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Is a Sound Card Necessary for Gaming?

is a sound card necessary for gaming

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When you’re building your gaming PC setup, you want to have the best of the best when it comes to internal components. You’ll also want to include everything that will provide you with that edge over your multiplayer opponents but will a sound card do that?

In this article, we’ll break down what a sound card is, give you the answer to ‘is a sound card necessary for gaming?’, and provide you with some sound card options if you’d like to purchase one for yourself.

What is a Sound Card?

A sound card, which is sometimes referred to as an audio output device or audio card, is an expansion card that allows sound to be transferred from your PC to whatever the output is hooked up to.

Technically, for your PC to run, it doesn’t actually need a sound card and you can get by perfectly fine without one. You’ll obviously lose the ability to hear anything i.e. notification noises or in-game audio, but if you just want a typing machine, maybe you won’t miss one.

Nowadays, external sound cards are certainly on the downward trend due to the fact that most motherboards come with a sound card built-in and therefore, almost making them redundant. On the flip side though, the built-in sound card of your motherboard might be a little lackluster and that’s where these external boards come in to bolster that audio.

Is a Sound Card Necessary for Gaming?

So now we’ve given you more of an understanding of what a sound card is, let’s answer the question of if a sound card is necessary for gaming.

In short, a sound card isn’t really that necessary for gaming simply due to the fact that you’ll probably have one already installed in your motherboard.

However, if your motherboard is a little bit old or not a gaming variant, you could pick up another sound card to maximize performance. Additionally, if you need more audio outputs from your PC, which your built-in sound card might be limited in, purchasing another that boasts a bunch of ports could be what you need.

Overall, you don’t need an additional sound card for gaming as your motherboard will have one already installed but, if you want the maximum performance or need more outputs, it could be a worthy purchase.

Best Gaming Sound Cards

Basically, we’ve come to the conclusion that today’s motherboards do offer built-in sound cards that should be perfectly fine for gaming. Moreover, if you have a gaming-specific motherboard, it might have an even higher spec sound card that could perform better.

However, with that being said, if you want the absolute best of the best internal components for your gaming setup or simply need more outputs, purchasing a different sound card could be the way to go. Here are the best gaming sound cards we’ve found.

Sound Blaster ZSound Blaster Z
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FXCreative Sound Blaster Audigy FX
ASUS XONAR SEASUS XONAR SE
Sound BlasterX G6Sound BlasterX G6
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Omni SurroundCreative Labs Sound Blaster Omni Surround

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