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Is a Sound Card necessary?


VenXIII

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I recently bought Corsair's SP2200s (they're awesome by the way, thinking about upgrading to SP2500 in the near future), and I was wondering if i'm missing out on anything in terms of sound quality. I've used them on my computer and tv and the tv seemed to sound better. Bear in mind, my computer is 5 years old and uses the motherboard for audio. I'm in the process of building my new computer and wanted to know whether or not if a sound card is a good investment.
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A better sound card will result in better sound in general. However, "better" is a relative term and will depend on the quality and performance of your sound card. If it's not noticeably better than your onboard sound, then the sound you hear will not be noticeably better.
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Ok, so say for example, Creative's sound blaster titanium hd sound card vs. Realteks ALC892 onboard audio, which looks better? I'm aware of SNRs and DACs/ADCs, but i'm not entirely sure how these are rated and whether a higher/lower number is better?

 

Creative:

 

http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi-Titanium-HD/M/B0041OUA38.htm

 

Realtek:

 

http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/productsView.aspx?Langid=1&PNid=24&PFid=28&Level=5&Conn=4&ProdID=284

 

Hope it's ok I used company names. Sincere apologies in advance if it's not.

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This is the age of updates, dont use the 5 years old computer. I hope you know better that in old versions Windows 7 is not compatible. it is also admitted fact that windows 7 has many features so using old hardware can cause to decrease your ability to use new software and hardware.

 

you are advised to be updated every day... It is race of technology and and computer know person should compete this

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"which looks better?" Creative hands down. SNR (signal to noise ratio) is measured on a logrithmic scale (decibals, db's), so the higher the better (think better filtration of extraneous sound that wasn't in the original source). The higher the bit count for the DAC's and ADC's, the better (finer discrimination in tone). All sound devices are trying to exactly duplicate the properties of the original sound source. Onboard sound is greatly dependent on the cpu for extra muscle in processing. Independent Sound Cards do virtually all the work themselves, merely using the cpu to pass raw data for processing to them for the most part.
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