In anticipation of living in a dorm room next fall, I decided to buy headphones. I was frustrated with the quality (lack of) from my speakers, and decided that headphones would be an economical way to get good quality sound AND be considerate of future neighbors/roommates. Well these things offer a whole new listening experience. I am finding whole new layers in my music. It's like those "Claritin clear" commercials .
Now my friend, a true computer geek, tells me that I can get better sound and PC performance by switching to a dedicated sound card. He says that since I use onboard sound, it puts more of a drain on my CPU. If I was to switch to a dedicated sound card, I would free up CPU power. So I have a few questions:
1. Is it true that a dedicated sound card will free up my CPU any?
2. Currently I have onboard audio, it's Realtek ALC883. Will a sound card offer noticeable improvement?
3. Any recommendations for a sound card that offers a good compromise between performance and price?
I care about video/audio quality on my PC because this is the only thing I have to play CD's/DVD's. I don't have any other TV, and I don't like to use my parent's dedicated system.