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Upgrading Audio - Do embedded devices match or exceed add on cards performance?


Your latest and greatest game sounds like Cr.., you have a voice to text program that you either can not use or you get a lot of errors when you try to input your speech to text. Lots of reasons to upgrade the sound capability of your computer.

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Some things you need to know about with a new sound card is do you have a slot to put it in? Do you have an extra power cable for those that need the power from the power supply?

Another part of your research you need to know what wattage the new sound card draws, with that information you can check the installed power supply, if it is an older power supply you may not have enough extra power for the new sound card and will need to upgrade the power supply also. Some of the newer sound cards need more than 200 watts!

Note: Your old power supply may not even power up the motherboard, it may not have enough power to start the hard drives. Be warned a "brown out" or low power situation can damage other components!

Most embedded sound devices can be disabled from the BIOS.

So how do you know what you want? Well what application will you be using that requires sound?

That may drive your choices, some applications require drivers to communicate with your sound card, (such as Dragon Naturally Speaking) if this is the case check the application for recommendations.

As with all components research will give you a better idea of what "features and functions" a certain sound cad has, you wouldn't want to pay $2000 - $3000 for a Midi sound card if you didn't want to make music. So what do you want it to do?

When you upgrade audio remember that your speakers are probably the same age and wattage as the old sound card, be careful you don't over drive them with all that new power!

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