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Old 09-03-2005, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question difference in sound?

what would be the difference in sound quality between onboard sound, 16bit card, and 24-bit card? Is it a noticable difference? also whats a good one for a low price?
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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im kind of uneducated on sound-cards but in my opinion, i think that unless you use your computer for listening to music,or other media stuff, your not going to see a big difference.
i see many 24-bit creative sound cards on newegg for $25-30
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: difference in sound?

Quote:
Originally posted by no_Wedge
what would be the difference in sound quality between onboard sound, 16bit card, and 24-bit card? Is it a noticable difference? also whats a good one for a low price?
On board sound, can be pretty bad so you may see a difference (thought not always), this also has a lot to do with the quality of your speakers, nothing against computer speakers but even the best speaker/sub-woofer combos out there right now are not really all that good compared to high-end home playback systems. (my point being, most PC speakers are not even of enough quality to reproduce the fine details of a 24-bit recording) For a general consumer, computer speakers work just fine (even I use them and just use my Home Theater for referencing quality of recordings).

As for 16-bit vs. 24-bit, dont get too caught up in it. I am pursuing a degree in Recording Engineering, and the thought behind most of us persuing or in that field, is that even guys with the best ears for sound, can barely if at all distinguish between a 16-bit rate recording and a 24-bit rate recording. Sampling rates are easier to distinguish (ex: 192 kHz).

A nice feature about sound cards, is they take some of the load off your CPU which is always good for performance. In the end, depending on how good your onboard sound is, you may see a difference. I however, would not upgrade from 16-bits to 24-bits for better quality. A quality sound card with good digital-to-analog and analog-to-digial converts, quality connecters, and other more important features will go a longer way in the quality of your sound, over just buying a card because it's 16-bit vs. 24-bit.

If your looking to do some professional audio editing, then i'll try to suggest some better cards. It sounds to me, like your just looking for a card for Gaming, Movies, Casual Music Playback, in which case your better off going with a SoundBlaster since most games especially are designed for features found on the SoundBlaster model cards like "EAX" for example.

*edit* sorry I know this post is already long as it is, but I just wanted to say you'll probably end up buying a 24-bit card, because I think all their cards are 24-bit now. My point about 16-bit vs. 24-bit, was just that the bit rate is not were you'll see the difference in quality of sound. The quality of sound comes from other places, like I listed above.
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Old 09-03-2005, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
nothing against computer speakers but even the best speaker/sub-woofer combos out there right now are not really all that good compared to high-end home playback systems
I tend to disagree with you a little bit, it is true that most computer speakers are not as good as home playback systems, hell i've got my pc hooked up to my really nice pioneer reciever and some really really nice solid oak cabinet home made speakers but there are a few computer speakers that kick ***.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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difference in sound?
not very much. you can barely tell, unless you are superhuman
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you get an Audigy2 or an X-fi for example, there may not be a big difference in sound quality, but there will be a big difference in games that use EAX and hardware accelerated audio
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Old 09-04-2005, 12:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by apokalipse
difference in sound?
not very much. you can barely tell, unless you are superhuman
Guess that makes me superhuman.

When you are comparing sound cards, you need to listen. Specs like 16 bit or 24 bit dont mean crap in terms of how the card will sound.
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Something I wanted to mention, the way recording is going right now, they are in a way reaching the limits of human hearing. The difference in 8-bits to 16-bits was a much larger change. Sampling rates as I know it still can be improved a little, but overall just speaking about recording, it's not going to get much better (under the current digital technology).
If you can, it would be wise to upgrade both to a sound card and new speakers. (unless you already have a real good pair of speakers) The combination of a moderately priced sound card, (something like the one in my spec, or one of the newer ones) combined with a good set of speakers will go a longer way in improving your sound.
Similar to the theory if you really want to improve your computers performance, you move the money around a bit. Buy a good video card, but also get a good mobo, cpu, memory, etc.
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