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New games require a sound card?

Blind Dog

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Joined
Dec 23, 2019
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21
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Near espresso, interior BC
Hi, first post, I've read the 2013 sticky, & I've built a half dozen desktops, but I haven't built a PC since around 2011. A Phenom 1055T oc'd with a GTX 570 (to start). I only played Nascar2003. Primary PC use was Adobe Creative Suite. After several underwhelming experiences with totl Creative cards, I've become accustomed to dealing with the audio post mobo. Tubes to warm it up, eq, and various vintage high end audio speaker solutions.

Yesterday, I went to 'Steam' to download some race/driver sim's/games in anticipation of completing a new build, and some serious downtime to fill. I had a game budget of $300. When I went to purchase Project CARS 2 ($120+) the 'minimum system requirements' list a sound card with 'DirectX compatability'. I'm expecting little difference in sound quality from board's (MSI Meg Ace), and much more of Creative's software woes.

Rankled, I went to 'egg, and bought a $200 Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 RGB 5.1 Discrete/ 7.1 Virtual Surround 'Pro' Gaming PCIe -- the black one. (newbie status precludes links)

I'm thinking I've been duped. I mistrust the assertion a sound card is a minimum requirement. I'm suspicious it's actually just a recommended thing. Jokes on them - I left without spending a cent, and I'm historically documented as being particularly adept at blowing budgets out of the water. (The budget for this modest pc build was $1000. :cool:)

The short: do some games (especially driver/race) actually require an audio card to work?

I'm currently awaiting the GPU, memory, case & fans for my build. They're supposed to be here by Tuesday the 7th of January. Everything else (CPU, board, PSU, NVMe) was here before Christmas. Again, I'm underwhelmed. My profile has the new build's components listed.

Thanks for reading, and any input is appreciated.

sound card required.jpg

build wait.jpg
The Spec 5 case is being replaced with a Carbide 275R - the Spec 5 just didn't cut it.

Healey Hideaway Altec 19 816A 960.jpg
Not saying I'm not into music/audio -- just not into filling PCIe $lots with RGB gizmos.
'Healey', my born-blind sheltie, is always in the mix.
 

Sagath

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Your motherboard has onboard sound, which are generally considered to be equal to most add-in sound cards nowadays.

But to answer your question; usually games dont require a soundcard to run.
 

Blind Dog

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Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
21
Location
Near espresso, interior BC
Thanks Sagath. That's what I figured, 'usually', but I don't want to pony up & be stuck. I think I'm just going to forego the Project CARS 2 entirely. If the vendor (Mike's) won't do a return I'll just file the card in the drawer with the other Creative sound cards. I've been in touch with vendor, prior to shipping, but he's not responded. I'll probably hear - 'Oops, sorry, just sent that out.' Monday.
 

KaptCrunch

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Feb 23, 2008
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4,399
Location
Ontario
They mean to get most realistic using Dbx sound card/chip.
Your MB has ALC1220 audio chip that has 5 channels plus optical out that you can use on home theater amp. The neiboughs really love you with them stacks if are into loud
 

sswilson

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Moncton NB
In most cases these days the only reason folks are buying discrete sound cards is in order to be able to drive audiophile headphones. I seriously doubt any game released in the last 15 years has "required" anything more than onboard sound. I'll even go out on a limb and stretch that out to 20 - 25 years since a game "required" a certain audio standard (adlib, soundblaster, etc.... ).
 

Bond007

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Jun 24, 2009
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6,247
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Nova Scotia
Agree with others. Sound card is NOT required (it's on your motherboard). The only way you need one is if your ears are fine tuned enough to be wanting more than integrated sound can provide.
 

Blind Dog

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
21
Location
Near espresso, interior BC
Thanks everybody. I've found a cheaper game site, but my suspicious nature prevails. I'll start another thread for it.

KaptCrunch, I win all noise/stereo wars. Between tunes, and vehicles, the doctor next door doesn't have a chance with his Bose Wave & I8. (Much to his chagrin ; ) Healey has a 'quiet place' if the tunes get loud. His hearing is always paramount. Thank you.

sswilson, thank you, that's about what I figured, but at $120+ a pop ...

Bond007, I appreciate the reply, and I'll consider the matter settled.
 

KaptCrunch

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Feb 23, 2008
Messages
4,399
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Ontario
SS not to far off the mark, mite be 30. win95 for sure needed SB to have any quality sound
 

JD

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Toronto, ON
Creative's SoundBlaster and EVGA NuAudio are really the only 2 modern players in the sound card game currently. I'd argue that a dedicated sound card still gives you better/cleaner analog outputs, and generally higher amperage if you're driving headphones too. Most of them have dedicated power and EMI shielding to help reduce the noise leakage from the motherboard and surrounding components.

Definitely not required as the Realtek audio chips on basically every motherboard is a "DirectX compatible sound card".
 

Izerous

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1,781
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Edmonton
For the average person I think the only thing missing from some onboard sound cards on modern hardware is some of the interference protection. I have been around computers that the onboard cards would pick up the interference of a cellphone just before it started to audibly ring etc.

Years ago I got a deal on a set of Psyko audio headphones and I was impressed enough with the live demo to buy them at the time. The little amp they come with though is garbage and just amplifies any noise coming from the computer. I do find with headphones like that a dedicate card does help quite a bit since the signal going to the amp is a bit cleaner.
 

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