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Is a USB DAC or Soundcard affected by a PC's motherboard audio-chipset?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

It's all in the title really; Is an external DAC affected by a PC's motherboard audio-chipset? I've ordered a motherboard which I will be building a computer with, but I've just read that the audio-chipset (Realtek ALC662) is poor.

 

Does a sound card or DAC completely bypass the audio chipset within the computer? Also, would a computer with a better audio chipset yield the same sound? I understand these are redundant questions asked together, but I felt I had to ask it in that way. Also do both a DAC and Soundcard have this function?

 

I'll be using it for listening on headphones and a 2.1 sound system. My headphones are not in need of powering any further than using my computer or my phone as a source, so I'm strictly interested in the quality of audio and not potential for powering my headphones.

 

I have been considering buying a new mother-board, sending the one I've ordered back, but if an external sound card or a DAC would do the trick then that's what I'll go for. I've spent a lot of time looking for an answer to this, but I've just been left unsure.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I want to start building within the next few days. Thanks in advance.


Edited by BobbyChong - 3/21/14 at 4:29pm
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyChong View Post
 

It's all in the title really; Is an external DAC affected by a PC's motherboard audio-chipset? I've ordered a motherboard which I will be building a computer with, but I've just read that the audio-chipset (Realtek ALC662) is poor.

Does a sound card or DAC completely bypass the audio chipset within the computer? Also, would a computer with a better audio chipset yield the same sound? I understand these are redundant questions asked together, but I felt I had to ask it in that way. Also do both a DAC and Soundcard have this function?

I'll be using it for listening on headphones and a 2.1 sound system. My headphones are not in need of powering any further than using my computer or my phone as a source, so I'm strictly interested in the quality of audio and not potential for powering my headphones.

I have been considering buying a new mother-board, sending the one I've ordered back, but if an external sound card or a DAC would do the trick then that's what I'll go for. I've spent a lot of time looking for an answer to this, but I've just been left unsure.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I want to start building within the next few days. Thanks in advance.

 

An external USB DAC would bypass the motherboard's on-board audio (and any add-on internal sound card).

An external S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) DAC would work with the on-board audio (or add-on internal sound card).

 

So I would say it's ok to get a motherboard with "cheap" on-board audio and just add an internal sound card, Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $75-$95.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply mate. I'm gonna go for and external DAC. Time to get ordering!

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