How to Choose a Computer Sound Card

By Dzhingarov

To learn how to choose a computer sound card, follow the links below to learn about different types. You can choose between Onboard audio, PCIe add-in cards, USB adapters, and 7.1 channel distribution. In this article, we will explain the benefits of each type of card, as well as the pros and cons. You’ll also discover whether you should go for 5.1 or 7.1 channel distribution.

Onboard audio

If you are not sure about which computer sound card to buy, start by identifying your needs. Some computer models have in-built sound cards, but these may be in poor quality or broken. Also, you should consider whether the motherboard you are considering purchasing has a sound card. You may want to skip the sound card altogether if you are aiming to save money. After this, you can go ahead and choose the appropriate one.

Most laptops and desktop PCs are equipped with an integrated circuit to handle the job of the sound card. However, if you’re interested in music production or gaming, you’ll want to upgrade your sound card. Some motherboard-based audio chips do not support all native audio formats, so a sound card is an important upgrade. Alternatively, you can use an external DAC and amplifier to connect to an external source of audio.

PCIe add-in cards

A PCIe add-in card for computer sound card is a great way to enhance your computer’s sound capabilities. This expansion device is capable of supporting both large and small ports and can be used for a variety of purposes. A PCIe audio card is compatible with x4 and x16 PCI slots and is wired the same way. While PCIe slots are more recent, some sound cards are still available in PCI-based versions.

The sound card is a rectangular piece of hardware with numerous contacts and ports on the bottom. It connects to a computer’s audio devices, including headphones, speakers, and other sound components. The PCIe slot for this device is located on the motherboard, and the sound card is installed in it. Some PCIe slots come with extra PCIe slots, but each one presents different opportunities for upgrading.

USB adapters

When selecting a computer sound card, there are a few different options available. If you are a music producer, you’ll want to choose a high-quality sound card that includes an audio interface. While an internal sound card might be cheaper, it’s not a bad choice either. If you’re more of a casual user, an internal sound card will do just fine. If you want to create high-quality audio content, however, you’ll probably want to consider a separate sound card.

First, determine what you need your sound card to do. Some sound cards can work with a motherboard’s built-in sound card, so check if it has this. However, if the sound ports on your motherboard are damaged or not high-quality, you might want to consider buying an external sound card. External sound cards have better sound quality and are easier to install. However, if you are unsure of the sound quality of an internal card, you can always opt for a USB version.

5.1 channel or 7.1 channel distribution

Regardless of the sound card you use, you may be interested in learning about 5.1 channel or 7.1-channel distribution. The former refers to 5.1 channel distribution, while 7.1 utilizes four surround zones. However, these formats are not necessarily equivalent. Rather, they are simply extensions of 5.1, which is the more common configuration. This article explores the differences between the two.

Whether 5.1 channel or 7.1-channel distribution is better for your needs depends on the type of sound card you have. For home theater-quality sound, a 5.1-channel sound card can be a great choice. It supports both 5.1-channel and 7.1-channel audio, and it even has upmixing capabilities. While some sound cards are capable of supporting both, not all do.


Computer sound cards can vary in price, depending on the type and features that you require. Some are more expensive than others, depending on how many connections you will use. ExtremeTech’s article on sound cards details the different features and what to look for in a computer sound card. The cost of a sound card should reflect the features that it will provide, so consider how much your new computer will cost before making a purchase.

A sound card is rectangular-shaped hardware that connects to your speakers and other audio devices. It gets installed in a PCI slot on your motherboard. This is the same slot that your other hardware will plug into. The sound card is usually placed outside of the computer case so that its ports are visible. Some sound cards even feature Dolby Digital(r) technology for a truly immersive audio experience. For gaming and movies, a sound card will add an extra level of realism to the experience.