Everything You Need To Know About PC’s Sound Card?

Many years ago, a PC could only make one kind of sound (a beep). That was prior to the invention of the sound card. Those days the computer couldn’t create other sounds or can change the sound volume too.

Nevertheless, it could change the duration and frequency of the beep;

Primarily the beep used to act as a warning or a signal, but later manufacturers’ developed music using beeps of different lengths and pitches for the earliest computer games.

PC audio has undergone some transformation for the last two decades. These days little attention is given to the sound cards and it just occupies a small corner of your PC motherboard unlike before.

Although the motherboard and processors have become smaller over the last decade, they are more efficient than they used to be. Sometimes we miss those days that we could add the RAM to our sound card very comfortably, just to freak our friend out.

The sound cards market might be diminishing, but there are still high-end sound cards out there.

But, What Actually Is A Sound Card?

The Sound Card is an Expansion Card that enables audio devices such as headphones, speakers among others to receive audio information from the PC.

Unlike other computer parts like RAM and CPU which are very necessary pieces for the computer to run, a computer can still run without a sound card.

However sound card is still relevant when carrying out some tasks. Sometimes people do refer sound cards as a sound adapter, audio adapter or audio card.

And you know, nowadays every Desktop Computer or Laptop’s motherboard comes with the inbuilt sound system (or I say, comes with an inbuilt Audio Chip).

Sound Card Description: A sound card is a piece of hardware that is rectangular in shape. Sound card comes with multiple ports on its’ side for the case of connecting audio devices like speakers, and various contacts on the bottom of the card. The sound card is installed in a PCIe or PCI on the PC motherboard. When installed the sound card fits outside the case, and this is what makes the ports readily available for use.

Sound Cards And Audio Quality: Nowadays most computers come with sound card technology directly integrated onto the computer motherboard. In short, most new computers lack sound expansion cards. Such kind of computers comes with a slightly less powerful audio system. The best thing is that they are less expensive due to their configuration.

However, in case you are a serious audio professional, you should look for dedicated sound cards. Most computer cases comes with headphone jacks and USB ports, thus you can use headphones for better audio experience.

Why Do We Need A PC Sound Card?

The main function of any PC sound card out there is quite obvious; producing sound. Unlike video, audio might be less demanding, but still you will need great tools to produce quality audio. Although producing sound might need just a little information, some processor cycles can be consumed by the audio, thus it is recommended to offload it to a dedicated chip.

Most PC motherboards features a chip, but a chip used on a dedicated PC sound card produces better sound. In fact, a more advanced sound chip usually includes handles that comes with features such as a pre-amp, niche audio formats or even virtual surround sound.

Another great function of PC sound card is the ability to expand audio output. It doesn’t matter the onboard audio used, but almost all motherboards do offer about 5.1 audio through 3.5-millimeter audio jacks. However, some sound cards can manage that, due to the limited number of software options, thus leaving you with few options for tailoring the audio output to your personal desire, taste, and preference.

In addition, a sound card should at least make your PC compatible with common home theater system outputs such as S/PDIF or with 7.1 audio.

And you know, most of the times a normal people need to use an Expansion Sound Cards when their computer’s internal motherboard’s sound port (AUDIO jack) got faulty or something.

Does Your PC Sound Card Really Produce Better Audio?

Judging the quality of audio can be very tricky, to discover the differences one can only use blind comparison tests. This is because most views lack la-grade tools that are usually used by manufacturers to calibrate audio hardware.

However, there is one site (the tech report) that is well known for audio tests. Over the years ‘the tech report’ have conducted several sound tests. This site often uses the combination of blind listening tests and testing hardware to determine the quality of audio.

Nevertheless, it can be very hard to determine the quality of audio when it comes to games. Generally, this is due to two main reasons. To start with, games don’t always feature high-quality source audio, thus making the hardware pointless. Secondly, games main focus is usually the visual quality not audio; in fact, most players concentrate on the visuals, not the audio.

One of the benefits that games expect to receive is improved surround sound.  Nothing leads to more immersive experience like games with surround sound modes or audio cards with the virtual surround modes design.

Actually, they are both designed to enhance the quality of source content.

Another thing you should know as a PC user is that speakers and headphones can determine the quality of sound too.

My Computer Has No Sound! What Might Be The Problem?

Most of the times that your computer lacks sound, the problem is usually software related. However, in some cases disconnection of your sound cards or headphones/speakers from their power/ports might be the cause.

There several solutions for sound problems. First, you should ensure the volume of whatever you are listening may it be music, movie or video isn’t muted. In addition, you should ensure the sound system is not muted too.

Another thing that might lead to ‘no sound’ is sound card malfunction (the sound card in the device manager might be disabled). The corrupt or missing device driver can be another reason your sound card is not delivering sound. In case the problem is a lack of drivers, you can solve the problem by installing sound card drivers.

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“And that’s all for now, thanks for sticking with the article, and you know it will always good to let me know about the tutorial, in the comments down below.” 🙂


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