I used to use just the onboard, but then I put some sound cards in. I don't know why I did that, I never really cared about sound. When I had the onboard sound, I hardly ever even turned on the sound. I'm an image kind of guy, all I need to do is see. The only time I turn the sound on is when I'm playing a game, although most of the time I don't even turn the sound on when I'm doing that. I have to admit, the sound is better with the sound card.