Onboard Sound Card options?

Okay so, I was thinking of upgrading my motherboard, since my sound card blows, to see if I perhaps could save some money on equipment. I didn’t know the full drawbacks here except I always here a dedicated amp and dac will be better. Onboard sound cards have come a very long way so I was wondering if anybody had any knowledge in this area, if it would be okay to go this method as I have read some of these can go over 600 ohms, and if so what sound cards should I be looking on a motherboard? Ideally I would like to have the most powerful and latest and greatest but quite Honestly I have no idea what to look for lol. ASRock Z370 Killer SLI/ac LGA 1151 (300 Series) Intel Z370 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel Motherboard which has a pretty bad audio as it struggles with even 32 ohm headphones.

So I haven’t heard a motherboard that can actually drive a 600 ohm headphone with good sound, so that’s more marketing imo.

If you were looking for a motherboard with good onboard sound and couldn’t get a separate dac or amp, you would want to look for something with a good opamp as the headphone amp, and a discrete dac chip from a trusted manufacturer. Also isolating the dac from the board is pretty important as well

onboard audio always suck. it’s gotten way better than when onboard was first introduced…but compared to a proper DAC / amp combination, doesn’t hold a candle.

that said, what’s most important is the amp. you will get the biggest benefit from an amp.

now I sell computers for a living and just helped BoomShroom buy the rig he got on the weekend, so if you share some details with me, I would be happy to maximize what you get for your money.

I need to know if you have any parts you’re want to re-use or have already bought, what your budget is and the kind of things you will be doing on it, like gaming, photo / video, etc.

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It’s rather confusing cause there is a ton of information there on these onboard audio chips… so I am not even sure what the hell to look for at this point… been a while since I have had to touch my computer 5+ years or so. when it came to my pc audio was never a big importance… now to me its a huge importance hahaha

if you’re getting onboard audio, you want the AC1220. anything less is no good. however, no onboard audio system is any good for headphones with higher impedance. for that you will need an amp.

Gaming and music listening primarily nothing really else. Parts I have in it atm are the motherboard I listed above connected to a 8700k processor 1080 ti graphics card 32 gigs of gskill 3000m tridentz, 750w gold power supply 2 harddrives 1 ssd none of the mk2 or any of those smaller drives. multiple fans and a noctua dh15 which I am contemplating switching over to an AIO for case space reasons. Board has to be a ATX. Personally most of this I plan to upgrade regardless… the only thing that I never seem to have issues with is the 8700k but I have contemplated switching to amd provided the price is okay as I would sell the 8700k to switch to an equivelant amd chip since amd is the cheaper alternative despite burning a little bit hotter. Personally speaking, I need to find the best board I can regarding the onboard audio while having an upgrade solution to the processor unit. Wifi and rgb are not necessary. Budget is completely debateable for me it always fluctuates I make plenty and sell other parts when I no longer need them. so it really just depends… of course the less expensive is always preferred so I can put money towards other things. Generally speaking on headphones that I have used they always seem to be around 250 ohms maximum… the only one so far I have picked up was the 600 ohm version of the dt 990 which I am trading for the 1990s

what are the issues with your 8700K processor? it’s no slouch and in gaming, you’re unlikely to see a big difference between the newer Intel CPU’s or even the newer AMD CPU’s, unless you’re doing tasks that take advantage of multi-threading.

question about your RAM. is it 2x 16GB sticks or 4x 8GB sticks? if it’s 4 sticks, there’s a chance you’d need to change it if you do go to an AMD solution. Ryzen has some stability issues with running 4 sticks. Ryzen 3000 is much better than the first and second gen and I suspect there will be few issues with the Ryzen 4000 CPU’s coming out in the fall. but to combat the issues, several brands have released options certified compatible.

anyhow, there’s really no reason to change what you have now. so I would get a good USB DAC, like the Topping E30, and a good amp, like the Schiit Magni 3+.

4x 8gig on the ram. and I guess i shouldve worded that to not so much an issue as much as I have just contemplated switching to amd to cut some costs. I currently use the Liquid Spark and Topping D10 I was just contemplating whether I could cut any costs using the onboard or not since I already planned to upgrade the motherboard regardless

If your ~230$ MoBo isn’t doing what your ~200$ in DAC/Amp is capable of, you wouldn’t get a good value tossing more at a MoBo. Also that separates will last you years where MoBo’s will be outdated anytime there’s a major change to the socket. The Amp might never need changed depending on the headphone pairings if you enjoy the sound.

I just don’t see the RoI for higher end MoBos for audio only.

Generally was just a contemplative idea I had to possibly cut some costs since the amp dac still are under a return policy.

yeh…you’re just fine. onboard audio is the pits compared to a proper DAC and amp.

just buy more high impedance headphone! :wink:

Eh, alright then. Thanks.

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you’ve already got a good PC…so you’re not saving anything by buying into AMD, LoL. if you needed to buy new, AMD has better value, but you’re not and have no need to upgrade at the moment.

Well, outside of the graphics card being updated… that I will have to do regardless since I plan to use a really powerful monitor that needs a strong card.

Your current PC system is pretty nice. I built my current tower over xmas and 1500$ later, your system would still out perform me in most games! AMD is starting to release the new 4000 series CPUs and Nvidia “should” have their 3000 series GPUs around August according to the rumor sites, Covid may change that though. I don’t think now is the best time to upgrade if you can hold off. 2080 series cards aren’t much better than 1080ti and aren’t on any great sales. If you aren’t waiting for the 3080 then the presumed price drop (or used) 2080’s when it comes out would more than pay for your DAC/Amp.

Would you believe I built this for around $1200? It is nice but I plan to upgrade it’s casing and graphics card 1 for space and aesthetic got a kind of cramped case could use some more air flow and graphics card I plan to upgrade my screen to that new galaxy screen samsung announced at the latest conventions the 49 inch curved. Ah no, I plan to fully hold off I never do any pc sales off sale that would be crazy. I planned to look towards either the 2080 ti or the newest of cards but I feel those will be way out of my reach since they will be brand new.

You got some awesome deals then! 2080ti’s are north of 1100$ just about everywhere I’ve seen. I opted for a 5700xt with the hopes that Intel’s 1st gen graphics are amazing and see major price drops on everything to stay competitive.

I mean, I bought my 1080 ti brand new EVGA triple fan for around I think it was $320… Not sure why he was selling it that cheap at the time… was on ebay. Yeah, I am keeping a real close eye between the two… whichever works for me and is the cheaper alternative I plan to go for…