card, put that money towards a better mobo!
    My current motherboard is an ASUS brand MB, whose exact name and model number I cannot recall at this moment, that uses the AMD 790FX chipset, and my current sound card is the now-discontinued Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty, and the difference in sound quality between the motherboard and the sound card is as great as the difference between night and day, to my ears. The most useful feature of the sound card is the 10-band equalizer that is contained in its software, which allows me to adjust the sound to exactly the level that I find to be best. My current speakers are only 2.1 speakers, but I plan to upgrade to 5.1 speakers when I can afford to do so, plus, I plan to eventually purchase the ASUS Crosshair Formula V motherboard, with AMD 990FX chipset, and although I am not certain if the motherboard shall have any effect on the sound card (as I certainly shall not discard such an advanced sound card as the one that I currently own), it shall certainly be very useful for all of its other numerous features.
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

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  4. #14
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Are you sure you have all available sound drivers and optional software installed for the on-board audio? Even my $300 netbook comes with a 10-band equalizer and other goodies to fine tune the output. I've never adjusted anything on it, since it's a netbook, but it's there. Asus is pretty good about that for all their boards as well. Check their downloads page to make sure you aren't missing out. Make sure windows is configured for full range stereo desktop speakers and not mono laptop speakers or something as well! On-board sound isn't the best, but it's not usually so far off as to make a noticeable difference.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

  5. #15
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by mDust View Post
    Are you sure you have all available sound drivers and optional software installed for the on-board audio? Even my $300 netbook comes with a 10-band equalizer and other goodies to fine tune the output. I've never adjusted anything on it, since it's a netbook, but it's there. Asus is pretty good about that for all their boards as well. Check their downloads page to make sure you aren't missing out. Make sure windows is configured for full range stereo desktop speakers and not mono laptop speakers or something as well! On-board sound isn't the best, but it's not usually so far off as to make a noticeable difference.
    I am not certain if I have the newest drivers for my motherboard, as I purchased the sound card at the same time as the MB, and thus have never needed to update its drivers. I have configured my sound card to a point where it produces sound that I find to be exceptional, so I have no need to worry about the motherboard's sound settings. I appreciate your advice, but I intend to continue using a dedicated sound card, even after I upgrade to a motherboard that is better than the one that I currently have.
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

    "Those who would trade their freedoms for security will have neither." -Benjamin Franklin

  6. #16
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    I intend to continue using a dedicated sound card, even after I upgrade to a motherboard that is better than the one that I currently have.
    Unforgivable.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    i still swear by my dedicated ASUS Zonar D2X...
    "The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” -George Carlin

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  8. #18
    The floppy drive is no longer obsolete. AmEv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    If A: I had a free PCI slot, B: I remember where I set my SBLive5.1's backplate, I'd be using it.
    Two years. They were great. Let's make the next ones even better!

    Tri.fecta

  9. #19
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by mDust View Post
    Unforgivable.
    How is that "unforgivable?" I am allowed to use the component that I wish to use, am I not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cale_Hagan View Post
    i still swear by my dedicated ASUS Zonar D2X...
    What do you "swear by your Asus Zonar D2X?" What promise have you made upon that card?
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

    "Those who would trade their freedoms for security will have neither." -Benjamin Franklin

  10. #20
    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are Sound Cards not as Competitive as are Video Cards?

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    I am allowed to use the component that I wish to use, am I not?
    And what is this? A free country? I called the police. They seemed pretty upset the 6th time I called. You're in for it now.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

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