MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

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MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:57 am

Hello guys, my stereo broke down. Now i am thinking to replace the stuff with a neat multimedia pc. Are there any experiences about the audio quality of those systems? My current system is almost 4 years old so i am not sure if things have changed? :cry:
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:30 pm

A couple key questions, first:

- How big do you want the computer to be?
- How much are you willing to spend?
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:32 pm

Also, what are you plugging it into for sound? If you're using digital speakers, a motherboard with the corresponding digital output will be great. If you're using analog speakers you'll want to look at discrete audio solutions, if the main purpose is media playback.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:41 pm

Welcome to the forums.

What does "clear graphics" mean? Lots of transparency? :P
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:46 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Welcome to the forums.

What does "clear graphics" mean? Lots of transparency? :P


Of course it does, he's running Windows after all :lol:
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:24 pm

Thanks for your answers. I am using generally a digital audio system, so it should be fine from that side.

I am not thinking of a big computer. The smaller the better. For the overall budget i dont have an idea in mind yet. My old one was just about 1000 dollars all in all if i remember correctly. Anyway if it is getting less i would not feel bad about it ;)

Are there generally differences of the audio quality? That means: is worth to spend more on a motherboard with a better chip? So far if i look for PCs or components in that context i dont find much selection. Are there recommendations where i can look for information?
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:30 pm

The general consensus on motherboard audio is it gets the job done but will not be as good as a discrete sound card, and the difference will only be noticed if you are also using high quality speakers or headphones. There isn't much choice for mobo integrated audio because the OEMs assume that anyone who takes sound quality seriously is going to buy a real sound card, and thus they use something basic that most users will be okay with.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:58 pm

shawdavid wrote:I am not thinking of a big computer. The smaller the better. For the overall budget i dont have an idea in mind yet. My old one was just about 1000 dollars all in all if i remember correctly. Anyway if it is getting less i would not feel bad about it ;)
Please use the latest system guide and the SBA forum if you are thinking a completely new build. Since you already have a budget somewhat, you can focus on listing your top 2-3 intended of this new computer and the forum gerbils will give you lots of ideas.

shawdavid wrote:Are there generally differences of the audio quality? That means: is worth to spend more on a motherboard with a better chip? So far if i look for PCs or components in that context i dont find much selection. Are there recommendations where i can look for information?
Digital is digital, at that point there will not be much difference. Discrete sound card and other "better audio chips" are mainly doing the D->A conversion still inside the computer chassis. If you keep a digital path almost all the way up to the speakers, then the computer is not the place to care about "audio quality".
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:32 am

shawdavid wrote:Thanks for your answers. I am using generally a digital audio system, so it should be fine from that side.

I am not thinking of a big computer. The smaller the better. For the overall budget i dont have an idea in mind yet. My old one was just about 1000 dollars all in all if i remember correctly. Anyway if it is getting less i would not feel bad about it ;)

Are there generally differences of the audio quality? That means: is worth to spend more on a motherboard with a better chip? So far if i look for PCs or components in that context i dont find much selection. Are there recommendations where i can look for information?


A couple of months ago I decided to build a NAS which could double up as a replacement computer in case anything went wrong with my main one and I needed some time to fix it.

I went with:

Chassis: CoolerMaster HAF XM £80
CPU, Mobo, RAM (a combo offer): AMD A8-5600K, ASUS F2 A55-M LK, 8 GB Patriot Viper RAM £138
Corsair Neutron 120 GB SSD £72
Pioneer DVD RW £14
5.25" dashboard with two USB3 ports, external SATA connector, fan controller and multi card reader £21
PCI four port SATA controller £12 (for the DVD drive and in case I want to put in a SATA to eSATA adapter)
Corsair AX850 PSU £105 (in case the one in my main machine ever goes south and I need to RMA)

A couple of weeks ago I added a Seagate ST4000DM000 HDD.15 4 TB HD £129

All in all it came to £571 ($886). All prices include the postage and taxes.

I looked at the price of NAS enclosures and good ones with even a modicum of expandability and able to address 4 TB hard drives start at £750 ($1125) for an empty four drive one. I thought I could do better for less money and I think I have.

