What is a Sound Card?:
The sound card is an expansion card that allows the computer to send audio information to an audio device like speakers or a pair of headphones.
The Sound Card is Also Known As:
audio card, audio adapter, sound adapter
Important Sound Card Facts:
Many modern computers do not have sound expansion cards but instead have the same technology integrated directly onto the motherboard. This allows for a less expensive computer and only a slightly less powerful audio system. This option is wise for nearly every computer user, even the music fan. Dedicated sound cards are usually only necessary for the serious audio professional.
Popular Sound Card Manufacturers:
Sound Card Description:
A sound card is rectangular in shape with numerous contacts on the bottom of the card and multiple ports on the side for connection to audio devices such as speakers.
The sound card installs in a PCI slot on the motherboard.
Since the motherboard, case and peripheral cards are designed with compatibility in mind, the side of the sound card fits just outside the back of the case when installed, making its ports available for use. Most sound cards have ports for a joystick, speaker, microphone and an auxiliary device. Still other cards may have inputs and outputs designed for more advanced tasks such as audio editing and professional audio output.