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    Audio quality

    I have posted previously regarding my pc spec being good enough
    for Unreal 3.

    I have another question and would be greatful to opinions/advice.
    The man who built my pc says the onboard sound chips ( nvidia )
    are more than up to the job of music and media ( inc gaming ).
    Is this true or would a creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi Xtreme Gamer - Fatal1ty
    be the much better bet to make use of the Unreal and other games sound pleasure/capabilities.

    #2
    That's all very subjective. I play with onboard sound, and it's fine for me, but I don't have a very discerning ear.

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      #3
      creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi Xtreme Gamer - Fatal1ty
      Thats a good card

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        #4
        You loose performance using onboard, and you will hear a noticeable difference if you got decent speakers or headphones.

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          #5
          Actually, my onboard sound is a lot better than that of my X-Fi Platinum. There's tons of factors that come into play, and on some configurations they seem to work flawlessly, but there's an issue with that line of cards that Creative has not been able to fix for a very very long time.

          As these cards or pretty good when they do work as they should, you'd probably be best off first checking for known issues in combination with your configuration.

          As for onboard vs soundcard: It really depends, onboard sound has gotten a lot better over the years, and it is sufficient for most casual users, but a good sound card does make a difference. It's a good/cheap vs better/expensive deal. And you could always get a soundcard later of course.

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            #6
            Onboard can't really compete with a soundcard in quality, the once that have a riser are a bit better but the once on the mobo all have horrible amounts of signal noise, it's because all the components are jammed together and the signal gets converted from digital to analog while still on the mobo (riser once eliminate that problem) and all circuits near will affect the signal, at high volume or with good headphones/speakers it's heard as a hissing sound and random background noise.

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              #7
              In my opinion, high quality soundcards are only important for serious music listening or recording. The overall sound quality of games is that low to start with that it doesn't make much difference, which sound card you're using. As long it's not some 8bit soundblaster pro. Even with high end headphones (I'm using Sennheiser HD-600 which retail around 250e) the difference beetween my Echo Audio Mia 24/96 and onboard soundcard is minimal in games. Mia just is louder and has less static noise, but it's quite irrelevant in games. However, when listening to well recorded music, the difference is very clear and significant.

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                #8
                Follow-up: Crackle/Pop issues

                There's mention of a cause in the first post, which doesn't appear to be anywhere near accurate if you read the other posts, but well, I just wish I had seen that thread before I got my X-Fi.

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                  #9
                  The one difference I noticed when I had a Audigy 2 soundcard ( in my old pc )
                  is that my newly built pc ( almost 18months old now ) with onboard sound was about 20 %
                  louder in output. It had extra amplification.

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                    #10
                    The amplification is usually really weak on onboard soundsystems, so if you have really high impedance headphones, they may not be loud enough. With my headphones (really insensitive, 300ohm) onboard audio is barely loud enough, while that Echo Audio Mia is loud enough to rip my eardrums in pieces or melt my headphones.

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                      #11
                      simon: that's not correct, a number of things affect the dB of the output, drivers hardware, OS settings etc.

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                        #12
                        But the maximum clear output is purely determined by the actual power of amplification, which is fully dependant on the quality of electronics in the soundcard.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Nacher View Post
                          But the maximum clear output is purely determined by the actual power of amplification, which is fully dependent on the quality of electronics in the soundcard.
                          Yes but forcing the volume knob on a stereo so that at half of max it's actually max doesn't mean you all of a sudden gave it better amplification, which is a good analogy to what simon said.

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                            #14
                            Anyone know if the Soundblaster Live has issues, either with Ut3 or with Vista-64?

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