Originally Posted by DoGGz
Is it really that much better? I used to have a sound card circa 2005-2006, but around that time the onboard sound of top motherboards started becoming rather high quality and the expense of a $50-100 sound card seemed needless.
What's so special about the sound card?
I only use headphones, so I haven no clue about a 5.1 system, but the sound quality is incredibly better. My on-board has a Realtek sound chip that worked decently, but sometimes i could hear a faint humming or other times it chirped here and there. Sound virtualization was also wonky at beast with the headphones.
The card on the other hand, supports Dolby Headphones Virtualization and I was already blown away by the sound of MP3's alone. The "headphones" fill up way way better and the sound is all around you and feels vivid, while the old one was more dull, even with EQ on. The bass is also better, has a nicer feel to it.
Obv everything is objective, because not everyone likes the same sound, but as I bought headphones there were very good quality ( even if on the cheaper side ) I could hear most imperfections of the on-board sound, while now nealry everythign is crystal clear.
The card also only costs 60€, but imho it it worth the price. Obv if you only have tiny speakers it's not worth it, but if you move to a setup that is more suscetible to distortion or stuff like that, imho it's worth it.