Do You Still Use a Sound Card?

If computer games can be said to have come of age in any particular time period, it must be the late 1980s and early 1990s. Hardware had advanced to a point where artists' visions could be more realistically rendered onscreen, and the proliferation of first 3.5-inch floppies and soon after CDs would give programmers more space than they ever dreamed of to make their ideas a reality. But if one year could be said to be the most transformative, the most magical, it would have to be 1988.

That was the year when, with Sierra On-Line's release of King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, PC games finally became able to treat your ears like important parts of the body.

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fatstarr4761d ago (Edited 4761d ago )

well personally i dont see a need for a sound card atm. I got crappy computer speakers 2 subs and 1 amp with 4 speakers hooked up to it. My on board sound card is pretty decent. Not that i know anything about sound but it has 6 jacks on the back and all these features i don't even use. as long as it powers my items i am happy because they sound better than my friends high end stuff.

Thracks4760d ago

The audiophile nerds can say what they want to say. Line level, SNR, blah blah blah.

The fact of the matter is that I have exceptional hearing (it's been tested!), and my $300 Sennheisers sound fantastic when connected directly to the Realtek HDA's audio jacks, without a pre-amp.

Go ahead, nerds. Cringe.

There is no line noise/crackling/interference, and the audio sounds spectacular. Could it be better with a dedicated card, like an Auzentech? Suuuure. Do I care? No. "Close enough" > $200 for a sound card.

snoop_dizzle4760d ago (Edited 4760d ago )

There are some pretty reasonable sound cards out there. I gave away one recently I had for some years and even now it is still pretty decent. Though the higher end ones do go up in price. Granted I use a laptop mainly with optical out so I'm not using a dedicated card, but the built in card isn't bad by any means. But mainly the issue relies more with the content you're playing. If you're playing super compressed music then a good soundcard is overkill.

I have a somewhat custom built 7.1 system with fairly good speakers and receiver, and more recently have been ripping in lossless. While I just bumping the bit rate up more would be good enough I figure that since I have the space that I'll just rip it uncompressed (and so I have a basically untampered copy of it). However, I am liking less compressed music more and more. But I also have a system that's worth doing it for too.

There are other good reasons for good soundcards, especially if you have an HTPC.

ChickeyCantor4760d ago

I thought i give Creative a go on a soundcard...performance of my pc went to hell.
In fact my onboard soundcard works very well and accepts low latency in music software.
Onboard soundcards arent that bad at all.