Originally Posted by carnageX
Just because the noise adjusts volume doesn't mean something is moving.
Ummm, please note I said, with emphasis using "" marks,
Originally Posted by Digerati
that "suggests" something moving "might" be involved
And please note that was after several paragraphs about high speed switching devices (no moving parts) that create noise.
And if you have high quality speakers, they can pick up that extra interference that the onboard sound card produces (depending on the brand of the computer, it might not be the most high quality of parts). Using a soundcard will separate it from the motherboard components and should diminish the buzz; if its a high quality soundcard, with high quality connections and speakers, then there shouldn't be interference.
If you have "high quality" speakers, they better not "pick up" (or produce) anything they are not supposed to. And there is absolutely NOTHING to prevent the card from picking up the same interference as the on-board, or that it will diminish the buzz. You got a link that shows sounds cards suppress unwanted interference where on-boards don't? 10 or 15 years ago, I might be more agreeable. But not today.
carnageX, please correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be suggesting that a card, being "separate" and further away from the motherboard will somehow be immune or less susceptible to interference. In theory, I 100% agree - if those were the only factors.
But they are not the only factors, so in this real-world case, the theory does not hold. It is not separate, electrically, or mechanically. A sound board plugs into a socket on the motherboard. The socket is a complex mechanical connection and like ALL
non-fixed (not permanently soldered) mechanical connections has the potential to introduce unwanted
resistance, capacitance, inductance, and the associated reactances into the circuits - especially over time as dirt and oils affect even the best made connectors that are not environmentally sealed. Unwanted resistances can affect or help introduce interference - or the shielding of it.
Does that mean a card will introduce those unwanted influences? No. And if the contacts are kept clean and undamaged, there should never be a problem. But course with on-board, none of that is a problem because all connections are soldered and sealed in the motherboard's resin coatings.
And if the thought is a sound card is so far away from the offending device that it is not affected, we have to be realistic here. We are talking inches, if that - not feet. And all within
the same metal "shield" - the cabinet.
But more importantly, and again, we don't know the source of the interference. The on-board device could just be faithfully reproducing what it is being told to reproduce. As a card would do too! And a card "might" actually be physically closer to the offending device.
If a spare card is laying around, fine. But I don't think it wise to spend money when there is nothing at this point to suggest that will fix the problem. Especially, I remind all - this is a new computer. It should be under warranty. But also today's motherboards (even entry level) are expected to be used where listening to a DVD, CD or MP3 does not sound like listening to a scratched vinyl record.
Sure, there are some advantages to a sound card - I was into audiophile electronics long before I got into computers - and that's pushing 40 years. So I appreciate true "high fidelity" distortion free sound. But this is digital not analog. And moving digital audio about is not high-tech. If all you want to do is listen with the expectation it sounds the same as the original recording, then on-board is just fine - the rest is up to the speakers (and your budget) and your ears. If you want to manipulate the sound or do your own recordings or mixing, then by all means a card is the way to go. I like M-Audio
But again - this is a new computer with a problem. It should be taken care of under warranty.
On the subject of interference from wall outlets, if a high-quality surge protector or battery backup is used, then interference is little to none.
I am a strong proponent for ALL computers being on a "good" UPS with AVR - automatic voltage regulation. Surge and spike protectors are little more than fancy and expensive extension cords. I agree with carnageX that these devices are helpful in blocking certain types of interference from entering via the power line. I note the ATX Form Factor standard requires our PSUs to do the same. But not all types of interference. For example, RFI can come through the air, not the wires.
But that was not the point. A S&S protector or a good UPS with AVR cannot correct an improperly wired, loose connection, or more importantly, an ungrounded outlet (OFTEN
found in older homes). And of course, without a good ground, you cannot have effective interference control.
Bottom line, a card will not fix the problem. The noise may (or may not) go away, but the problem is still there. And the computer is new - it should be under warranty.
@smurph - We really need more information so we can further define and maybe identify the problem. My apologies for my part in running a bit OT.