Originally Posted by akasixcon
I have a few questions on sound cards mainly because they vary greatly on price and features.
Does the output (SPDIF Coaxial/ Digital vs Regular Line In) really matter that much or does the internal matter more? I've seen many "Professional Xi-Fi" soundcards without any SPDIF Coaxial or Digital outs but instead only the regular Line In.
Second what is X-Ram? Does it really matter?
Third should I be buying a sound card or should I be not? Is a sound card something you should be upgrading? Will it make a noticeable difference in watching movies or playing games?
I'm not too sure about the first question but heres the other two.
2. The V-Ram is where all the sounds are stored in ram to help boost FSP in games, however it is not really worth the money as it's very very minimal increase.
3. It all depends on how good you want it to sound. Many will say onboard sound is just "fine" and I thought that too until I noticed that my onboard sound was nothing even CLOSE to my old 28 buck Audigy SE in my old computer. I figured sound would have improved by then and my onboard would be on par but no it is a large difference. An X-fi Extremegamer card will give you a few extra FPS 1-3 or so while sounding awesome for movies and games as well. If you don't want to break the wallet then the Sound Blaster Audigy SE is what I have and they can be had for like 28 bucks. It is a noticeable upgrade from onboard really and it's EAX 4.0 will help slightly for games as well.
I suggest unless your on a budget then grab an Audigy SE to sound a good bit better than onboard, or spend 50 more or so for the extremegamer which sounds even better and helps your gaming out a few. The only people who say onboard is "good" are the ones who don't have a half-decent soundcard.