by Paul Sanders
When you're ready to upgrade or even construct your own computer, one component you may want to consider is a sound card. Sound cards fit into your computer's expansion slots and provide richer, higher sound quality than your computer's integrated sound and original speakers. Whether you're an audiophile or you want to use your computer as a home theater PC, a sound card is a vital part of your setup. Here are the five top reasons your computer needs a sound card.
Your motherboard's sound is insufficient. Most motherboards include integrated sound processing, but without a sound card, the sound quality is limited. Installing a sound card removes the burden of processing sound data from your CPU and performs it on the sound card itself. Sound cards also have greater sound depth and dynamic range than integrated sound. Sound cards can also add ports like HDMI for sending high-definition sound to an amplifier or speakers.
Video games put out amazing sound. The ultimate gaming computer is incomplete without a sound card to support the amazing sound production on today's epic video games. Video games are rivaling big-budget Hollywood films with their special effects and sound. An audio card connected to some decent speakers can help immerse you in the game's environment.
Home theater sound. A sound card is a necessity when you're putting together a home theater PC. You won't get high-quality 5.1 or 7.1 sound unless your computer has a sound card. With a sound card installed, your computer can be your receiver, DVD player, Blu-ray player and your Internet portal for streaming high-definition video. Many sound cards allow you to plug your surround-sound speakers directly into the sound card, eliminating the need for a separate receiver.
Your computer as your stereo. If you're using subpar speakers with your computer's integrated sound, you aren't getting the maximum sound from your MP3, WAV and other music files. Install a sound card, upgrade your speakers and give your music the power it deserves.
High-quality VoIP video calls. If you use your computer to make video calls to friends and family, a sound card can free up processing power for your video processing. A sound card can help reduce hiccups in your sound and skipping video.