A Sound Card Definition can vary depending on which web site you visit. Audio Cards enable your PC to create and play sound! However, there is much more to these cards than you may realise.
This is part 1 of a 4 part tutorial series on audio cards. Here we answer the question: What is the definition of a sound card? We also discuss what the modern sound card can be used for.
Part 2 explains How To Install A Sound Card. Here we walk you through the steps of installing a physical sound card into your PC. This really is a simple process.
How to install Creative Labs Sound Card Drivers is the focus of Part 3. If you want your new card to work correctly, you need to install the drivers.
Is your Sound Card Not Working? The final part of the tutorial series looks at what you can do if you are having problems.
To determine a sound card definition, we really need to answer the simple question: What is a sound card ?
A sound card is also know by various other names, for example, Audio Adapter, Audio Card and Sound Board.
It is a card that slots inside of your computer, into a PCI slot on your motherboard. It enables you to playback music and record things such as your own voice into a microphone.
Sound cards are standard on all modern computers. All laptops and lots of PC's have an internal speaker for audio output.
However, in my experience, internal speakers are low quality. The output can be distorted and difficult to listen to.
All audio cards have the option to plug in external speakers. This can improve the output quality.
You can also adjust the volume on external speakers in addition to the operating system volume.
Do you agree with me that internal speakers are of poor quality? Argue the case for and against by completing the Internal Speaker Quality: Good Or Bad? Form at the bottom of this page.
Read about What Other Visitors Think at the bottom of this page.
A cheap sound card or expensive ones all come with other features today.
In addition to a port for a microphone and another for speakers, most sound cards come with a port for a joystick for gaming.
They also come with an auxiliary port for connecting devices such as a hi-fi system or amplifier. Headphones can also be connected.
There are a lot of products on the market that plug into sound cards. For example, products that enable you to convert old vinyl records or tape to MP3.
Modern PC's are colour co-ordinated to make things easier. Each port will have a colour that closely matches the cable that plugs into it.
Inside of your machine, there is an audio cable that connects your CD/DVD drive to your sound card.
This is usually the only way your machine can produce the sound from your music CD or movie DVD.
A lot of today's computers do not have a PCI sound card plugged into the motherboard. Instead, the audio technology is part of the motherboard. This is known as an integrated sound card.
This is also the case for laptops and tablet computers.
The very expensive cards have other technologies built in to edit and produce professional quality sound by eliminating noise and improving sound tones.
If you want to know more about how audio cards work, take a look at this Learning About Computers (Opens New Window) tutorial.
It is remarkable to think that before these cards existed, computers could only make a beep noise!
An integrated card is more then adequate for every day home users. However if you need more advanced features you will have to buy a card and fit it into your computer.
The integrated card will also need to be disabled on the motherboard. This is done in the Computer BIOS.
I hope the sound card definition is clearer to you. Now, it is time for you to take a look at the How To Install A Sound Card tutorial.
Do you think internal PC/Laptop speakers are of good or poor sound quality? Argue the case here!
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