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Thread: Tech Question: Comparing PC Sound Cards

  1. #1
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    Default Tech Question: Comparing PC Sound Cards

    Ok, dumb question I should know already. As you're aware I've built myself a new PC, everything is good and dandy, however I really need to compare 2 sound cards to see which one is better than the other.

    First, there's the onboard Realtek HD Sound Card, which I'm using at the moment. So far nice, it includes both 3.5mm and optic outputs for surround sound systems, although I'm only going to be using it for stereo.

    Then there's the Sound Blaster Audigy, this one I used in my older PC because the onboard audio on it was pretty crappy, and this one improved the quality big time.

    Now, I've been trying to find specs on both these cards and I've failed, but what I'm asking is, should I just stick with the onboard sound card, or would the Sound Blast Audigy be better. I might actually try and see what the the card is like on my new PC, but it would be nice to know in advance which one is better.

  2. #2
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    I dare Mozart to tell the difference.
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  3. #3
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    Id say go with the onboard Realtek HD sound card. On board sound cards have come on dramatically over the years and should give you fine performance, especially if you only plan on using the stereo jack. Youll also save a PCI slot and lower the power consumption of you machine.

  4. #4
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    I bought a good sound card when I built my last PC . . . waste of time. I can't tell the difference in sound quality over the on board chip and it was just another set of drivers to install
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  5. #5
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    Well, in that case I'll stick to the onboard sound card, if there's honestly no difference between the two, then there's no point of installing the Sound Blaster Audigy into my new machine.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    ARe you going to be using the sound card for anything other than "standard" computing and game playing? If you are going to be doing any music / sound creation or video editing, I'd recommend looking at an external sound card such as those made by M-Audio:

    http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=...=USBinterfaces

    I'm a (hobbyist) DJ / Musician and I've gotten a lot of great milage out of the M-Audio Sound card on my Torq Xponent:

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/TorqXponent.html

    as well as the Fast Track Pro:

    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackPro.html

    This is probably overkill if you are only going to be playing MP3s and watching video, but thought I'd see what you're using the sound card for.

    I should add that I have an X-Fi and think the sound is far better than the crappy AC-97 that ships with most on board sound cards today.

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