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Nostalgia for dedicated sound cards

Ok so I was just thinking a bit and started to feel nostalgic for dedicated sound cards. 

 

But let's set things straight first. As some might have figured out I am a Mac user (iMac) so currently the entire deal with expandability isn't really my thing now days. But in late 90ies early 2000s I used to build my own PCs. 

 

And yes I know there are still dedicated sound cards, but AFAIK it's either really niche or not really needed. 

 

But back in the day I remembered there being a big difference between sound cards. Back then a lot of music in games where MIDI and the difference between a low tier sound card and for example a Sound Blaster AWE 32 was immense in games. 

 

I also remembered when I upgraded my sound card (Gravis Ultrasound) to a Sound Blaster with EAX support, it was a big deal. 

 

Also since CPU power was more limited back then a good sound card could positively impact your performance in games. 

 

What I don't miss is odd ports being relegated to the sound card (FireWire, joystick). 

 

Today sound cards are a non issue because the integrated sound in every system is good. But I still can't stop dreaming (through nostalgia) that having dedicated sound cards to fiddle with was a thing to differentiate your system from your friends.

 

Maybe it was the modularity of old computers that had a charm. Back then you hade your mother board with CPU and RAM, Networking was a expansion card, sound was a expansion card, you had a graphics as a expansion card, you had a 3d accelerator as an expansion card (separate from your graphics card) etc. 

 

 

Oh and my prediction of the next thing to go away as a dedicated expansion (and this will upset a lot of people here) is graphics. 

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11 minutes ago, Spindel said:

Oh and my prediction of the next thing to go away as a dedicated expansion (and this will upset a lot of people here) is graphics. 

Upsets no one, because it is simply NOT happening. If it happened at all it would be by adding another socket to the motherboard for the GPU. But seeing as GPU's use a lot of power it would mean another massive heatsink on the motherboard. Not to mention you'd need more RAM slots as GPU's use different RAM. The heatsink alone would block a lot of the space needed for expansion cards. Or they would have to increase the size of the motherboard.

Let's just cut to it and say that adding the graphics to the motherboard makes the board WAY to complicated, and onboard gpu's are simply not powerful enough, and they'll never be.

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18 minutes ago, Spindel said:

Oh and my prediction of the next thing to go away as a dedicated expansion (and this will upset a lot of people here) is graphics

Not happening, literally zero chance. Back in the day there were plenty of mobos with GPUs built into them and guess what happened? Oh, that's right: you just can't cram a high-end GPU into a mobo, period, and those mobo-builtin GPUs went the way of the dodo and became discrete ones.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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I still have my Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB (bought 8 years ago) for my HTPC with Genius SP-HF1800A. It's great :)

PC #1 : Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI | i7-7700 | Cryorig C7 Cu | 16GB DDR4-2400 | LSI SAS 9211-8i | 240GB NVMe M.2 PCIe PNY CS2030 | SSD&HDDs 49.5TB total | Quantum LTO5 HH SAS drive | GC-Alpine Ridge | Corsair HX750i | Cooler Master Stacker STC-T01 | ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ 2560x1440 @ 60 Hz (plugged HDMI port, shared with PC #2) | Win10
PC #2 : Gigabyte MW70-3S0 | 2x E5-2667 v3 | 2x Intel BXSTS200C | 32GB DDR4-2133 ECC Reg | Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming OC 8G | 6x 120GB SSD SATA RAID0 SanDisk Plus | Seasonic SSR-850TR | Lian Li PC-A77 | ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ 2560x1440 @ 144 Hz (plugged DP port, shared with PC #1) | Win10
PC #3 : Mini PC Zotac 4K | Celeron N3150 | 8GB DDR3L 1600 | 250GB M.2 SATA WD Blue | Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB | Samsung Blu-ray writer USB | Genius SP-HF1800A | TV Panasonic TX-40DX600E UltraHD | Win10
PC #4 : ASUS P2B-F | PIII 500MHz | 512MB SDR 100 | Leadtek WinFast GeForce 256 SDR 32MB | 2x Guillemot Maxi Gamer 3D² 8MB in SLI | Creative Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA | 80GB HDD UATA | Fortron/Source FSP235-60GI | Zalman R1 | DELL E151FP 15" TFT 1024x768 | Win98SE

Laptop : Lenovo ThinkPad T61p | T9500 | 4GB DDR2 667 | Quadro FX 570m | 120GB SSD OCZ Vertex 2 | 15.4" TFT 1920x1200 | Win10

PC tablet : Fujitsu Point 1600 | PMMX 166MHz | 160MB EDO | 20GB HDD UATA | external floppy drive | 10.4" DSTN 800x600 touchscreen | AGFA SnapScan 1212u blue | Win98SE

Laptop collection #1 : IBM ThinkPad 340CSE | 486SLC2 66MHz | 12MB RAM | 360MB IDE | internal floppy drive | 10.4" DSTN 640x480 256 color | Win3.1 with MS-DOS 6.22

Laptop collection #2 : IBM ThinkPad 380E | PMMX 150MHz | 80MB EDO | NeoMagic MagicGraph128XD | 2.1GB IDE | internal floppy drive | internal CD-ROM drive | Intel PRO/100 Mobile PCMCIA | 12.1" FRSTN 800x600 16-bit color | Win98

Laptop collection #3 : Toshiba T2130CS | 486DX4 75MHz | 32MB EDO | 520MB IDE | internal floppy drive | 10.4" STN 640x480 256 color | Win3.1 with MS-DOS 6.22

And 5 others computers (2 Apple classic, 1 mini PC WinXP and 2 PC pocket WinCE)

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