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onboard sound vs sound card

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Feb 9, 2002
I feel stupid asking this but how much better is actully having a sound card rather then using onboard sound? what are the advantages? Is it worth $40+ to get the better sound even though its just gonna be muffled by my 80cfm jet engine?

<edit> woops typo i ment 80mm 80cfm delta fan (he he)
onboard sound is ok if your not playing much music or gaming
and will also eat cpu cycles (not much tho)
personally i ran onboard for a year with no hassles

But i so love the quality out of my SB live
unless you have speakers that cost upwards of 50$ youre not going to see a difference also depends on what onboard sound you have...ive found the newest C-media one to be just as good as my Sound;blaster PCI 512 (hey another sound card :))
Well I have a Asus A7V266-E and from what I've heard the OB sound is exceptional of course I use my SB Live...so I wouldnt know.
Actually onboard sound can actually be equal to or superior to add in sound cards. The C-Media chip on my motherboard sounds much better than the XP theater and is easily equal to a Santa Cruz or SB LIVE! card. It all depends what you have. AC97 blows though and so do some older onboard solutions.
I have used AC97, C-media, and SB live. To me, there was not much difference.

But, that's just me!
I have no problem with the onboard sound but then I may be tone deaf. I use ear muffs or whatever they are called as the computer is in the living room and by using these I get what I consider to be great sound, as loud as I want and I don't bother a soul.