sound card or not to sound card, that is the question

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Hello all again,

I've always had onboard sound and been quite please with it "I mean it makes a sound right"

Anyway my friend says that having a sound card would make it miles better, just like onboard gpu compaird to buying a gpu the brought one offers so much more to gaming, But what does a sound card do for me that my onboard sound does not and is it worth getting if all you do on the PC is gaming?
 
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The benefit you hear will depend on the quality of your headphones/speakers. For me the difference was quite remarkable. I've used discretes for years and had to go back to onboard for a while and yes it worked and everything but it was just cold and lifeless sound.

The sound engines and amplifiers on onboard are cheap rubbish generally while on quality discrete cards they are much better.

But still of you only have a gaming headset or USB headset or rubbish desktop speakers then a sound card will just be a waste.

Xonar DX, headphone amp and Goldring NS-1000s work very well for me.
 
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I would say look at the Xonar DG - it's fairly cheap and has a headphone amp as well. Plus it has the benefits of being a dedicated sound card.

You're going to notice more getting a quality pair of headphones though.
 
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Well I currently have Logitech X-540 5.1 Speaker System and a pair of Goldring DR150 headphones, I was thinking on upgradeing them to a good 5.1 - 7.1 headset. Is it worth getting a sound card for the above?
 
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Stick with what you have got and get a Xonar DG. It has Dolby headphone which I think gives better positional audio than 5.1 / 7.1 headsets.
 
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5.1/7.1 headsets use small inferior drivers that will probably sound worse than your DR150s. I'd say those DR150s would respond well to a dedicated sound card and will be easy enough for a Xonar DG to drive.

It's not night and day stuff like onboard vs discrete graphics though.
 
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Stick with what you have got and get a Xonar DG. It has Dolby headphone which I think gives better positional audio than 5.1 / 7.1 headsets.

So £25.99 would be well spent... and noticeable over onboard :D

Forgot to say this Xonar can run my speakers also not just headphones right?

Edit, from the picture what colour socket do I plug the headphones into? I guess the other 3 sockets are for my speakers..
 
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You will notice a nice improvement with those can and speakers for sure. I am a very happy owner having got mine when they came out.

It will run both your speakers and headphones with ease. It also has a front audio sensing thing if you have jacks on the front of your case, though it can be a little tricky to get working. It is a great product.
 
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sorry to keep going on, but is there a reason why you guys said get the Xonar DG (i'm brand new to sound cards) as for the same price I can get the following:

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card £26.99
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Sound Card - OEM same as above just OEM £19.99
Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 VX Sound Card - OEM £11.99

Or ofc as you guys said

Asus Xonar DG 5.1 PCI Sound Card with built in Headphone Amp £25.99
Asus Xonar DG 5.1 PCI Sound Card with built in Headphone Amp OEM £22.99
 
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I'm surprised so many people neglect sound as part of a decent rig!

A few years ago I bought a logitec Z-5500 5.1 system and I've got a SB X-fi SB0770 (I think) card. And its been really good, although I had to find a community driver pack since the card wasn't supported for windows 7.

2 pointers:

a pcie x1 soundcard isn't an improvement over a PCI one.
Go for something with optical out if you can.
 
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I got an Asus xonar DS sound card and its superb 100x better than onboard. It use DTS connect and converts all 2.0 into 5.1 DTS listening to music with DTS is something special.
So if you have a 5.1 sound system with DTS I highly recommend it.
 
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+1 for the Xonar DG. It is a great value sound card that offers nice audio quality and the headphone amp it uses is a feature you wouldn't expect to see on a card of this price.

Since you will be using Goldring stereo headphones (as well as 5.1 speakers) then a Xonar DG sound card is an excellent choice for your uses. As PapaLazaru mentions - you can plug in the front panel audio connector to this sound card and when you connect the headphones to this front connector the Xonar sound card automatically switches the sound output over.

As has been mentioned, the Creative Audigy SE cards are really old tech and have been repackaged by Creative so they have something of the same price level of the Xonar cards to compete with (and hope people just buy it for the creative/SB name). In terms of audio performance and features the Xonar DG is much better than a SB Audigy SE and would be a much better buy.

Here is a review http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/sound-cards/11944-asus-xonar-dg-review?start=6
 
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