Show of hands.... who still uses add in sound cards?

Burticus

FPS Junkie
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
2,438
Points
113
Who still uses sound cards? If you were building new today, would you bother?

I am still rocking my 15 whatever year old X-Fi titanium. But I don't even know if it would work with Win 11, and Daniel K hung up his hat on his hacked driver suite, I'm not sure Creative even supports it any more.

Seems like motherboard audio has come a LONG way since the bad old days. Also... HDMI kinda comes with sound baked in if you're going to a receiver.
 

Brian_B

FPS Enthusiast
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
5,823
Points
113
Haven't in a long time. I have considered an external DAC, which is pretty much a sound card, but haven't felt the need to make the jump.
 

LazyGamer

FPS Regular
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
1,907
Points
113
I switch between onboard and external when needed, and between audio interfaces (which are external soundcards) and external DACs.
 

MadMummy76

FPS Junkie
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
2,482
Points
113
I have an external sound card, because I have studio monitor speakers that only have balanced inputs, I don't think any integrated sound card will have TRS or XLR outputs.
 

LazyGamer

FPS Regular
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
1,907
Points
113
I have an external sound card, because I have studio monitor speakers that only have balanced inputs, I don't think any integrated sound card will have TRS or XLR outputs.
Nearly all studio monitors will take an unbalanced input just fine, and you can get stereo 1/8" to dual mono 1/4" cables (or whatever adapters) to hook them up.

But then it wouldn't be balanced, and well, audio interfaces are as cheap as Creative likes to sell sound cards.
 

Peter_Brosdahl

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
5,439
Points
113
My last card, still in a closet on a shelf, was a SoundBlaster for the old P4 build. It was the 2nd card for that build that lasted around 5-7 years. That was the first time I got to experience 24/196 audio. At the time I didn't have any receivers with HDMI and was using its optical port for hi-res audio to various receivers. There was a brief period with the 1st card that I used all the analog out ports but that was a bit of an PIA. It was retired with the 1st core2quad rig, a floor model Gateway FX7026 that I purchased ($900 with 2x HDDs already in RAID0), that had optical built-in. Not long after that I fully switched to HDMI with NVIDIA cards and newer receivers.

I've thought about an external DAC as well for the laptop since it's connected to a decent pair of speakers that have numerous input options right now but I doubt that'll happen.

I think, for gaming, soundcards are a niche within a niche type of thing at this point. I can see them being more useful for content creators though or those with extremely high-end speakers or headphones.
 

MadMummy76

FPS Junkie
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
2,482
Points
113
I still have a Creative Audigy Rx that I bought many years ago, I don't even know why, but have not used once.
 

Niner51

FPS Regular
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
1,250
Points
113
Last sound card I used was a Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music (I believe that is what it was called). It served me well for a long time, then I switched over to onboard again since it has come a long way. Currently since I got the LG CX I just use the Nvidia sound via HDMI through the TV.
 

Stoly

FPS Regular
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
1,048
Points
113
I still have a PCI Soundblaster X-fi. Unfortunately my current rig doesn't have PCI slots.
 

LazyGamer

FPS Regular
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
1,907
Points
113
I still have a PCI Soundblaster X-fi. Unfortunately my current rig doesn't have PCI slots.
That too - once you get to the true 'overclocking' motherboards, you generally get exactly one PCIe slot - and it's usually an x4 at the bottom of the board. In many boards, this is where they shove a card for extra M.2 slots, or a Thunderbolt card - and in my case this is where my X550-T2 10Gbit NIC goes.

So, what PCI/PCIe slots...
 

MadMummy76

FPS Junkie
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
2,482
Points
113
I still have a PCI Soundblaster X-fi. Unfortunately my current rig doesn't have PCI slots.
PCI slots went extinct after slowly reducing in numbers for years, those damned poachers :)

My boards had this many:

2005: 5 PCI Slots
2007: 4 PCI Slots
2008: 2 PCI Slots
2010: 1 PCI Slot
2013: 2 PCI Slots - A final hooray
2016: 0 PCI Slots
 

tungt88

n00b
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
5
Points
3
Who still uses sound cards? If you were building new today, would you bother?

I am still rocking my 15 whatever year old X-Fi titanium. But I don't even know if it would work with Win 11, and Daniel K hung up his hat on his hacked driver suite, I'm not sure Creative even supports it any more.

Seems like motherboard audio has come a LONG way since the bad old days. Also... HDMI kinda comes with sound baked in if you're going to a receiver.
I've been using an external DAC/AMP in the SMSL M500 since early in the pandemic (summer 2020 -- decided it was about time), paired with an Audeze LCD-GX as my headphone & an AKG Lyra as my mic. I do use my Creative SXFI Gamer headset (which has a USB sound card built-in) occasionally, simply for the (really good) mic (the vaunted customized picture-taking for 3D surround purposes on that thing is so-so, at best).

Due to having tons of noisy lawnmowers (from landscapers/lawn maintenance) going off in the mornings, though, I use my AKG N90Q headphones w/the Lyra during most daytime work hours -- the N90Qs "bespoke auto-calibrating" tech is what the SXFI Gamer's tech does a (comparatively) poor job trying to imitate.

For an emergency backup, I do have my old ASUS Strix RAID DLX PCI-E add-in sound card, though (replaced it years back with a Creative Sound Blaster X7 LE, which I gave to a friend when I got my M500).

Admittedly, most motherboard audio is usually pretty decent, nowadays (much better implementation of whatever components their PR brags about on the box -- for some time, this wasn't the case, right up until the whole "audiophile" thing became popular in the mid/late 2010s).
 

Stoly

FPS Regular
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
1,048
Points
113
I would say I stopped using soundcards when spdif became available on motherboards. Unfortunately back then almost no mobo included DD/DTS encoding, so I only got 2 channel audio in games. Only my nforce2 mobo was capable of DD 5.1 encoding which was awesome.

Nowadays I use HDMI
 

MadMummy76

FPS Junkie
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
2,482
Points
113
I would say I stopped using soundcards when spdif became available on motherboards. Unfortunately back then almost no mobo included DD/DTS encoding, so I only got 2 channel audio in games. Only my nforce2 mobo was capable of DD 5.1 encoding which was awesome.

Nowadays I use HDMI
Yeah, DD5.1 encoding was neat on nforce, unfortunately I was using speakers with analog 4.0 input at the time, later switched to 5.1, but still analog. Then went to 2.0 with external DAC, because I realized there is not much benefit to surround. Certainly not enough to justify the arrangement.
 

Stoly

FPS Regular
Joined
Sep 18, 2020
Messages
1,048
Points
113
Yeah, DD5.1 encoding was neat on nforce, unfortunately I was using speakers with analog 4.0 input at the time, later switched to 5.1, but still analog. Then went to 2.0 with external DAC, because I realized there is not much benefit to surround. Certainly not enough to justify the arrangement.
Well I had at the time just got a Sony 5.1 HomeTheatre, good times.
 
Become a Patron!
Top