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Back in the dark ages of PC gaming, when MS-DOS was the usual platform and the mouse was an optional affair, one had two choices for getting sound out of the PC. Choice one: get a Sound Blaster card, and let the games do their thing mostly unassisted. Choice two: get another card and try to trick your system into thinking that it was a Sound Blaster. Things have gotten considerably better since that time; modern OSes provide an audio API that allows games to handle sound input and output without having to care about what sound system you have under the hood. Cue the rise of onboard audio, and the demise of add-in sound cards as a requirement for a gaming PC. There’s still a place for sound cards in the modern PC market, though. Maybe you need a low-latency sound system with a dedicated APU for professional audio creation. Maybe you want a gaming-oriented card with lots of extra post-processing effects for 3D sound. Maybe your onboard audio just has an unacceptably high amount of line noise, and you want to kill the hiss or whine coming out of your speakers. For these reasons, the add-in sound card is here to stay.
By MaximumPC, published 11-02-2011
Creative hedges its bets Is Creative buying into the notion of the post-PC world? The Sound Blaster Recon3D is a powerful USB audio device based on Creative’s all-new Sound Core3D chip. But you can also connect the Recon3D to an Xbox 360, PS3, or even an Intel-based Mac. Creative tells us the Sound Core3D doesn’t boast the naked power of the company’s previous-generation audio processor, but...