Onboard Sound Vs. Add in Sound Card By ROBSCIX This is one of the most prevalent questions asked in this forum. I figured I would put all the info in this thread so members can find it quickly and easily. Everytime the questions is asked it will fuel a debate always ending with the same conclusion. Why should I get a soundcard when my Motherboard has onboard sound? I would say onboard sound is basically a marketing tactic used by motherboard manufacturers to sell an all-in-one solution. These soundchips undoubtedly have come along way since the first onboards, and would be fine for a basic office or home PC, but they still do not stand up to a quality add-in PCI card for many reasons. Onboard sound chips need to use CPU cycles to process sound. This robs your sytem of performance. If your sound chip has EAX which alot of them do these days the issue is compounded usually degrading your performance somewhere in the area of 5-15 FPS in games. This is usually the reported number of FPS that users report getting when then install a PCI sound solution. This is not the worst issue though. But ROBSCIX my onboard sounds fine to me? Of course if a user has been using their soundchips for quite a while, the ear gets used to the less than stellar sound quality boasted by onboard sound chips. When a user installs a PCI solution they are literally blown away by the sound quality. They report hearing things in games and music that previously was not noticable. Once a user is used to a PCI sound card they can hear the deficiencies inherent to onboard sound chips and will never use one again. They sound very cold and sterile. DSP effects are usually overwhelming and washed out. These chips have no qualities usually associated with good sound, so alot of times the user will not know what they are missing until they hear it. You will need a set of decent speakers to be able to hear the difference however. $10 speakers won't cut it. Now over the years various companies have released onboard sound chips that have tried to get over these issues. Connecting to the bus in different ways so they don't use CPU cycles etc. In terms of sound quality they are still lacking. All in all that's what we all want, I could care less about other things as long as I have great sound quality. People spend so much time building up there video subsystems, studying and reading about the best video components, but then they have an older onboard sound card connected to small multimedia speakers. Very sad indeed. If they invested half the time researching audio as they spent on video they wouldn't be using onboard sound. They would be using at least an entry level soundcard with surround sound speakers. Modern games are productional masterpieces with equal attention paid to audio as well as video. Without this hardware you're only getting half of what the game developers wanted you to experience. Sound is definitely an important part of all modern games. Indeed most new games contain EAX, surround sound support and directional audio, all used to make your game more enjoyable. Unfortunately all are limited by the sound hardware you have. So the choice is up to you, and the question becomes: Why wouldn't you replace your onboard with a quality PCI sound card?