I have an Intel DX79TO motherboard (link) in a Cooler Master HAF-X case and I have noticed that when I connect my headphones to the front ports the sound is slightly crisper and louder than when I connect directly into the motherboard audio jacks on the back of my PC. I know this is a phenomenon I have experienced in the past with other PCs, and being a slowly learning audiophile I have tried internal and USB sound cards and some good headphones and I can tell that I can have better sound, but I am not sure what my exact problem is.
With the current setup I have it's not preferable to be using the front audio ports, but if I use the rear ones I have to live with subpar sound. Hence I am interested in getting a separate sound card. Internal using PCI-E x1 would be preferred over an external USB device, usage is split between music and gaming. I would like a no frills card and I don't mind if it's an older proven model. I don't require front panel bays or other special included accessories. I'd like as few surround and virtual features in the software as possible, and the least bloated software that works everytime I need it to.
For anyone curious, I have to switch between a modded Sennheiser HD555, SteelSeries Siberia v2 and Razer Ferox depending on what I am doing at the time.
Thanks in advance.
Edited by badben25 - 6/13/14 at 2:26pm