yea, it's the old "on-board sound vs pci card" question.
But I don't care so much about 5:1 stuff, or the quality of sound for games.
I mostly play MP3's through a fairly high-end home stereo / theatre set-up from my computer. ( It's the ultimate programable CD player ! I have been doing so with good success with a Diamond Monster 400 sound card (yea, I know ...they were supposed to release those drivers ! ), but now it's time to upgrade my system, thus the question.
I am also in the process of converting a lot of my old vinyl to MP3, which seems to be working ok as well. I am converting to 192 kbps, 44Hz MP3. My aging ears seem to find this good enough.
So is the onboard sound on these boards going to be an equal to my unfullfilled Dia-Mon 400? ... should I spring for the Audigy for my requirments, or will the onboard be good enough ? How do the inputs and outputs work on these 'onboard sound' boards for this sorta stuff ?
That depends. If you have AC97, I'd say get a card, if you have thease creative or (realtek?) other on-board solutions, it may be good enough. I havent tried them yet, but I hear they are decent. A live or a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz would probably be good enough, but I dont know off hand what the price difference is. Audigy would definately do the trick though