Long ago, if you wanted good quality audio, you had to buy an external sound card to get much better audio than the built-in one. Now the sound card is integrated into the motherboard.
So once you’ve bought a new motherboard, you no longer have to spend to buy an external sound card.
What means that external sound cards are currently only rarely used? To find out, the first thing you need to know is why an external sound card was created.
In the 1980s, when IBM computers were still dominating the computer market, the only sound computers came from the buzzer speaker. This buzzer speaker only produces a beep or boop sound.
The programmer then devised various techniques so that the buzzer speaker could produce more sound than just beeps or boops, such as that used by paratroopers. While it can make other sounds, the audio quality isn’t very good either. This is compounded by the weak CPU capability. When the computer produces a sound, all activities performed by the CPU must be stopped.
For this reason, an external sound card was created to support audio processing. When the computer needed to output audio, the main CPU did not need to be accessed frequently. Over time, due to their role as hardware accelerators, external sound cards can produce good audio quality and offer various functions. This means that all audio processing is done by the sound card so the CPU can do other activities.
Integrated audio for motherboards became popular in the 1990s thanks to the Intel AC97 Audio Codec. However, in its day, the external sound card was still better than the built-in audio on the motherboard as the audio quality was much better.
This is more or less the same as Discrete Graphics versus On-Board Graphics. External sound cards produce better audio quality, but this does not mean that external sound cards are not faulty because external sound cards are made by different manufacturers. Hence, you need to look for suitable drivers in order for the external sound card to work properly. normal.
This driver is also sometimes unstable when used due to poor writing in the driver coding language.
When Windows Vista was popular, Microsoft set the standard for how audio should be handled by the operating system. It also has a function for adjusting the volume per application. This requires the system to process the audio in the software instead of using an external sound card. This means that all audio processing will be revised by the CPU.
As a result of this change, many applications and games began to experience bugs and performance issues at the beginning of standardization. The reason for this is that these applications and games are based on the hardware acceleration card.
At the moment we don’t have to worry about the above things anymore as the CPU we are using now is very well able to handle audio processing without causing major performance issues. Applications based on the Hardware Acceleration Card now also support software standards such as Microsoft Universal Audio Architecture.
Now what you need to get good audio quality is a modern CPU and an audio chip that supports the universal audio architecture, such as the Realtek audio chip that is embedded in all motherboards. This chip has a very simple way of working because the audio processing that was supposed to be done by an external sound card is now done by the main CPU, so this Realtek chip only works with the digital-to-analog converter.
As technology advances, Realtek chips are also increasingly being developed to achieve better audio quality, and motherboard manufacturers are also developing audio circuit designs to prevent electrical interference from other systems.
So at the moment we don’t need an external sound card as the sound quality of the on-board audio is pretty good. In the case of an external sound card, although this device produces slightly better audio quality, it is usually only recommended for audiophiles who use certain applications or who require a specific audio connection.