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Old December 11, 2013, 07:02 AM
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If you have a PCI slot, grab an old used X-Fi XtremeMusic for around $25. They sound great for the money.

X-Fi + ALchemy was a pretty good combo when I cared for positioning in games. I play much less now and have moved on to an ODAC.
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Old December 11, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I agree it's subjective, but even my relatively cheepo Logitech Z506 set seems to put out better audio with a HT Omega Striker 7.1 than it does with onboard.
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Old December 11, 2013, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoob View Post
If you have a PCI slot, grab an old used X-Fi XtremeMusic for around $25. They sound great for the money.

X-Fi + ALchemy was a pretty good combo when I cared for positioning in games. I play much less now and have moved on to an ODAC.
I'm still using the Xfi XM I picked up in 2006, I need to find a second one for my HTPC as the onboard in that sucks. I had an Audigy NX for it, but it got fried when a UPS blew.
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Old December 11, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
I use a Sony receiver and large tower speakers for my audio. Onboard has come a very long way, but adding a soundcard makes a difference with my audio gear. If you have sub $100 Logitech/etc speakers then onboard is fine. SPend some dough on audio gear and you'll want one for sure.
Well that's the only point where a sound card is mostly irrelevant, if you are using optical out to pass it to the receiver, which is doing the audio decoding and digital to analog conversion. The onboard is going to send it the same digital quality as a dedicated sound card.

That said, a lot of people still enjoy using headphones or standard desktop speakers, in this case I have found a dedicated sound card does sound better then onboard.
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Old December 12, 2013, 02:30 AM
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Well that's the only point where a sound card is mostly irrelevant, if you are using optical out to pass it to the receiver, which is doing the audio decoding and digital to analog conversion. The onboard is going to send it the same digital quality as a dedicated sound card.
This!

It took me a while to figure this out. You can see my comments in the same article linked. However I'm thinking a digital input/output such as an HDMI cable will do the job without compromise. You just need to hook up your display to the AV receiver.

A sound card is basically a compact DAC (digital to analogue converter) and amplifier, that would work fine with small speakers such as Corsair 2500 or Logitech Z906. a dedicated AV receiver has all that and in better quality, and can be hooked up to some serious speakers, another heavy investment.

An AV receiver can serve all your electronics; TV, sound system, consoles, including your PC.

If the space on your motherboard is more precious to you than your living space and your money (me for example), a dedicated (preferably network capable) AV receiver is the way to go.

Now you can build that powerfull mitx rig or that CF/SLI atx build without using onboard audio.
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Old December 12, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arinoth View Post
Well that's the only point where a sound card is mostly irrelevant, if you are using optical out to pass it to the receiver, which is doing the audio decoding and digital to analog conversion. The onboard is going to send it the same digital quality as a dedicated sound card.

That said, a lot of people still enjoy using headphones or standard desktop speakers, in this case I have found a dedicated sound card does sound better then onboard.
No, I never use digital pass through, I only run 2 speakers and I want the soundcard doing the digital to analog conversions.
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Old December 12, 2013, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Luay79 View Post
This!

It took me a while to figure this out. You can see my comments in the same article linked. However I'm thinking a digital input/output such as an HDMI cable will do the job without compromise. You just need to hook up your display to the AV receiver.

A sound card is basically a compact DAC (digital to analogue converter) and amplifier, that would work fine with small speakers such as Corsair 2500 or Logitech Z906. a dedicated AV receiver has all that and in better quality, and can be hooked up to some serious speakers, another heavy investment.

An AV receiver can serve all your electronics; TV, sound system, consoles, including your PC.

If the space on your motherboard is more precious to you than your living space and your money (me for example), a dedicated (preferably network capable) AV receiver is the way to go.

Now you can build that powerfull mitx rig or that CF/SLI atx build without using onboard audio.

yes for HDMI does great job going with A/V receiver, with soundblaster/creative you need to buy rights for use of optical port "Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Pack"

as to A/V's compliants
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