I am thinking about about adding a new sound card to my Dell Dimension 9150 XPS400 as the existing onboard Sigmatel does not allow recording of the sound that is coming out the speakers and I want to be able to use the Audacity software to do this.
If I do this will the microphone and headset sockets on the front of the computer stop working or are they completely separate?
What interface options do I have with my computer?
Thinking of a Creative Labs make. I am using XP MCE.
First, with ANY sound card the front panel headphone and mic jacks will not work as they are only set up, through the front panel connection to the motherboard.
If you "must have" up front mic and headphone jacks, there is one model of the SoundBlaste Xfi that has an external I/O box that you can set on your PC desk.
If/When you install a new sound card, first disable the Integrated Audio in the BIOS (setup). You don't have to uninstall any software, just the disabling is all that is needed.
Follow the new sound card's installation procedure - most of the time, it will tell you when you start Windows to not allow Windows to search for drivers and cancel out that Windows function and when Windows completes it's startup then put the SoundBlaster installation CD in the drive and then do a complete (all drivers and software) from the SoundBlaster CD.
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Thank you for your very helpful answer. At the moment I do not have any spare PCI sockets although I could remove a TV Tuner card that I do not use. There are however 2 other empty bays, each have a different type of black socket. One is about 2cm long and the other about 6cm long. Can either of these be used for a sound card? I think they might be PCI Express sockets but do not know how to identify the type. They are labelled as Slot 1 and Slot 4 on the actual motherboard. Slot 1 being the smaller one and Slot 4 the larger.
Finally once a sound card is installed (regardless of interface or make) is there any other internal wiring from the card itself that I would have to do?
Would appreciate your help.
I don't know what the "black" connectors are. You probably have a PCIeX16 slot for video and a PCIeX1 slot that could be used by some other device if you could find a card that is PCIeX1 compatible.
SoundBlaster also makes a USB connected sound device (card). I know nothing about it other than I've seen it on the SoundBlaster site.