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LOl at these guys

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi there


Ii had such a laugh. These guys say your onboard has better audio than a dedicated sound card


post #2 of 9




Quote from  linustechtips:

... unfortunately. 90% of the time, onboard audio chipsets like the Realtek ALC889 are actually more suitable for your favorite gaming headset than fancy add-on cards. WHY?!? The long answer is much more complicated. First of all, most -- if not all -- gaming headsets have a low impedance and a high efficiency, meaning that driving them does NOT take special amplification. While you could certainly plug your headset into a Xonar Essence STX, for example, and it would get plenty loud, you'd only be able to use about 30% of the volume control before it blows your ears off, and if you ever set it too high by mistake it can even damage your headphones or even worse, your hearing. Basically, it's overkill in most cases for low impedance headphones. Second, and most importantly, as you'll see below the output impedance of most dedicated soundcard amps is relatively high, in the Essence STX's case it's 10 Ohms as opposed to the Realtek ALC889's 2 Ohms. That's around 1.6 db of extra distortion, and is AUDIBLY detrimental to the fidelity of your audio. Please take pause before you write off the onboard you already have as inherently worse than a dedicated card which could cost you a lot of extra money. A lack of power is the main issue with onboard chipsets such as the Realtek chips, and higher impedance headphones will be hard to drive with these chips. There are lots of other issues with the quality of onboard audio solutions, such as drivers, latency, and other software-based issues, but as you've seen from posts on this board, NO SOUNDCARD is immune to these issues. The Xonar Essence STX for example, is NOT a true pci-e device, but a pci to pci-e bridge card, meaning that a pci bus is attached to the pci-e card and requires exactly an extra 6 ms of latency to transfer the data across that bridge. The Creative driver problems need no introduction. If you really want hassle free sound, your best bet is a class 1 usb audio device like the O2+ODAC or FiiO E10. These are driven by windows native drivers and are plug-and-play.
post #3 of 9

The description posted above does make sense, partially.


Firstly, the onboard sound is good enough for a small range of headphones. Secondly, the quality depends on the audio chip being used. Older motherboards and laptops tend to have poor audio chips, newer motherboards are considerably better.


What it doesn't mention is that soundcards still provide a better (feature + performance) to (cost) ratio than any other device out there.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well I can bet for my HD598 my Sound Blaster Z is better than onboard

post #5 of 9

Hate to say it.. but those guys are actually pretty f*ing ignorant...

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I bet you this guy will also say there is no diference between 60hz and 120hz when clearly there is..lol I think I will only check their case unboxing and so on. I must say neweggtv and Linustechtips is like the best to watch so far oh and also Jayztwocent as they are the only people that really knows anything.

post #7 of 9
haha! nice 8-bit song they play. no you can't tell the difference on that Donkey Kong soundtrack ya tool bags.
post #8 of 9

It's interesting, I'd say 50% of what they say in those videos is BS.

However I also think 50% of HeadFi is BS.


They had 2 arguments about soundcards:

  • High output inpedance - AFAIK that is an issues with some (e.g. that xonar they used) but not all
  • Dodgy drivers - This is again not true all the time, but sometimes true


Then they recommend external DACs instead, which is pretty much what most people on HeadFi would use anyway, so they're not that crazy.


My main issues with the second video was simple mistakes when speaking e.g.

  • Saying kHz instead of Hz
  • Saying 92kHz instead of 96kHz and general number mistakes
  • Not actually mentioning Nyquist to explain what sampling rate is
  • Not actually saying what bit depth is


Really if they were trying to educate instead of bash they did a bad job by appearing generally misinformed - I'm 19 and happily believe I know more about this than they do.

post #9 of 9

well.. I wouldn't jump into conclusions about the percentage statistics of a enthusiast community forum, audio is a very subjective topic where people have lots of subjective opinions depends on their personal preferences . 

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