just brew it! wrote:Nec_V20 wrote:I wouldn't say I was tone deaf, but I don't have an absolute ear - or anywhere close to it - so I am perfectly happy with the on-board sound on my Gigabyte X58A-UD3R.
The problem with badly implemented onboard typically isn't a pitch issue; it is noise and/or distortion. But (as with artifacts from lossy compression algorithms like MP3), some people are more bothered by it than others.
I'm not sure what kind of noise you're referring to, but if it's noise routed to the speakers through the audio parts at the back of the board, I don't think there's a problem unless you're listening at really high volume through some huge speakers. What bothers me is when your front panel audio ports are unshielded and they're located near the front panel USB ports. This is applicable to both onboard audio as well as discrete audio cards as long as the front panel audio connectors are unshielded. Every time I access, say, a flash drive on those USB ports I can hear those buzzing noises which are clearly interference from the USB ports making it to the audio ports.
As for distortion, is THD responsible for the 'liveliness' or lack thereof of sound quality? Or the crispness of every instrument when listening to music? Are SNR and THD+N the only things we're looking for? How about frequency response? Note that I didn't even include date rates; HD Audio can support up to 32-bit/192KHz (most implement 24-bit/192KHz though), which is awesome on paper but onboard audio obviously can't touch dedicated cards with far more legroom for quality analog components. So obviously, merely having high 24-bit/192KHz sampling resolution doesn't tell you everything about sound quality. In fact, the Realtek control panel has some settings to switch between different sampling rates, and I honestly can't tell any difference between 16-bit/44.1KHz and 24-bit/192KHz.