On-board sound & sound cards

  The Belarussian Mafia 20:12 28 Oct 04

I've noticed that newer motherboards have on-board 5.1 sound. Is this generally going to produce sound quality equal to a board + a bog-standard sound card (laying aside issues of speaker quality)?

Also, can you chuck a sound card onto such a newer board and thereby improve the sound quality above and beyond the on-board capability, or does on-board sound mean you can't use a card (-as I understand is the case with on-board graphics & graphics cards)?

  Diodorus Siculus 20:18 28 Oct 04

1 - it will all depend on the manufacturer. Some on-board sound is good; but rarely as good as a decent (eg creative) sound card.

2 - you can upgrade by installing a card and disabling onboard sound.

3 - you can also disable onboard graphics and install a graphics card if you so wish.

  The Belarussian Mafia 20:23 28 Oct 04

Diodorus Siculus - thanks for the quick and concise answers.

  Dorsai 20:28 28 Oct 04

"3 - you can also disable on-board graphics and install a graphics card if you so wish."

Yes, true, but if you want to do this, make sure the board has a separate AGP slot, in to which to plug the better GFX card. Otherwise you will be limited to a PCI card, and AGP cards are normally better.

All sound cards seem to be PCI, so a spare slot will not normally be a problem.

  The Belarussian Mafia 20:47 28 Oct 04

Dorsai - thanks.

  The Belarussian Mafia 09:34 30 Oct 04

By the way, how would you disable onboard sound (or graphics)?

  Diodorus Siculus 10:35 30 Oct 04

By going into the BIOS.

For sound it is not a problem but be careful with graphics - you could end with no display on the monitor... see mobo manual for details.

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