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Soundcard internal inputs for front case plugs

by maheshkumaryadav / July 26, 2006 5:59 AM PDT

I'm currently using the onboard sound, Realteck AC'97 Audio. My computer case has the motherboard plugs that allow me to use the inputs on the front of my case. I use the headset and microphone jacks, and I enjoy the fact that when I have the headphone jack in, the speakers are muted.

But I'm finding now alot of skipping with the onboard sound when playing games.

What I was woundering if anyone knows of a soundcard that would work well with my frontside jacks. The cluge of using cables to access the soundcards external jacks isn't an option, I like the clean look of the computer without all the cables going in and out of the back.

Thanks in advance

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Creative Soundcard
by That Blur / July 27, 2006 8:52 PM PDT

Although it isnt a cheap option, you could always go for one of the creative soundblaster cards as many of themn include a front drive bay which would have even more functionality than your current setup, but you may have to splash out a little.
On the front of the skipping audio. If this is just occuring in games it is probably due to your pc devoting most of its power to the graphics, so there is choppy sound. Certinly any creative card in the audigy or x-fi range will help ease the load on your cpu.

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(NT) creative soundcard
by imaginate / July 27, 2006 11:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Creative Soundcard

To relieve some strain on my 4 year old p4g533 motherboard, I disabled the onboard sound and installed a creative audigy zs platinum soundboard which has the front mounted i/o device. While I've read of people having trouble installing this card, I report no problems. This particular card is currently available from for $169.95. With free shipping and a $100.00 rebate, you end up paying $69.95 for a card that is frequently over $200.00

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sound card
by djujecmaoseoionnn / July 28, 2006 4:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Creative Soundcard

I have Sound Blaster X fi plat. Still has sound skips unless all audio for the game is in virtual CD rom file on the hard drive. CD Roms on games with lots of media to be transfered cant keep up or access the data as fast as needed. not all games are compatible with virtual CDs but allways do a full install from the CD this usually puts crucial media files on the hard disk especially if the game was on more than one CD Such as Far Cry. It has 5 CDs.

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check this...
by adkmom / July 28, 2006 8:32 AM PDT
In reply to: sound card
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soundcard plus
by linkit / July 28, 2006 12:14 AM PDT

As That Blur stated, adding a sound card that comes packaged with a front audio panel will give you those front ports. I like that idea.

I have this package and have been pleased with the front panel:

The X-Fi cards are supposed to be a step up from the Audigy2 and Audigy4 cards and usually make the gamers' wish lists.

An alternative to save some money is to get any decent soundcard and bring the rear ports up to within easy reach with something like the RadioShack Computer Headphone Speaker Switch. It has a button that you push to instantly switch between computer speakers and your headphones. You never have to swap cables. It's one of my computer hardware favs!

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noone answered your question so I will
by psytropic / July 28, 2006 1:12 PM PDT

Many new soundcards sold have the ac97 header (front audio input) on them. It follows a standard defined by Intel, even if its on an AMD motherboard.

Even Soundblasters have the front audio header in addition to THEIR OWN plug in for their input bay.

As for skipping, I would reccomend the newest drivers from Realtek, currently A3.90

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Did some more searching
by maheshkumaryadav / August 2, 2006 2:05 AM PDT

Thanks Psytropic.

I did some research on the web and found a few hacks for the soundblasters, but I just can't see myself making connectors and sodering anything if there is an elegant solution of just buying the right soundcard.

I'll update my drivers and do more searches for the AC97 header. Now that I know what to ask for maybe I'll more success.

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some more details
by linkit / August 2, 2006 4:30 AM PDT

The motherboard maker used the AC97 sound specification and circuitry. The pin header for connecting speaker and microphone to the motherboard is usually an Intel standard:

Just pull the appropriate wires off the motherboard pin header and connect them to the appropriate pins on a soundcard that has a pin header.

Another link:

If you manage to break the plastic header connectors, you can get new ones here:

* * * * *

The specific function of each pin (and therefore, the function of the wire connected to it) of the audio header on your motherboard is defined in your motherboard's manual.

* * * * *

Once again, all this work can be avoided by getting a soundcard that has its own front panel.

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