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  1. #21
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    the thing with sound cards vs onboard sound:

    you can make really good onboard sound, look at what asus is doing on the new maximus boards, but that doesn't mean that onboard is good enough to replace a modern soundcard, when designing a motherboard, designers are limited on real-estate, they only have so much room to work with, and are often competing with other designers for component priority of space, so often they end up having to run leads and traces or place components in areas that are not the best,

    so, when designers get to build their own dedicated card, they are not worried about having to route around a fan header or PCI power line, so they can devote more effort into making better sound, and can actually place audio grade components on the PCB, what makes a soundcard like the STX or Xense so great is that they designed a card specifically with out the intention of settling on a price point or limited by production, they had no third party launch deadline to go by

    what this has lead to, is that onboard sound on modern standard motherboards is about what you would expect, you get sound, enough for voip, and 10 hours of nyan cat, with high end boards, you get sound that matches slightly older gaming sound cards like the stuff from creative, however, with the high end soundcards on the market now, such as the Xonar STX, you get a card that was designed from the ground up to sound better, and if you are the kind of person that calibrates your optical drive to make the best FLAC recordings possible, and you have 5 different sets of studio/audiophile headphones, then the STX is the kind of card you want in your computer

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  2. #22
    I've had a Xonar D2X for yonks now. Even through an entire PC upgrade I've simply moved it across to the new one. I haven't regretted it once. My headphones, AKG K701, do NOT get properly driven by the on-board. The sound card drives them perfectly. It isn't rare to be in that situation where ppl need to sleep and you need to use headphones. I'm glad my D2X can drive them properly, exposing the highs and pumping the bass up.

    RE: flac. Great storage format, I use it. But for portable use I go with MP3 256 VBR (LAME V0)
    Sonically speaking the difference between the two is utterly indistinguishable, even on high end systems.

  3. #23
    I bought a soundcard because I wanted it to do things my mobo couldn't (more i/o, optic send, driving high impedance headphones etc).
    in terms of sound, it's better but not gamechanging imo - you will also need decent speakers / headphones to notice, don't bother if you don't have anything 'high end'.
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  4. #24
    Aftermarket sound cards are probably not worth buying

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Excentric View Post
    Aftermarket sound cards are probably not worth buying
    According to whom and what situation? I mean even a NIC has more worth than your post. Please enlighten us on your opinion.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltrusDisc View Post
    If someone has truly good headphones (not Logitech/Razer/Steelseries, etc) such as something from Audio Technica, Sennheiser, Shure, or AKG, they will very likely benefit from a sound card that has a built-in headphone amplifier.
    The sad thing is you can get lesser known brands that sound just as good, that have built in amplifiers.

    Used to have a wired 5.1 headset with built in amp that put my last pair of sennheiser to shame, think the brand was LDB or some other 3 letter acronym.
    Only issue with them is that the frame was not very sturdy so after 3 years the little swivel joints that let the earpieces pivot both snapped but with a little bondo they were like new minus the pivoting.

  7. #27
    Banned This name sucks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuku2 View Post
    Generally speaking, if someone has to ASK these questions in the first place, they don't NEED anything like what you are talking about. Use some common sense. High-end solutions are not for everybody.
    Wow I'm going to start using that.

    "If you need to ask, you don't need it"
    or maybe
    "You only need it if you already know you need it"

    Such a good phrase.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-25 at 06:58 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Milkshake86 View Post
    According to whom and what situation? I mean even a NIC has more worth than your post. Please enlighten us on your opinion.
    Well, hes probably right.

    To use my new favourite quote "You only need a sound card if you KNOW you need a sound card"

    IE you're a DJ, have a $400 high quality pair of headphones, want tons of surround sound at crazy bit/sample rates.

    Outside of these you probably don't need one.
    Last edited by This name sucks; 2012-12-25 at 06:58 AM.

  8. #28
    It is wildly more likely that in this day and time just as in the past music is relevant and loved beyond anything with a strong passion. $2000 in audio equipment is a hell of a lot easier to shell out money for than say $300~ a month for 2 high speed internet connections to make a NIC worth while, nor is it really even necessary I mean onboard NICs already function at gigabit+ speeds.
    Last edited by Milkshake86; 2012-12-25 at 12:03 PM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milkshake86 View Post
    It is wildly more likely that in this day and time just and in the past music is relevant and loved beyond anything with a strong passion. $2000 in audio equipment is a hell of a lot easier to shell out money for than say $300~ a month for 2 high speed internet connections to make a NIC worth while, nor is it really even necessary I mean onboard NICs already function at gigabit+ speeds.
    And don't forget routers, and cabling from the router to your computer. I don't think standard cat5 can go over 1gbit.

  10. #30
    The Insane DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skrump View Post
    The sad thing is you can get lesser known brands that sound just as good, that have built in amplifiers.

    Used to have a wired 5.1 headset with built in amp that put my last pair of sennheiser to shame, think the brand was LDB or some other 3 letter acronym.
    Only issue with them is that the frame was not very sturdy so after 3 years the little swivel joints that let the earpieces pivot both snapped but with a little bondo they were like new minus the pivoting.
    If the headphones are 5.1 or 7.1, you already know they are low quality in comparison to a good quality pair of 2 speaker headphones. Virtual surround sounds just as good - if not better, since you'll have bigger drivers pushing the sounds and thus, higher quality.
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  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Methanar View Post
    And don't forget routers, and cabling from the router to your computer. I don't think standard cat5 can go over 1gbit.
    Cat6 is more normal now, but its still rated as gigabit.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-25 at 12:06 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Methanar View Post
    Wow I'm going to start using that.

    "If you need to ask, you don't need it"
    or maybe
    "You only need it if you already know you need it"

    Such a good phrase.[COLOR="red"]
    For trolling sure, otherwise nothing would be invented and nothing would be in multiple different variations. Knowing is not something you get to without asking, if knowledge is power then being confident enough to ask questions is simply the pursuit of knowledge and power.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milkshake86 View Post
    Cat6 is more normal now, but its still rated as gigabit.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-25 at 12:06 PM ----------



    For trolling sure, otherwise nothing would be invented and nothing would be in multiple different variations. Knowing is not something you get to without asking, if knowledge is power then being confident enough to ask questions is simply the pursuit of knowledge and power.
    I was thinking more if I'm ever selling someone photoshop *for example* and they ask me what the difference is between photoshop 5 and photoshop 5 extended edition and I tell them it involves more 3d modelling related stuff.

    They ask me what 3d modelling is.

    Thats a good indicator they don't need it.

    Put it this way: if you really need extended, you'll also know why you need it.

    If you're not sure, you don't.

  13. #33
    The answer is not "you don't"; it's "you probably don't". It's a fairly important difference.

    That said, this does remind me I need to get a wireless thingamajig for my desktop @ college. The Switch 810 build...

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