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Sound Card Worth It?

#1AndriusPosted 8/28/2014 6:42:01 PM
I'm running a set of Logitech Z-5500 speakers on my gaming PC using the on board audio. I don't plan to ever use headphones, just the speakers. Would a sound card make a noticeable difference in audio quality for that setup, and if so, any advice what cards to look at? Thanks
#2darklink1017Posted 8/28/2014 6:44:18 PM
I've noticed a huge difference using my Sound Blaster Z. The software suite really brings out much needed clarity and bass.

Mind you I'm using a 5.1 setup. Even with headphones the difference is quite large imo, so I'm sure the quality increase would carry over to your Z-5500 setup.
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http://i.imgur.com/Pgtkt.gif <---snooki LOL
And so I wake in the morning and I step outside AND I STEP OUTSIDE AND THEN I'M LIKE WHAT'S GOING ON?!?-HE-MAN
#3ClouddxPosted 8/28/2014 6:46:25 PM
If you want to use the optical cord and have 5.1 sound then yes a sound card with Dolby Digital/DTS support is needed, other than that I don't think you'll see a huge jump in sound quality with a sound card on that set of speakers.

I actually had those and game them to my brother, he has them paired with a Xonar DG using the analog cables and it sounds fine.
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i7-920 @ 3.6 // 770 GTX // 12GB G.Skill Ram // My Setup: https://imgur.com/a/2Gd8M
FiiO e9+17 // AKG Q701 + M50 // Deck 82 // G27 // Qanba Q1 // PS3/360
#4fataliPosted 8/28/2014 6:49:26 PM
The sound you get from the 5.1 integrated sound, and the 5.1 sound you get from a sound card will be EXACTLY THE SAME.

Waste of money if your integrated sound is working without problems.
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Mystery is the source of all true science.
#5Andrius(Topic Creator)Posted 8/28/2014 6:49:46 PM
I'm using the three 3.5mm plugs with onboard audio to connect to the speakers at the moment, but if optical makes a difference I can run that too. I have all my consoles using optical already. It's 5.1 now, so that wouldn't change with a card, just a question of if the sound card would do better, and if so what card.
#6ClouddxPosted 8/28/2014 6:54:02 PM
Andrius posted...
I'm using the three 3.5mm plugs with onboard audio to connect to the speakers at the moment, but if optical makes a difference I can run that too. I have all my consoles using optical already. It's 5.1 now, so that wouldn't change with a card, just a question of if the sound card would do better, and if so what card.


If you're using optical with your computer you will need a sound card in order to produce true 5.1 audio. I think optical sounds better than analog sound, and with the correct sound card Dolby Digital/DTS is a nice option to have.
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i7-920 @ 3.6 // 770 GTX // 12GB G.Skill Ram // My Setup: https://imgur.com/a/2Gd8M
FiiO e9+17 // AKG Q701 + M50 // Deck 82 // G27 // Qanba Q1 // PS3/360
#7darklink1017Posted 8/28/2014 7:13:05 PM
fatali posted...
The sound you get from the 5.1 integrated sound, and the 5.1 sound you get from a sound card will be EXACTLY THE SAME.

Waste of money if your integrated sound is working without problems.


I disagree 100%.

Do you by chance own an external sound card? Do you speak from experience, or is it just rhetoric?
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http://i.imgur.com/Pgtkt.gif <---snooki LOL
And so I wake in the morning and I step outside AND I STEP OUTSIDE AND THEN I'M LIKE WHAT'S GOING ON?!?-HE-MAN
#8darklink1017Posted 8/28/2014 7:16:09 PM
Clouddx posted...
Andrius posted...
I'm using the three 3.5mm plugs with onboard audio to connect to the speakers at the moment, but if optical makes a difference I can run that too. I have all my consoles using optical already. It's 5.1 now, so that wouldn't change with a card, just a question of if the sound card would do better, and if so what card.


If you're using optical with your computer you will need a sound card in order to produce true 5.1 audio. I think optical sounds better than analog sound, and with the correct sound card Dolby Digital/DTS is a nice option to have.


on top of what he's saying, make sure your sound card supports DTS Connect/Dolby Digital Live.

I use optical with DTS Connect 5.1 and while it sounds great the sound you play is encoded into their respective lossy formats/compressed, theoretically analog PCM should sound better because there is no reencoding...at least marginally.
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http://i.imgur.com/Pgtkt.gif <---snooki LOL
And so I wake in the morning and I step outside AND I STEP OUTSIDE AND THEN I'M LIKE WHAT'S GOING ON?!?-HE-MAN
#9ClouddxPosted 8/28/2014 7:18:41 PM(edited)
darklink1017 posted...
fatali posted...
The sound you get from the 5.1 integrated sound, and the 5.1 sound you get from a sound card will be EXACTLY THE SAME.

Waste of money if your integrated sound is working without problems.


I disagree 100%.

Do you by chance own an external sound card? Do you speak from experience, or is it just rhetoric?


I agree, what Fatali says is 100% wrong. I have owned many sound cards(X-fi Titanium, Xonar DG) and ATM I'm using an external DAC/AMP(e9+e17). Using my AKG Q701 with my onboard sound is just terrible. The AMP/DAC make it sound so much better.
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i7-920 @ 3.6 // 770 GTX // 12GB G.Skill Ram // My Setup: https://imgur.com/a/2Gd8M
FiiO e9+17 // AKG Q701 + M50 // Deck 82 // G27 // Qanba Q1 // PS3/360
#10Andrius(Topic Creator)Posted 8/28/2014 7:19:04 PM
Ok, if the consensus is that a sound card is noticeably better and I've got the speakers to tell the difference and optical is the way to go, what card would people recommend?