A sound card is one of the most essential parts of a gaming PC or laptop. Without it, the gamers could never experience the perfect gaming vibe. Especially those who are fanatic about FPS and high-end games, sound card is a must-buy for them. It actually acts in converting the digital signals for the outputs of your PC and after that it decodes the signal into analog for your speakers and headphones.
The goal is to serve you with an amazing sound quality that makes the game feel lively. However, not all PCs mandatorily require a sound card. In this article, you will know about the reason behind opting for a sound card and also the things to consider before investing in the item.
Why do you need a sound card?
Usually, the incorporated circuit and the motherboard of a system do the job of a sound card. But at times, PCs fail to provide the quality sound that you ask for. Its crackly sound could not match up the standard sound quality that you desire for. That is when you need to pick a suitable sound card for your Pc. The poor sound quality can be because of numerous reasons.
For instance, when the associated parts of your PC malfunction, it produces crappy audios. If your PC’s motherboard lacks shielding you might need to get a sound card. It fixes the issue by providing internal parts shielding.
On the other hand, in the case of low-priced PCs, you will hardly get any audio output. Though this particular issue is rarely found, but still when such a situation occurs, sound cards become an inevitable part. Moreover, when you require some additional ports, you can achieve it by integrating sound cards!
Lastly yet most importantly, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, sound cards are the heart for gamers. Without this component, they could barely cherish the fun and excitement of the PC games. Sound cards make them feel like they are physically inside the gaming plot. Now that you are aware of the necessity of sound cards, let’s switch to the buying guides of the best sound card for your PC.
Things to consider before selecting a sound card
Purchasing a sound card seems to be simple, but there are a lot of attributes that you need to think over. Unless you get a suitable one according to your PC, you might indulge in complexities and difficulties while installing it and sometimes your system might not allow you to integrate it. So, here is everything that you need to prioritize while purchasing a sound card.
You need to check your cabinet and the size of the same. You need to make sure that the sound card would fit right into your PC cabinet.
If you have a small ATX case, you need to make sure that the sound card is compatible with the same or not.
One of the most important aspects to ponder before getting a sound card is how much you can afford to invest in the product. Sound cards are not obligatory; they just improve the sound quality of your system and provide satisfaction to gamers. Thus, planning its budget is a matter of concern. Sound cards are available in a different price range and each of them comes with separate functionalities. Thus, you first need to chalk out your budget then proceed in finding your requirements. The cost of the component principally relies upon its interface and available features.
The interface of the component
The interface of your chosen sound card should be compatible with the connectivity of your computers. There are two main types of ISA and PCI. In the current scenario, PCI sound cards are widely used. If you want to use the sound card for relishing PC games and watching movies, PCI will be your ideal choice.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an affordable sound card, ISA sound cards can be your ideal pick. Besides being budget-friendly, it facilitates the users with an additional slot for PCI. Along with the interface check, you should also notice whether your system has a pre-built sound card on the motherboard. If yes, verify if it can be disabled with the integration of the new external sound card.
The availability of the ports
After assessing the type of interface, now it is time to focus on the sound card’s available connections or ports. A good and compatible sound card must have the following connections-
- Midi port- The midi port on the sound card enables the users to attach a midi keyboard. But gamers use it to connect joysticks, game paddles. Therefore it should be present on your purchased card.
- Ports for speaker- An ideal sound card must have ports for front speakers and rear speakers. If your preferred sound card has both of them, you can buy it without thinking twice.
Along with it, the modern standard sound cards should include a port for connecting the microphone.
Check whether your sound card has the facility of full-duplex
If you are quite serious about PC games and ready to invest in the component, you should look for a sound card that has the features of full-duplex. Today, almost all the sound cards are incorporated with this special feature which allows the users to record and play sound together at the same time. Full-duplex is normally used for voice communication over the speakerphone.
SNR refers to the signal and noise rate, which determines the overall efficiency of the sound card. It is actually the capacity of the functional signal that the sound card can generate compared to the background volume static produced by the electrical hardware. Thus, the higher the SNR of a sound card is the better the sound quality it provides. Usually, the advanced sound cards come with an SNR around 80 to 130 dB.
If you want to save your additional expense on sound cards, then there is no wrong it. As previously mentioned it only enhances the gaming experience. If your motherboard does have a pre-installed sound card, you would not require having an extra. But still, f you wish to get the heavenly experience while playing your favorite computer games, you can consider the above-discussed aspects to get the best sound card. Including all those facts, make sure to check its warranty period.