Sound Card. What it is. Do You Need One?

Sound cards, audio cards, audio adapter or audio output device, it all comes down to an expansion card that provides your computer with the function of producing and/or receiving audio which you’d probably hear through your speakers or headphones. Since most computers come with theirs built into the motherboard, is it really necessary to equip yourself with one of these? It depends.

How it Works

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A sound card works hand in hand with software and drivers on your PC. Together with the software the card changes digital audio files into analog audio data which allow you to hear it. Sound that you can hear travels through air and consists of waves, allowing you to hear the analog audio data. The card acts as a translator of sorts so that the digital and analog info could be better understood. That is, after you play the sound through your speakers, of course. In short, it converts digital data to analog sound (sound you/we can hear) which we can actually hear through our speakers and headphones.

At the same time, it can do the opposite by converting analog data into digital audio data so that it can be stored and changed/altered.

Reasons for needing a Sound Card

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As I’ve said above most motherboards come with a built-in sound card which is all dandy and great because it well… comes with the motherboard by default but sometimes a higher quality of sound is required for whatever reason. It happens and usually requires you to upgrade or switch out your onboard one with a more expensive/overall better card.

Another reason to upgrade or switch to one would because your integrated audio has given up. This has happened to me in the past, sadly. So, if your warranty on your motherboard is expired, non- existent or if your audio just went blammo and it’s not just your hearing then it may be time to upgrade to an add-on sound card. Oh, and be sure to check if your motherboard supports the type of card you’re getting, always check… always.

You might also use a sound card with a certain application for your PC music composition, editing video/audio needs.

So, with that hopefully you know more about sound cards. If you’d like maybe try these posts on ComputeeZA:

Well, that’s it! (^-^)/

@Shay

Co-Founder OF ComputeeZA

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