Over the next couple of years or so I will be filling up the case with hard drives and I can fit in a total of 10 of those.

Why do I need the space? I do a lot of PC builds and one thing I do when the computer I have built is installed and configured with all the drivers, etc. is to make a complete backup of it which I then store on my machine twice (in two different locations).

This was my first ever personal build with an AMD processor and I have to say that I am very surprised at and happy with both the sound and the onboard graphics aside from the CPU performance which is more than adequate. The system runs pretty close to silent.

Now there is a lot of fat you can cut off the configuration I have described above and come in a hell of a lot cheaper.

After having used the system for a couple of months now I have learned to curb my disdain for CPUs with an integrated GPU as far as AMD is concerned.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:27 am

Reply to shawdavid: If audio quality is very important to you, you might as well get a decent motherboard first and see if the onboard audio suites you just fine. Coming from an old PC you may find that today's onboard chips are fine, but then again it depends on what the audio subsystem on your old PC is. Anyway, if the onboard audio on your new mobo isn't up to snuff you might want to get yourself a decent sound card.

Speaking of sound cards, I would point you to either the Asus Xonar DSX or DGX if you're willing to spend no more than $50 on a sound card. For $100, you might wanna check out the Sound Blaster Z or Asus Xonar DX. If you're feeling a little bit more spendy you might want to go for a $200 Sound Blaster ZxR or an Asus Xonar Essence STX.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:46 am

Seeing as though many of the top mobo manufacturers seem to be giving their onboard audio some special attention for Intel LGA 1150 (Haswell), I'm interested to see some reviews of how good they really are. The days of sub-$50 discrete sound cards may be over.

If you really want a Cadillac and your budget supports it, the Asus Maximus VI Impact may be one of the best out there.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:15 pm

I've considered getting one of Asus' LGA1155 gamer boards so I'd be curious about how their high-end onboard sound stacks up to a discrete card, too.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:54 am

I am using generally a digital audio system, so it should be fine from that side.


What do you mean by this? Are you using digital speakers, which take a digital input, or you are using a receiver with a digital input? In this case, you will be using a digital out (likely optical or hdmi) and if that's the case, just use your motherboard digital audio out. Using a discrete/separate audio card will not help whatsoever, unless you are specifically trying to get multichannel audio (say, 7.1) that your mobo doesn't support... but 99% sure it will.

If you are using analog out, that's another story. If you really want good audio, you may not need to spend a ton on a sound card, but if you want to spend extra, it might be better spent on a dedicated audio converter, like a HRT Music Streamer http://www.amazon.com/HRT-Music-Streamer-II-Resolution/dp/B0038O4UFQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370929845&sr=8-1&keywords=musicstreamer.

The benefit there, is instead of a complicated sound card that does a bunch of stuff you don't need and is inside the case where it may be subject to interference noise, you have a device who's entire purpose is to do the best job it possibly can at taking a digital audio signal and converting it into a great sounding analog signal. This would be a good choice (there are cheaper alternatives as well) if you just want 2-channel audio that sounds great for listening to music and you have analog speakers/receiver.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:19 pm

Wow thats really a lot of information i have to digg through. Thank you guys for your input :D

So far i like the idea of trying the onboard sound first. My System is digitally attached to the receiver that is doing the transformation for my analog speakers.

The asus maximus sounds really amazing but honestly the price is far out from my budget on what I think is reasonable for a motherboard, for that price i could also get a cheaper model and get an extra sound card from soundblaster or a better processor :o

I was just browsing around to find some alternatives was stumbling about biostar that are fairly aggressive on their audio features in their hi-fi series. mentioning all those goodies for special audio quality like for the Hi-fi A55S3 sounds for me like a good fit. almost every other manufacturer seems to be more focused on overclocking and those kind of things what i dont care about :D Also the price looks fantastic to me if I compare it to your other recommendations. Are their any thoughts about that?

