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Old January 6, 2012, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ardric View Post
If you can't hear anything particularly wrong with the onboard setup you have now, then keep it. It's good enough for most purposes.

These guys have good software for testing PC sound hardware:
You could try testing your onboard with a loopback cable (line out to line in), then if you end up purchasing another card you could do the same and compare results to see how much benefit you REALLY got. Personally, I think most of the claims of X card sounding waaay better than the onboard are either instances where the onboard was seriously broken, or they're bullshit justifications after the fact for blowing the money on something they never needed.

Windows 7 and Vista don't care what fancy hardware your card has; all they use is the DAC's and mixer. So there's no longer a gaming advantage with a sound card either. That's why they're pushing audiophile sound quality in the marketing these days; it's the only (potential) reason left to buy one.

I use an external firewire mixer as my own "sound card" for recording audio projects (home studio, I play bass), but when I'm just surfing/gaming I use headphones on an external receiver/amp from the onboard sound (X58A-UD7), and I have no problem with it. I wouldn't ask the onboard to drive headphones directly. But drive self-amplified Logitech speakers? Sure, it's fine for that.
Actually there is and its called EAX. While a lot of games may not fully utilize it cards that do have a much broader range of noises than thosse which don,t
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