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Old 02-12-2006, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default Sound Card Vs. Onboard

Hey, I have a quick, opinionated question.

I have a pretty old Sound Blaster Live! Value 24 bit sound card that I'm not using right now. I'm currently using onboard audio on my main computer. Now, do you think it would be better to use the sound card, or stick with what I have? I don't know if I'll see an improvement or not, since it is so old. It is from about 3-4 years ago, and came in a Dell 4400 Dimension (now the closet computer, for specs).
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

Wow, SoundBlaster Live! That thing is almost ancient. Is that sound card surround sound capable? I forgot the specs on it. I would say they all sound the same, but using onboard sound does use some motherboard resources. I read up that onboard integrated controllers can use up to 10-20% of system resources to power your sound or video. Maybe they're referring to older systems, but then I heard the new nforce 4 chipset help to relieve some of that bottleneck so it doesn't use that much resources.

If your PC is a nice system with pretty good specs, I don't think it would make much difference in resource used anyways. So with that said, I would just use the onboard for now. If you have the craving for nice sound, you can get a better sound card which will be worth it. Then you'lll have to get good speakers to match.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

Exactly, that's what I was thinking. Yeah, it's pretty ancient. It has multiple speaker support; it's pretty much like onboard sound except that it has a MIDI/Game port (I think that's what it is called, the yellow plug that looks like an LPT connection).

See the signature below, it's that PC.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

24 bit sound is pretty common for an internal sound card. The thing you would want to find out is its speed in khz. I can't find the khz speed of your mobo but the sound blaster live cards are usually around 96khz which is ok. 196khz is where its at. If you want you could go into your onboard sound options and see how good the quality is. If it is better or equal to 96khz sound blaster live card then i would sell the Sound Blaster Live card. Just one man's opinion though.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

I think you should just stick with the onboard sound. I'm sure the onboard is like 8-channel sound support which is probably better than that old sound card. The new audio chipsets are much improved than their predecessors.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

Will do. Now, I have another question, completely different, but I just don't want to make a new thread. I am wanting a new CPU cooler, that will work well for overclocking and that is easy to install. Could someone recommend one for me? From Newegg.com, if you could!
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

This will be nice for your Opteron CPU:

ZALMAN CNPS7700-CU 120mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan with Copper Heatsink - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835118115

So many great reviews on it. Just got to have it. Warning, it's a HUGE fan.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:39 PM   #8
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Okay, another question. What's some good memory so that I can overclock? 184-pin, 2 GB (2 x 1 GB sticks please)?
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

For a 2GB RAM, I really, really like this one:

OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Unbuffered DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Platinum System Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227210

This RAM is probably the best 2GB RAM I"ve seen so far. It should be pretty good at OC too.
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sound Card Vs. Onboard

Thats all good stuff man. OCZ and Corsair are both awesome. The both come with awesome cooling cases too. The zalman is good.. the big typhoon by thermaltake i heard is good. I hear the Arctic cooling freezer 64 pro is great and super super cheap.
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