So far i am browsing through the systems guide and get some more ideas on that topic. The field is really huuuge =(
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:47 pm

If you are connected to a receiver through HDMI or optical (latter can be an issue if you don't have DD/DTS materials for multichannel sound), then you don't really need to care too much about the audio quality aspects of things. The receiver and speakers will be your concern. What is the receiver and how are you connected right now?

shawdavid wrote:So far i am browsing through the systems guide and get some more ideas on that topic. The field is really huuuge =(

This is why the SBA forum is so cool. The collective wisdom of gerbils mean you don't have to think too much. ;)

So, what did you mean by "clear graphics"? :P
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:52 am

shawdavid wrote:biostar that are fairly aggressive on their audio features in their hi-fi series. mentioning all those goodies for special audio quality like for the Hi-fi A55S3 sounds for me like a good fit. almost every other manufacturer seems to be more focused on overclocking

This round, it seems like all the major mobo makers are focusing on improved audio on at least some of their boards. Here are some other examples:
Asus' Maximus Series (mentioned before)
AsRock's Extreme Series
MSI's Gaming Series
Gigabyte Sniper Series
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Flying Fox wrote:If you are connected to a receiver through HDMI or optical (latter can be an issue if you don't have DD/DTS materials for multichannel sound), then you don't really need to care too much about the audio quality aspects of things. The receiver and speakers will be your concern. What is the receiver and how are you connected right now?

shawdavid wrote:So far i am browsing through the systems guide and get some more ideas on that topic. The field is really huuuge =(

This is why the SBA forum is so cool. The collective wisdom of gerbils mean you don't have to think too much. ;)

So, what did you mean by "clear graphics"? :P


Dont blame me for my english. Honestly I am German and living in the US just since a while now. Obviously its about GOOD graphics or fast :-P

DPete27 wrote:
shawdavid wrote:biostar that are fairly aggressive on their audio features in their hi-fi series. mentioning all those goodies for special audio quality like for the Hi-fi A55S3 sounds for me like a good fit. almost every other manufacturer seems to be more focused on overclocking

This round, it seems like all the major mobo makers are focusing on improved audio on at least some of their boards. Here are some other examples:
Asus' Maximus Series (mentioned before)
AsRock's Extreme Series
MSI's Gaming Series
Gigabyte Sniper Series


Uh, thats really a lot, but I couldnt find that many details about the audio features on those boards. Additionally, biostar seems to be the cheepest in the field. Of course thats not automatically good, but a fair advantage for my wallet :D

Additinally I found a review about the A85W from the same vendor that say the quality is great (http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Bios ... 5W/13.html).

I think i better just grab that. Quick and dirty. I go crazy with all those choices :o
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:25 am

When I said "this round" I meant Intel Haswell motherboards. All you have to do is copy the mobo model from Newegg into Google and read about the audio features on the mobo maker's website. Seeing (now) as you have an AMD APU, that makes all my prior examples moot.
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:16 am

DPete27 wrote:When I said "this round" I meant Intel Haswell motherboards. All you have to do is copy the mobo model from Newegg into Google and read about the audio features on the mobo maker's website. Seeing (now) as you have an AMD APU, that makes all my prior examples moot.

And since the OP is using a digital receiver, are any of those fancy audio features (other than DTS Connect or DDL) relevant here?
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:52 am

Flying Fox wrote:And since the OP is using a digital receiver, are any of those fancy audio features (other than DTS Connect or DDL) relevant here?

No :( (hangs head and walks away in shame)
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:59 pm

Sorry for the confusion, guys :(

I appreciate your help a lot. Its great to have a great forum like this :-)

Thank you again for your time!!!
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:35 am

If you had said "Klare Graphik" I would have known what you meant :)
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:38 pm

Nec_V20 wrote:If you had said "Klare Graphik" I would have known what you meant :)


Genau! thats what i meant :P Are you from Germany too?
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Re: MOTHERBOARD provides clear graphics & high end sound?

Postposted on Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:58 pm

shawdavid wrote:
Nec_V20 wrote:If you had said "Klare Graphik" I would have known what you meant :)


Genau! thats what i meant :P Are you from Germany too?


Yes. I grew up in the Westerwald and then studied and lived in and around Bonn.
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