Do you always feel like It’s such a challenge to make the right choices when you need to buy a new computer or laptop? It’s true it can get very personal when deciding which specifications are best, either for working from the comfort of your home or your carry-on, lifesaving laptop.
Consumers’ needs range from simply sending and receiving emails, to the basic functions of Microsoft Office, all the way to gamer PCs or laptops and their high-end processors and amazing sound systems.
But what if it comes to audio being the most important feature when you have to decide between two or three computers or laptops? If all other aspects have been covered in a satisfactory manner and the audio card is the component to decide if you take this one or that one, here’s a comparison that should help you make up your mind.
Nowadays, there are only two big competitors when it comes to computer and laptop sound systems – and they are either the NVIDIA high-definition audio or the Realtek high-definition audio. Since it’s extremely likely that one of these two HD audio drivers, which are components that help enhance the quality or fidelity of your audio system, will be offered as an option for your new computer or laptop, let’s see what they have to offer.
High Definition Audio vs Realtek: Which One Is The Best?
What Do Realtek HD Audio Codecs Have To Offer?
Under the promise of delivering amazing audio quality to your devices, Realtek high-definition audio codecs are what you can call a sure option, whether you are listening to music through your headphones or enjoying the soundtrack of a high-end game through your PC speakers. Being mostly associated with Dell laptops, as well as with their motherboards (the biggest piece of hardware to which almost all other devices are connected), it delivers outstanding audio quality.
Be careful, nevertheless. When attempting to use Realtek high-def audio codecs with SFF, which stands for Small Form Factor and is represented by smaller, more compact PC cases, since these usually have their headphone connectors in the front part. This may cause induction screeching sounds if they are positioned too close to the internet components.
Regarding the quality, the sound with Realtek high-def audio codecs is generally referred to as smooth and immersive. This is mainly because of the great compatibility they have with more modern motherboards, ever so visible with a few even more updated special Realtek sound cards that can be integrated into the motherboard, such as Realtek 887 and Realtek 892 HD audio cards.
In this area, it’s important to notice that the specifications of the motherboard will most definitely influence the quality of the audio system. So, high-definition audio cards should run with solid capacitors in order to prevent your motherboard from hindering the best sound experience your system can deliver. Basically, make sure the motherboard of your new computer or laptop advertises good audio quality and that should be enough!
On a second thought, users should bear in mind that the quality of the audio files is a major factor when it comes to delivering great audio experience. Should the quality of the files be lower, then your Realtek High-definition audio system will probably not work a miracle and deliver clear, smooth sound. On the other hand, by making sure you’re running good quality audio files, you may just witness your system showing how immersive it’s HD audio codecs can make your favourite songs.
Compatibility is a factor to be taken in consideration upon choosing your sound system as well, since not all audio files will be compatible with a Realtek high-def audio card. And for that matter, there will always be an audio format that will not be compatible with any audio card you think of getting. Disregarding that, Realtek offers a great compatibility ratio with most of the current audio file formats, while delivering great quality and performance.
The best feature for Realtek High-def audio cards is how easy they are to set up. It does not require much technical expertise neither for the card itself nor for the corresponding drivers, making it extremely easy even for users that are not used to handling hardware. A good example of this is the auto-installation of the audio consoles, upon downloading the recommended Realtek HD audio driver, which delivers a fairly more practical and functional control of most of your audio needs.
Finally, it’s remarkable how cognitive and user-friendly the integration of Realtek High-definition audio cards is, which is made visible via their auto-recognition features either for speakers and headphones connected to your computer or laptop or even for microphones. Also, the convenience of having an audio console setting up all definitions, but at the same time allowing users to tailor them to their perfect tuning, makes the audio experience ever so enjoyable.
And What About NVIDIA High-Def Audio Cards and Codecs?
Firstly, the diversity of platforms through which users can run NVIDIA high-definition audio cards and codecs is amazing. It will definitely deliver great audio quality on pretty much any Windows version; Vista, XP (64-bit), Windows 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions), amongst others.
Via their specially designed GPUs, a unit that processes graphics and manipulates your system’s memory to enhance the creation of images or videos, with their internal audio codecs, NVIDIA high-def audio system shows it has come to take the podium. Since it is integrated into the graphics card, NVIDIA audio cards deliver excellent sound quality with their internal sound controller, while HDMI connectivity is allowed by means of their special audio codecs, which enables outstanding quality both for graphics and sounds.
It’s important to note that NVIDIA audio cards do not support analog versions of audios. That said, any computer or laptop nowadays come with a built-in audio system that plays most forms of analog audio.
The downside is that analog audio constitutes an essential feature when it comes to the connections between headphones, speakers, and microphones to the computer or laptop. So, bear that in mind when deciding which sound card fits better into what you’re looking for audio-wise.
Another noteworthy feature of NVIDIA high-def audio cards is their multiple audio channels compatibility, which brings along very advanced audio formats, such as the ones in Blu-Ray pictures. This will definitely deliver a greater audio experience both in quality and performance. And the best thing about all this is that there’s no need for any unconventional and hard-to-find cables to connect to your HDTV.
It becomes a matter of using a HDMI cable to connect your NVIDIA HD audio card – which is already integrated into a graphics card – to any High-Definition TV set to simply enjoy the amazing experience of a streamlined access to high-definition audio and video files.
There’s even an optimization feature for 1080 displays with NVIDIA high-def audio driver and its integrated control panel, leaving to your convenience the definitions of audio settings, which will very likely be auto-tuned to the default configuration of the device you choose to connect to your computer or laptop. In any case, should you wish to change the settings, just make sure the audio is coming from the NVIDIA high-definition audio card (and not from your TV or other device, and access your control panel to tune it into perfection.
Beware, nevertheless, of the regular updating of your NVIDIA high-def audio drivers and codecs in order to maintain the great clear smooth sound your system can provide if it’s running with the latest components. Tech companies are every now and then offering best solutions or features to even further enhance users’ audio experiences, so make sure to keep an eye on what’s new from NVIDIA.
Apart from that, users have reported reduced audio quality upon the use of cables longer than twelve feet, as well as HDMI switches, audio receivers and/or KVM, which mainly presented lower fidelity to the original audio files.
Whilst both providers promise to deliver high-definition audio experiences, and in that they may as well be in the same level, consider also the downsides as factors before choosing the perfect audio system for your new computer or laptop.