Computers today play an important role in bringing various multimedia functions to people across the globe. They have been the major contributor to an ever-increasing consumption of video, audio and other formats that has, in the past few years, revolutionized
If you have a PC, chances are high that it has a sound card. Sound cards are hardware components that are slotted into machines to allow for the connection of audio devices, such as headphones and speakers. What, then, are some of the types of sound cards that you can expect to find out there?
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The sound cards and other hardware components that are on your computer need to have up to date drivers to work properly. Your computer’s drivers are the link between its hardware and its Operation System. Without them, devices such as printers, sound cards and hard drives would not be recognized.
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Types of Sound Cards
A wide variety of sound cards can be found on the market today. If you have a computer, chances are that it came with a sound card pre-installed. While this is quite adequate for most people, enthusiasts and professionals usually take the extra step of upgrading the sound cards that are on their machines. So, what are the main types of sound cards that one can expect to come across?
On-board Sound Cards
Most computers come with onboard sound chips. These are embedded right into the motherboard and provide a basic sound functionality that is enough for most people.
PCI Sound Cards
PCI sound cards are different from onboard sound chips in that they are not part of the motherboard. Instead they are fitted into the sound card slot that is in your computer. An example of this type of sound card is the E-MU 0404 PCIe Digital Audio System.
USB Sound Cards
A third type of sound card connects to your computer through USB ports. One of the major advantages in this regard is that you don’t have to open your computer to plug them in.
FireWire Audio Interfaces
Also referred to as IEEE 1394, FireWire Audio interfaces provide a much faster data transfer rate. They work in the same way as USB sound cards.
PCMCIA / PC Cardbus
Also called PC Cards, these were designed for laptops and fit into conventional slots. They can be connected to modern laptops using adapters.
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