Sound Card

  fazer 13:23 02 Mar 2005

Am thinking about upgrading the sound on my system using an external (USB wired) Creative Sound Blaster unit.

Have downloaded all the specs etc. and have searched all the PC Advisor forum archives but I have some questions unanswered which I'm hoping someone could please help me with:

The unit specifications say it uses USB 2 - so does this mean its incompatible with my system that uses the "ordinary" USB sockets?

Several forum responses to similar questions suggest that existing sound drivers should be "disabled" - does this mean uninstalling them as you would similarly do with graphic drivers when fitting a new card? If not, how do you "disable" them?

I should say at this point that my existing sound card is "built in" (I don't know the proper term but mean that it can't be removed as my other cards can).

  Completealias 13:47 02 Mar 2005

B4 u add your new sound card turn off your built in one from the BIOS look 4 an entry in there that refers to onboard sound and switch off.

Theorectically a USB 2 external device should work on USB but only at USB 1 speeds. Therefore you may well find that the hardware doesn't operate at it best.

You can pick up internal sound cards 4 less have you thought about adding an internal card instead or if you still want to go for that card you can get a USB 2 PCI card that u can add to get USB 2 speeds

  fazer 19:01 02 Mar 2005


Thanks for responding.

I need an external card because I have run out of card spaces! Could you please expand on your statement that the hardware may not operate at its best. I don't want anything fancy - just true (Dolby)5.1 sound.

By the way, I should have stated that I'm a complete novice so your first sentence I'm afraid is completely meaningless to me.

  Completealias 13:17 03 Mar 2005

OK onboard sound is mounted onto the motherboard and the function to control if it is on or off is in the BIOS. BIOS stands for basic input output system and loads up basic drivers for the boot process to continue and controls your hardware.

When you start the machine you'll see a message like press del for setup the other most common key is f2 this will then give you access to your BIOS. When you get to here you r looking for a reference that refers to onboard sound and then disable it this will switch off your onboard sound device.

This will then ensure that you have no conflicts when you come to add your new soundcard.

The main effect I can think of is the transfer speeds usb 1 is slower than usb2 so if a card is designed with using faster data rates and they are not available I'm not sure how this would effect its operation. If your not using it for capture of sound then u may b ok.

  fazer 21:38 05 Mar 2005

Thank you Completealias.

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