What is a sound card?

What is a sound card and what is the purpose of it? does my pc motherboard have a sound card built in?  I have an dell optiplex 3050 

Windows 10 Pro 

CPU I5-7500

3.40 Ghz Base

16 Gb Ram Installed  

GPU: NVDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI

4 Answers

  • 6 months ago
    Favourite answer

    The motherboard on the Optiplex 3050 does have a built in Soundcard, aka Integrated Audio. The quality is enough if you're not a real big audiophile. If you're looking to upgrade the sound quality because you have an expensive headset then it would probably be for the best to get a DAC, and not fuss with a dedicated Soundcard. 

    The purpose of a soundcard is to increase audio clarity, give you more audio adjustment options, and a decent soundcard will be able to broadcast the sound at a higher decibel level. Most likely, The onboard audio solution in your Dell won't be able to take advantage of a 5.1 channel speaker system.  The downside is you need expensive speakers or headset to take advantage of the increased audio power, and Soundcard drivers and setup are known to be a pain to deal with. 

    If you're looking for something to complement a Sennheiser headset then I'd suggest looking at a DAC.

  • 6 months ago

    Some sound cards give better sound than chips built onto the motherboard but the chips have gotten much better to where they give good sound now.

  • 6 months ago

    Dedicated Sound cards exist to provide better quality Hi-Fi stereo sound, with top end stereo speaker systems. However sound built into motherboards these days is usually quite adequate for most listeners.

  • Bill-M
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Sound Card.   So you can listen to Music and other sounds on your speakers.

    Sound Card is built into the Motherboard.  On very old computers the Sound Card was a separate IO Card that plugged into the Motherboard.

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