The sound card is an expansion of your computer’s motherboard that sends the audio data and information to audio devices like speakers and headphones. Now, most people get really tensed about whether the motherboards come with sound cards or if they will need to buy them separately.
So, do motherboards come with sound cards? They do, but only the most recent ones. If you are going to buy an older version, you might not get the card with it. However, most people suggest using a dedicated sound card instead of the built-in ones to get a better result.
In this article, I am going to talk about everything you will need to know about sound cards and whether they come with motherboards or not.
What is a Sound Card?
Just like most other hardware of your PC, a sound card is a rectangular part that comes with a lot of contact on the bottom as well as several ports on the side so that you can connect audio devices like speakers.
Generally, you can find the sound card installed in a PCL or PCL slot of your motherboard.
You should know that the motherboard, peripheral cards, and case are extremely compatible, and you can fit the sound card just on the backside of the case to make it easier to access the ports.
You will also find USB sound cards that allow you to plug in extras like microphones, headphones, and any other audio devices using a small adapter connected directly to the USB port.
Sound Cards and the Audio Quality
In modern technology, most computers don’t have any sound expansion card. Instead, they have the technology integrated directly into the motherboards and are called onboard sound cards.
While this feature makes the computer available at a reasonable price, the audio system gets somewhat little less powerful.
However, this is the perfect option for most PC users. You will only need the dedicated ones for an audio professional.
Do motherboards come with sound cards?
Yes, but only the most recent motherboards come with an installed sound card in them. If you are using something older, you might have to buy an external sound card.
Though the recent computers come with built-in sound cards, you can still install external ones to get a more advanced audio system.
Why would you need a Sound card?
The main job of a sound card is really simple: producing sound. While most people are conscious of the video-to-image quality, you will need good hardware to get quality audio.
Though the audio production needs just a little bit of information, your audio can start taking up some processor cycles. That’s why most experts suggest you get a dedicated chip for your PC.
You might have wondered why is that? That’s because you get a better sound quality as well as a better performance with a dedicated sound card. Moreover, an advanced card will also come with additional features like niche audio formats, pre-amp, or virtual surround sound.
Furthermore, your sound card is capable of expanding the audio output. No matter what onboard audio you are using, most of the motherboards are capable of handling 5.1 audio with 3.5 mm audio jacks.
In case you are looking forward to using the sound card to connect your PC to the home theater system, you will need a minimum of 7.1 audio. Also, in the end, most people need to use an external Sound card since the PC’s internal sound port in the motherboard can get damaged pretty quickly.
Can your PC Sound Card Produce a Better Audio?
While it’s a rather difficult job to determine whether they produce better audio or not, many people have actually tried to run this test. This test usually requires blind tests and different sound cards.
However, it’s harder to decide when it comes to gaming. Firstly, they don’t always come with good quality audio, and secondly, players don’t really pay attention to whatever’s happening in the background audio.
But it’s true that games come with improved surround sound and offer a really immersive experience. But both of these are there to improve the overall audio quality. Now, your PC’s audio quality can vary depending on the headphones and speakers too.
“My Computer has no sound!” Is that a serious problem?
In most cases, your computer’s sound can disturb due to a software problem. However, you will also have to check if your sound card or headphones are making the problem by being loose from their ports.
Now, there can be a number of solutions you can apply. Firstly, make sure that the sound of whatever you are doing is not muted. Also, make sure that the overall sound system is not muted as well.
Moreover, a disturbance in the sound card can be the main reason behind this “No Sound” problem, or the device manager can be simply disabled.
You should also look for any kind of missing device or corrupted driver. It’s possible to solve the lack of drivers issue by installing proper sound card drivers.
How do I know if my motherboard has a sound card?
To determine if your motherboard has a built-in sound card, you can do the following:
- Check the specifications of your motherboard: Most motherboard manufacturers list the components and features of their products on their websites.
- Look for mentions of “audio” or “sound” in the specifications.
- Check the manual: The manual for your motherboard should have information about the onboard audio features.
- Check the device manager: On Windows, you can open the Device Manager and look for “Sound, video, and game controllers” in the list.
- If you see a device listed under this category, it means your motherboard has a built-in sound card.
- Check for audio connectors on the motherboard: Some motherboards have audio connectors such as line-out, line-in, microphone, and others, which are used to connect speakers and other audio devices.
- If you are still unsure, you can consult the manufacturer’s website or contact their support.
Can a PC run without a sound card?
Yes, a PC can run without a sound card. Most modern motherboards have built-in audio capabilities, which are known as “onboard audio”. This means that the audio functions are integrated into the motherboard and do not require a separate sound card.
If your motherboard has onboard audio, you will be able to hear sound from your PC without a separate sound card. If you want to improve the audio quality of your PC or add advanced audio features, you can still add an external sound card.
However, it is not a necessary component for a PC to function.
Can I use my GPU as a sound card?
No, a GPU (graphics processing unit) cannot be used as a sound card. A GPU is designed to handle video processing and rendering, not audio processing. To play audio, your PC needs a sound card or an onboard audio solution, which is integrated onto the motherboard.
These audio solutions are specifically designed to process and output audio signals to speakers or headphones.
While some high-end GPUs may have built-in audio capabilities, these are not intended to replace a dedicated sound card and are typically not as advanced in terms of audio processing capabilities.
Does GPU improve the sound?
No, a GPU does not improve the sound output from your PC. The audio quality is primarily determined by the sound card or onboard audio solution, not the GPU.
However, if you have a high-end GPU that includes audio capabilities, it may provide additional audio processing and output options, but this will not necessarily result in an improvement in overall audio quality compared to a dedicated sound card.
It’s also worth mentioning that some GPUs may have features such as audio pass-through or multi-channel audio output, which can provide additional audio functionality, but this is not the same as improving the sound quality.
If you are looking to improve the audio quality of your PC, you may want to consider adding a dedicated sound card or an external audio solution.
So, I hope that you got a clear idea of do motherboards come with sound cards. Sound cards are really important hardware in your motherboard that you will need to enjoy a quality audio system.
While not all the motherboards come with sound cards, you can still have some customized ones that can contain the hardware. But you should know that the dedicated ones are always the better ones.
I hope this article was helpful to you and you could get everything you wanted to know about.