It's 2015: Why does Onboard audio STILL suck?

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Puffnstuff

Lifer
Mar 9, 2005
15,596
4,360
136
I looked that board up on the MSI site and got their breakdown on the features which is where I saw the power plug for the audio section.
 

jamesgalb

Member
Sep 26, 2014
67
0
0
I'd like to see audio reviews on the new z170 series of boards... The major players seem to have put a fair amount of focus on audio components.

Let me know about the components/features/specs I don't have listed....

Gigabyte - Z170X Gaming G1
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5478#ov
Sound Blaster ZxRi - Amp-Up Audio
Big Features:
-Creative SoundCore3D ZxRi 120dB+ Audio Processor
-TI Burr Brown PCM1794 127dB DAC
-3 Upgradable 600Ω OP-AMPs (2 JRC NJM2114 and 1 TI Burr Brown OPA2134)
-Nichicon Fine Gold & WIMA FKP2 capacitors
-Shielded Audio Processor, Audio Components(?) and I/O Shield(?)
-Isolated Audio PCB
-Gold plated audio jacks
-USB Power isolation for external DAC
-Creative SBX Pro Studio Audio Suite

MSI - Z170A GAMING M9 ACK
http://gaming.msi.com/products/motherboard/z170a-gaming-series
Xtreme Audio DAC
Big Features:
-C-Media 6632A 384kHz/32-bit/122dB Audio Processor
-ESS Sabre 9006AS DAC
-Dual TI OP1652 600Ω headphone amplifiers
-Chemi-Con Audio Capacitors
-Shielded Audio Processor(?), Audio Components and I/O Shield
-Isolated Audio PCB
-Gold plated audio jacks
-Nahimic Sound Technology

ASUS - Maximus VIII Hero
http://www.asus.com/us/site/motherboards/z170/
SupremeFX
Big Features:
-ESS ES9023P Sabre DAC
-TI RC4580 2Vrms Driver
-Sonic Sense amplifier
-Nichicon capacitors
-Shielded Audio Processor, Audio Components and I/O Shield
-Isolated Audio PCB
-Gold plated audio jacks
-NEC de-pop relay
-Dedicated clock
-ASUS Sonic Studio II

ASRock - Z170 Extreme 7+
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z170 Extreme7+/
Purity Sound 3
Big Features:
-Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec
-115dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier
-TI NE5532 600Ω headphone amplifier
-Nichicon Fine Gold Series capacitors
-Shielded Audio Processor, Audio Components and I/O Shield
-Isolated Audio PCB
-Pure Power-In
-"Excellent Audio.RightMark score"
 
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jamesgalb

Member
Sep 26, 2014
67
0
0
6 pages on this crap.............................Keep it going! :awe:
Considering the new generation of "Onboard Audio" was released yesterday, yeah, the discussion still carries on.

That said, the Gigabyte and MSI offerings seem to have some serious effort put into them. They didn't just throw bells and whistles on a $2 Realtek chip... I'm interesting in seeing reviews, and I would expect some seeing as how most manufactures list audio as one of the main components of their boards.
 

escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,339
122
106
Considering the new generation of "Onboard Audio" was released yesterday, yeah, the discussion still carries on.

That said, the Gigabyte and MSI offerings seem to have some serious effort put into them. They didn't just throw bells and whistles on a $2 Realtek chip... I'm interesting in seeing reviews, and I would expect some seeing as how most manufactures list audio as one of the main components of their boards.
Won't matter at all for mp3 rips that most have. I'm using ye olde 887 myself. :awe:

This H81 board actually has "high-end" quality caps too. :sneaky:
 

RampantAndroid

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2004
6,591
3
81
Apple et all have helped some by upping the encoding quality, but it's still a far cry from FLAC lossless. I have a 128GB iPhone, and while I doubt I'd fit all my music on if it were lossless, I'd be willing to manage playlists in exchange.

I think it's only a matter of time until lossless becomes the thing. Bandwidth everyone has is increasing on phones and on home internet...and flash memory in portable devices is also getting cheaper and cheaper....
 

HexiumVII

Senior member
Dec 11, 2005
661
7
81
If would be nice of a reviewer can compare all the mobo sound systems. I will admit i have a hard time telling them apart, but the old Audigys/soundblasters did have a warmer sound. I'm only using Swan and Klipsch Promedias, where are decent, but not that high end speakers (my dad is an audiophile, so i kinda just give up chasing that kind of sound). I've since given up on creative labs with their insanely crap software.

Sadly,sound is on the bottom of the list when I look at mobos. Asus' decline in customer service is disconcerting, and their new Z170-A has an old realtek 989 which is quite sad. Gigabyte might be my next buy with sound blaster maybe we'll get that warmer sound from the olden days.
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
1,647
116
106
I guess people argue about it all the time, I have a decent 7.1 onboard mobo, optical even, but I prefer not to use it.



I still even got a PCI adapter just so I could still use this old Sound Card in it I guess.



Maybe I'm just lazy, still using an OC'd X5680 around 4.6 in the MOBO :)

As far as sound goes, I still like having a card I guess, and have it on a TOS-LINK optical to my amps.



Got a Prelude myself. Love it. It's going in my new rig :)
 

StrangerGuy

Diamond Member
May 9, 2004
8,443
124
106
I'd like to see audio reviews on the new z170 series of boards... The major players seem to have put a fair amount of focus on audio components.
Yeah, PC reviewers are just going to have 5-digit Audio Precision analyzers lying around and the technical know-how to do those reviews.

Besides why even bother with the quality of onboard analog outputs when there's already a huge selection of external DACs which *doesn't* have analog circuitry in a noisy EMI environment and lasts an eternity compared to PC hardware.
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
1,481
611
136
So, my 4790K is sitting in an AsRock Z97 Extreme 3, for the PCI slot, so I could re-use my Asus Xonar DS (front panel headphone connector is nice to have). :|

If I was going to lose PCI slots anytime soon, I would use an X-Fi 5.1 USB or another USB sound-card.

Go for a C-Media CMI8768+, CMI8769, CMI8770, Oxygen HD CMI8787 or Oxygen HD CMI8788 over on-board audio any day; I used a CMI 8768+ sound-card when upgrading from the nForce2, did not want to lose the Dolby Digital encoding.
 

IGemini

Platinum Member
Nov 5, 2010
2,473
2
81
I'd like to see audio reviews on the new z170 series of boards... The major players seem to have put a fair amount of focus on audio components.

Let me know about the components/features/specs I don't have listed....

...

ASRock - Z170 Extreme 7+
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z170 Extreme7+/
Purity Sound 3
Big Features:
-Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec
-115dB SNR DAC with Differential Amplifier
-TI NE5532 600Ω headphone amplifier
-Nichicon Fine Gold Series capacitors
-Shielded Audio Processor, Audio Components and I/O Shield
-Isolated Audio PCB
-Pure Power-In
-"Excellent Audio.RightMark score"
I know this one isn't a new offering. I have the same setup on my Haswell board, ASUS was putting it on some of theirs as well. I think the overall quality through Sennheiser HD595s is pretty good...at least on par with the X-Fi Xtrememusic I was using for years.

The onboard audio argument isn't nearly as relevant as it used to be. The diminishing return is so steep at this point I'd need a LOT of spare change to rationalize upgrading to something else. Tom's blind test review posted earlier is worth mentioning again.
 

slashy16

Member
Mar 24, 2017
151
59
71
42
I use USB Audio and have for years. I do not notice a difference compared to the last sound blaster I used.
 

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