Sound cards used to nearly as important as getting a GPU for your rig, but now they are oftentimes ignored. Do you still need one for good sound?
No just run the sound through your video card
Not really. See ARESWARLORD ^^. Output the sound digitally, where it can be converted to analog far away from the PC's innards (where all the RF interference lives). A good monitor will have good DACs, and there are other more upscale audio devices with their own DACs.
I quickly found out that my 2016 integrated PC sound couldn't hold a candle to the 2002 SB Audigy 2 in my old PC. Sending the audio through the video card to the monitor's DisplayPort input, and letting it do the analog conversion, made a world of difference. The low-level RF whiny and grating noises went away, dynamic range exploded, and the low end got the punch it was missing.
Sure, a dedicated audio card can help; but it still converts digital to analog inside the RF-noisy case (which is the worst place for it). Even if it's excellently shielded, it's just in the wrong environment for what it needs to do.
Many dedicated audio cards are external now, so that isn't an issue.
I can tell you one thing... try to record some good ASIO audio, or get into music production using apps like Reason and Ableton, and you'll quickly learn why you want a good dedicated device. For gaming, it isn't necessary anymore, really.
"Many dedicated audio cards are external now . . ."
Which would go along with what I said, wouldn't it? Output the sound digitally to as high-quality and versatile a device as you need. For most of us, the DACs in a good monitor will do. Just get the DA conversion outside of the RF-infested case.
Yeah, in the form of separate AV-receivers and amplifiers, provided you have good speakers. Nothing can beat that.
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