How to install a new Sound Card?

I want to install a new sound card. Right now my motherboard has an on-board sound thing. It isn’t even a card, just a Realtek box attached to the motherboard.

You can see what I am talking about here in the manual:

My motherboard has a bunch of open pci-e slots and one regular pci slot so I assume that I will be buying a pci-e soundcard.

Can you break down in steps what I need to do in terms of hardware/software uninstallation and installation?

I am running Windows 7 64it.


It is pretty simple - buy a PCI-e soundcard. Make sure it has 64-bit drivers.

Shut down your PC.

Install the Card.

Boot it up - most likely, the card will be autodetected and the appropriate drivers installed. If not, you will be prompted for the driver disk that comes with the card.

Once the driver has been installed, use the Control Panel to reassign the default audio device to your new sound card.

That is it.

  1. Sounds cards are kind of redundant as the HDMI video card must send sound to the HDMI display.

  2. When you add a new sound card, and make an old one redundant, go to control panel , device manager and disable the old one. Or for the motherboard, perhaps disable it in the “bios setup” (or equiv setup, used to be called CMOS but much of the computer is CMOS these days… Was CMOS when CMOS was only used for the NVRAM and RTC … )

As alluded to above, do you mind if I ask you why you want to install a sound card in the first place?

Your motherboard already supports S/PDIF digital audio and if what you want is HDMI, then the card that you should want to install is a video card, not a sound card - unless you have some out of the ordinary, special requirements.

voltaire, my on-board sound is starting to occasionally glitch. It started when listening to music while playing Diablo 2. Then the glitching would sometimes occur even when the game wasn’t playing. I am reinstalling drivers and codecs right now to see if that will fix it. I am also going to try other music players.

also first make sure that your speakers or headphones aren’t causing a problem.

No, this is digital glitching, like when CDs skip.

On-Mobo sound systems are not always the best, either in audio performance or function. Many of the Realteks, for example, had problems with a whole generation of games. I’ve also had them fail in various ways, meaning I needed to drop in a replacement card.

A $20 sound card won’t be any better than a Mobo one, but it may be more compatible. You can also install much higher-end sound cards that have extensive low-level access and programmability, and adjustable sound profiles. A good idea if you have a decent 5.1 or 7.1 speaker array.

Not every sound output is going to an HDMI TV, even these days.

You can also consider an external sound card that plugs in to USB. Don’t even have to open the case, and it’s easy to move when your next new computer also has problems with the built-in Realtek sound.

I don’t suppose anyone would mind an eeeety beeeety hijack? I’ve been considering buying a new sound card also because my onboard one is glitchy.

I have jacks in the back directly to the board, and also jacks in the front of the case that connect with an extension to the to MB.

The speaker jack in the back just quit working one day. The one in the front still works…I’ve just been using that one, which is messy as far as cables go. Any ideas what went wrong with the back one?