Buying Guide for Internal Sound Cards
Sound cards are audio devices used to create stereo sound and provide digital audio to your computer. This is done by converting the digital signal outputted from your video and game card to analog sound waves and sending them to your speakers or headphones.
Sound cards are an important part of the computer audio world. And, these sound cards are your best buy item, especially when you are a gaming enthusiast. Some sound cards are built into the motherboard, while others are stand-alone sound cards. In this blog, however, we will focus on internal sound cards and will highlight points that you must consider before making any final purchase.
Benefits of Internal Sound Cards
Support for More Audio Channels
The use of sound cards can produce realistic sound effects in a gaming environment. In addition, it can help players to receive more channels of audio, such as the 5.1 and 7.1 channels of audio. This increases the immersion of the game and provides a better sound experience.
More I/O Ports
Sound cards are a common piece of audio equipment for PC users. They're structured to handle surround sound and can also connect custom formats and output to multiple monitors. Most of them come bundled with an I/O port so that you can hook them up to your PC and have them work with your system.
Electric interferences can lead to lower quality of audio supply. However, many sound cards are equipped with an anti-interference electric shield. It protects sound cards from external interruptions and other electric disturbances. Besides, such sound cards protect other components and prevent disruptions.
Factors to Consider before Buying Internal Sound Cards
The most important thing to consider before buying is the compatibility of your sound card with your PC or computer. Most sound cards fit in PCI slots, while others also require a power supply through a SATA power cable. For installing internal sound cards on your motherboard, you need to check if you have enough room beneath your graphics card to accommodate these cards.
5.1 vs 7.1 Sound Cards
You will undoubtedly want more audio channels to enhance your gaming and sound experience. You may get confused between 5.1 vs. 7.1 Sound Cards. 5.1 cards will feature six channels, whereas 7.1 cards will support eight channels. Both these cards are great for providing the best sound experience, but 7.1 cards are a little bigger and more expensive than others. Don’t forget to check the speaker compatibility too.
Signal to Noise Ratio
It may sound like a technical term, and many people may ignore it while buying. But, it’s the key to determining how your selected sound card will perform. The signal-to-noise ratio indicates the ability of your sound card to produce signals concerning background hardware noise. Usually, the range of most sound cards varies between 80 - 130 dB. But, it’s good to look for cards that have a high signal-to-noise ratio.
Total Harmonic Distortion
You will not like your sound cards to produce sounds with external distortions. That is when total harmonic distortion comes into the picture. This factor tells how much sound distortion is possible in a certain sound card. Obviously, the lower, the better. But still, you need to check it manually to ensure it stays below 0.01% or even 0.
Sound cards are a great addition to your existing PCs and computers. However, before you select any sound card, you may get surprised to know about the benefits of internal sound cards. Above, we have covered all of them in brief, also reading our pointers mentioned above will help you select the right model. Did you know? The market size of sound cards is expected to cross over 475 Million USD in 2025.
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