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Do you really need a dedicated sound card? (plus one other question)

#1nehukogPosted 9/3/2013 6:03:04 PM
I just bought the klipsch pro media 2.1 speaker system. Should I buy a dedicated sound card? Or will the one that comes on the Asus Z87 plus mobo be good enough?

Also If I am getting a QNIX monitor (or that other one, I think it's called X-Star, basically a better QNIX) do I NEED a GTX 770, or will a 760 do just fine? I really don't want to spend the extra $150 if I don't have to
#2NicodimusPosted 9/3/2013 6:20:11 PM
It used to be that it helped with performance by taking some of the load off of the old CPUs. That is no longer the case. It's pretty much 100% sound quality now, so it depends on how much of an audiophile you are. If you have a great receiver and speakers hooked up to your PC, and you're someone who listens primarily to FLACs or SACDs, you'll probably notice a significant difference, especially if you get one with EQ support built into the driver software. However, the average user listens to mp3s with cheap earbuds and is happy with that. If that's you, just save your money and use the onboard sound.
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#3kelemvorPosted 9/3/2013 7:30:15 PM
If it was 1995, I would say yes, everyone had a soundcard back then. These days you are fine with the onboard motherboard sound unless you compose/produce music.

As far as the video card question, once you have a 760, anything above that has diminishing returns. For example, you might spend that $150 to go from 40 FPS to 60 FPS, and if you want more you'll spend an extra $500 to go from 60FPS to 75FPS. Obviously, it depends on what games you play. I would say a 760 would be at PS4 level or maybe slightly better.
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#4AlleRacingPosted 9/3/2013 9:23:18 PM
A sound card still makes a pretty big difference over on board sound. Even something cheap like a Xonar DG will be noticeable.
#5SampsonMPosted 9/3/2013 10:20:04 PM
AlleRacing posted...
A sound card still makes a pretty big difference over on board sound. Even something cheap like a Xonar DG will be noticeable.

Yeah, adding a sound card has a noticeable impact on sound quality.

Granted, if you're rocking cheap speakers, don't worry about it. But if you're spending $200+, get a sound card.
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#6JavelinPosted 9/3/2013 11:02:11 PM
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes. Anyone who thinks onboard sound is anywhere near the same quality is either delusional, lying, or has bad speakers/headphones/hearing.
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#7myztikricePosted 9/3/2013 11:06:50 PM
Those speakers/headphones have much more impact than the sound card
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#8SenkoyPosted 9/3/2013 11:12:35 PM
This might be a stupid question but I haven't build a computer in over a decade, well before HDMI, but if you get a soundcard, you can still get the better audio to go out from your vid card through HDMI right?
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#9dmccappinPosted 9/4/2013 1:24:31 AM
HDMI carries the audio/video signal to say a TV for example. As long as the audio is outputting from the Sound card it won't make a difference, if the monitor has speakers just turn them off.
#10_GRIM_FANDANGO_Posted 9/4/2013 1:29:05 AM
There is nothing that you absolutely need, whether it is better performance or better sound. What you should ask yourself is whether it is worth it to you and we can not answer that question for you.

Technically , you do not need a soundcard. Especially with the onboard sound getting better with pretty much every generation of motherboards. Whether you need the upgrade in GPU is dependent on what kind of performance you are looking for, whether you are using multiple monitors, what resolution, which kind of games you play etc. ( for example, for someone playing MOBA's and Counter Strike I would say no, but for someone who enjoys playing single player games at absolute max settings more than anything else, I might say yes).
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