Upgrade sound output for Dell Dimension 9200




Lately, I’ve been looking for ways to improve the sound output for my Dell PC.

I’m dealing with the following outputs (according to the manual):

seven back-panel connectors for line-in, line-out, microphone,
surround, side surround, center/subwoofer Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel, and S/PDIF; two front-panel connectors for headphones/microphone

I’m currently using the default analogue output. I’m not planning to go for the 7.1 surround output, mainly because those 7.1 sets can be pretty expensive, and it’s still analogue. The S/PDIF output seems appealing to me. Of course, you’d generally need a receiver to handle the digital signal but there are some monitor speakers that can handle the signal directly. Mainly this one: http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-MS40-Powered-Studio-Monitors/dp/B000IKSIOM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1272066110&sr=1-4

There are other possibilities, such as usb speakers, adding a pci express sound card or just buying much better 3.5mm input speakers… What do you think? What would be be the best and relatively cheapest way to ‘upgrade’ the sound output for my pc?
Thanks! :wink:


Yup that’s the best way to go, the ones you’ve selected are good. Another set to consider are the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers. The Bing search engine found some better prices for them HERE


Thanks for your reponse!
Yes, the Studiophile speakers also seem to get some very positive reviews. The only thing I notice is that they don’t have the optical input. Will this make much difference? I read somewhere on a forum that the SP/DIF output carries a surround sound signal, and using it for stereo only will not be any different from normal rca (analogue). What are you thoughts on that?


The optical output is definitely far superior quality wise, especially if your using a low-end sound card. The question is however, which monitor sounds better to the ear. And like you said your not using these speakers as 7.1, so the additional channel capabilities of the optical line is not the deciding factor. However the optical is a very clean signal, free of the electrical noise generated inside a PC or a low quality sound card.

Another good pick, but a little more money, M-Audio Studiophile BX5a Deluxe 70-watt Bi-amplified Studio Reference Monitors


The BX5a looks even better of course, although it is quite a bit above my budget. I’d like to stay in the price range of the MS 40 and the AV 40. Between those two models it will be a tough decision. The MS 40 uses optical input but the AV 40 seems to handle the sound very well. I have no experience at all with any digital output (yes I’m a poor basterd :bigsmile:) so I can’t really tell which one will sound better. My sound card doesn’t seem to be the best though. I notice quite some noise when recording (connecting the sound output with the mic). But it’s still hard to since I really don’t know how much cleaner the outputted sound will be. I don’t know how ‘bad’ my sound card is. Generally, would you advice the MS 40 over the AV 40 (or any other in the same price range)?


Yeah just go for the Behringer MS40, I’m sure you will be happy with them.


Where do you live, seems like you can do one very good deal on eBay if you live near zip code 14728.
…or without sub…



Ok, yes, was leaning most towards the Behringer MS40. The bx5a and the one that DiiZzY linked both use a XLR input. Is that any use for connecting to a pc?


BTW. I also possess a CD receiver (NXE300) with a pair of speakers (NXE300). They’re pretty good speakers but I don’t use them a lot. The problem is that I only use them in combination with the cd receiver, for playing cd’s or connecting a device to the red/white rca input. I’d like to make use of them more but they have 4mm banana plug/binding posts (as they’re called) and I’ve no idea where they can be connected to…


You can’t use the XLR connector but you can use the line in connector. The NXE300 aren’t active speakers so you need to connect them to an amp/rec not directly to a device.


What model is the receiver? Does it have optical inputs? Use that stuff if you can.


Oh sorry, I now see that I’ve used the same model name of the speakers… I use the CRX-E300 as a receiver, you can check out the different connections here on page 11: http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/av/english/hifis/CRX-E300_e.pdf

I’m afraid it’s pretty useless for anything except cd’s, it doesn’t have any other input except for red/white rca. Since the speakers are not active either, I’ll probably need to buy another amp to fully profit from them.


Well I can see a optical digital connector on the back of that receiver, just unplug the CD’s input and plug the computers output into their. You won’t need the CD player since your PC can do all of that. Its up to you, but thats definitely the cheapest way to go.


To avoid confusion, I only own the cd player (or receiver as they call it). It seems to have only optical output…