Onboard sound is crap, go external.
Newbie to car pcs but about 20 years experience with PCs from way back in the VIC 20 days and I am curently a SA for Intel based servers, there I've dated myself.
Looking to find a good PCI card for my car PC shopping list and I was considering using M-Audio US41750. Reading through different forums on the Web I have noticed alot of people have mentioned the E-MU cards as well. My budget is under 200.00 and I want a card that offers high quality analog output from my digital files (mp3 and eventually FLAC) to my car's Head unit's inputs. Main requirement is awesome stereo 2 channel and possibly this card is over featured for my requirements. Please advise if there is a better choice.
Here is shoping list so far - (feed back appreciated as I'm thinking of buying soon):
1 x Mini-Key USB Keyboard DGPN-570
1 x VIA EPIA SP13000 Mini-ITX Motherboard
1 x Opus Mini-ITX Vehicle PC Case w/ built in 120w power supply
1 x Xenarc 700TS - VGA Monitor with touchscreen
1 x NEC Black IDE Slim DVD Burner Model ND-6750A - OEM
1 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 ST3250823AS 250GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive (had 3.5 hard drives in my NEO for years and never had issues with temps, cold in PA)
1 Zonet ZEW2500P 802.11g 54Mbps Wireless USB2.0 (to connect to my home wireless for backups to server).
1 G.SKILL 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory
My initial use for the PC is to use it as my HiFi Digital music player. I currently have a Neo running OpenNeo and .mp3s files, about approx 6000. I am currently re-ripping my CD collection using FLAC with the intention of using them on the car pc.
Should I be concerned about compatibilty issues with VIA chipset and my selected hardware? Any glaring newbie mistakes.
Future plans to expand to other uses such as GPS etc down the road.
XP Pro, BIOSTAR GEFORCE 6100-M9, 1.5GB Ram, 80 GB and 320GB Sata,
EMU0404 sound Card, Xenarc 700T, Boss Audio BX55, KAC 9102D AMP, KAC 8402 AMP
if you want the best sound possible you have to ax the soundcard and go digital into a sound processor (like the alpine unit i have) or find an amp with digital input
edit: didn't see your budget. i'd go with an internal soundblaster pci card with the kxdrivers. if your amp isnt really close to the computer i'd think abou tgetting a line driver (audiocontrol 24sx is what i used). i had this setup before and it sounded really good
onboard audio isn't total crap. with the ambient sound from a car running and driving down the road, you won't notice the difference unless you are an audiophile. unless you put extra effort and put in sound mat, insulating sound, a pci card should be fine. i see you drive an impala. i have an s10 and am happy with pci to aux input of pioneer head unit. my opinion, if you are on budge, go for a pci sound card
i think he was refering to the onboard sound...like the one that is built into the motherboard
also..going from my straight pic then to pci/linedriver setup to the pxa-h700 i noticed a major improvement each time