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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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onboard sound or sound card

I'm in the process of building a new system using an Asus P8Z68 delux/Gen 3 motherboard and an Intel core i7 2700k cpu.

I already use a Creative Audigy Sound Blaster PCI card from around 2002.

My question is: Which would output the best sound? Should I put the Audigy Card in my new system or rely on the onboard sound?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 09:32 PM   #2
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Re: onboard sound or sound card

The limiting factor will most likely be the signal-to-noise ratio you get from either of those options. The general rule is that sending analog audio INSIDE the box is a significant compromise, whether with the on-board audio circuitry, or using a plug-in daughter board.

If that kind of moderate performance meets your needs, then you are in the best position to compare the two options in your computer and determine if either option is better than the other. If they are equivalent, I would chose to use the on-board audio circuit just to reduce the complexity and potentials for failure.

Even a simple, inexpensive USB sound device could provide significantly better performance than any in-case analog solution.

You didn't mention your application. If you are only using the sound card for casual listening, gaming sound effects, etc. then it probably doesn't make a big difference. If you are doing more serious audio production (for example) consider something like an external device with a digital interface (like USB, etc.) which will be inherently cleaner.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: onboard sound or sound card

Thanks Richard. My application is simply to monitor audio and video files I am compiling....and if the the onboard or card audio affect the quality of the files produced, then also for the actual compiling of the files.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: onboard sound or sound card

For compiling and cutting, any soundcard would work. However... for audio post, EQ/mixing and such, you need a good (pro level) soundcard and SPEAKERS for accurate decisions. (not to mention the skills and other audio specific tools)
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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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Re: onboard sound or sound card

Not clear what "compiling" means here? If you mean simply monitoring for editing something already recorded, then the sound card (of any variety) will not affect the sound.

But if you mean recording, then definitely, the quality of the sound card will affect the recorded tracks.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: onboard sound or sound card

Thanks again Richard. Sorry re my lack of precision in terminology :-)

I do a small amount of recording to the computer, but mostly I'm dealing with material already recorded.

So for the recording...which doesn't need to be absolutely the greatest, out of the onboard or the card audio I mention first of, which would be preferable? To date I've recorded using the sound card, but since it is quite old and the motherboard is brand new, I thought that perhaps onboard sound by now could be just as good and I could run with that.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Re: onboard sound or sound card

You are the only one who can try the motherboard vs. sound card comparison. A simple A vs. B test beats 10000 words of prose and speculation.

Note that continuing to use an aging sound card will leave you dead in the water one day when an operating system (or "upgrade") comes along that has no drivers for the antique peripheral.
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