Onboard sound

  tlr 13:06 09 Jan 2007

I have a sound card which I want to install in a Dell PC that has an onboard sound chip, is this an easy enough task or am I better leaving well alons

  Totally-braindead 13:11 09 Jan 2007

If you are happy enough with the onboard sound then just leave it. If its not all that good then by all means try the sound card but onboard sound is a lot better than it used to be. A few years ago it was absolutely aweful, crackling and hissing coming through the speakers, not good at all. All the onboard ones I have seen now are really rather good unless you are really into sound ie if you're a musician creating music and that sort of thing.
If you do try it do remember to go into the BIOS and disable the onboard sound as otherwise you'll get some rather strange effects.

  wee eddie 13:15 09 Jan 2007

of low quality sound from a PC. If the Dell is less than 3 years old or, as Totally-braindead says, you are about to become very technical.

There is likely to be little, or no, gain.

  tlr 13:50 09 Jan 2007

My problem is that my last computer has the soundblaster live audigy card with a 5.1 speaker system, the Dell cannot facilitate the speakers so have dell standard speakers fitted which are tinny, the chip may be ok if I fit a decent set of speakers i suppose

  woodchip 13:54 09 Jan 2007

Try the Card you have nothing to loose. But first install the Drivers and Software, though you may have XP. It should then find these after you install the card.

PS When you put the card in also pull the plug from the wall socket, not just turn off as there is still power to the MOBO

  woodchip 13:55 09 Jan 2007

There may be a jumper on the MOBO to disable the Onboard Sound or it may be in the BIOS. You could do this before you fit the new card

  tlr 13:57 09 Jan 2007

Thats the bit I was unsure about, how to disable the onboard chip.

  woodchip 14:02 09 Jan 2007

As above First look in the BIOS, to see if you can turn it off from there. If not you could do it in Device Manager. By right click on My Computer\Properties\Hardware\Device Manager you will see if you click on the + under sound and properties a box you can tick to not use the sound in any programs etc

  tlr 14:19 09 Jan 2007

Will give it a go tonight

  Stuartli 14:24 09 Jan 2007

Are you sure that the onboard sound chipset isn't capable of delivering 5.1 (or even 7.1) sound? The motherboard manual will make it clear and also (if appropriate) how to use the Line In and Mic sockets for the purpose.

In recent years I've used both the C-Media 8738 and Realtek ALC650/655 onboard sound chipsets and both are fully capable of surround sound.

I also used a Creative SoundBlaster Live! for a while but the difference, even with IBM speakers, is minimal overall - in fact the onboard chipsets' overall treble transparency and clarity is quite remarkable.

  tlr 16:47 10 Jan 2007

The amount of sockets required for the 5.1 speakers are not there on the sound connections on the Dell

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