on board sound or pci card


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
I was wondering with all the advancements in onboard sound is there even a reason to buy a sound card anymore...The one thing about a computer I have barely any knowledge of is sound so I'm hoping someone can clear it up for me...thanks
It really depends on how nice your speakers are in relation to your sound card. If you have decent speakers (say under $150)- having onboard sound for most the newer motherboards work very well. If you're an audiophile and have like Klipsh or other high end speakers ($150+) you might want to invest in a nice Soundblaster Audigy to pull out the full potential of your nice speakers. It makes sense not to need a nice sound card if you're speakers arent equally awesome because they kind of bottleneck eachother.


OSNN Advanced
There's no reason why you should buy a pci sound card unless you intend on having a surround sound system (5-7 speakers).
I think the surround sound works best with pci sound cards like creative audigy because of the digital output port.
cpu power

also, onboard sound usually uses more CPU than a pci card, so if you do get a pci sound card you'll notice that most games will be running alittle smoother,.... and its noticable....lates



Retired Mod
Political User
Depends on what kind of onboard sound you're talking about. Plain old stereo onboard sound, go with a PCI Card. Though some motherboards, specifically nForce2 based higher end boards, have a very high quality onboard sound system, that includes dolby digital encoding and several features of seperate PCI Soundcards not normally found in other onboard systems.


Shamus MacNoob

OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
My onboard Soundstorm performed better than my SB live 5.1 digital , during Lord Of The Rings ( Game ) Return of The Kings the Sound Blaster was crapping out bad I switched to my on board sound and it was way better ( Perfect ) So in my case the on board sound is better overall besides that one game I find the SoundStorm an amazing on board sound card


hardware monkey
desie said:
Wow sounds like onboard audio has really advanced!
in the case of nvidia's soundstorm, most definitely. it has hardware acceleration and positional (eax, a3d) audio for games. but most other boards have a realtek or cmedia codec which, although provides good sound quality, doesn't allow for hardware acceleration in games or good positional audio without tying up a good chunk of cpu time.

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