FAQ: Should I use onboard sound or an upgraded PCI or external soundcard?
There is no right or wrong answer, but it depends on how you listen to your music If you sound like one these people, then this should HELP you decide. Just remember, it’s always easier to upgrade later if onboard isn’t cutting it.
- If all you want to listen to are MP3’s or some other form of compressed music.
- You plan on using stock speakers or maybe even just an inexpensive set of coaxial speakers (tweeter mounted in the center of the speaker).
- You are the type of person that listens to music at home on a home theater in a box/boom box setup.
- You are running your computer through your stock or aftermarket radio through AUX_IN or by an FM modulator.
Upgraded PCI or External soundcard
- You are going to be using component speakers or spent a decent amount of money on replacement speakers
- You are using amplifiers of good quality (brands such as Rockford, JL Audio, Kicker, XTANT, Audison, ARC, Zapco, USAmps, etc just to name a few reputable brands), or if your 4 channel amp costs more than $200-300, you are in the market for better sound.
- Your computer audio output goes directly into amplifiers you might be in the market.
- You desire more control over your sound that onboard cannot do (crossover, better EQ, time delay). If you want to do things with ASIO, look for a supported ASIO card and Read here:
Software with good soundcard
**A cheap way to do more advanced sound is an Audigy Card with the KXPROJECT drivers.
- You need more channels than 5 or 7 depending on your onboard sound.
- You have good home theater equipment i.e. you do not listen to music at home on a home theater in a box setup or boom box.
-Your motherboard supports newer High Definition Codecs
I can add more to this or if anyone feels I missed something please let me know.