Why is the volume so low on my computer speakers?

On my old no-name computer my old JBL Pro computer speakers could get pretty loud and sound decent too. Now I have them hooked up to my new computer, an IBM NetVista and I can turn the computer volume all the way up and the sound won't go loud enough. This is a real problem on things like youtube and at other sites too; it happens on cd's too or almost any situation where audio is required. It's too bad because I really like the quality of these computer speakers. Any solutions? or do I just have to buy new speakers? If I'm stuck can you recommend other speakers at a reasonable cost? Thanks
It's because your old computer had an amplifier built into the sound card/system board and the new computer doesn't. Almost all newer computers require powered speakers, not passive ones like the old computers had.

You can buy any powered computer speaker setup. There is a nice looking Boston Acoustics setup on closeout at Audio Advisor right now. I don't know if it is any better than any other computer speakers, but at least it is a reputable company. Here's a link:


Reubent: thanks very much.
If you really like the speakers you could add an amplifier between the computer and the JBL's. I'm sure there are lots of options, one would be to get one of the little Sonic Impact chip amps at $25 or $30. It's advertised as having 15 watts but it's probably more like 8. Still, that should be more than enough to drive speakers intended for computers. I use a modified one to drive some small Acoustic Energy speakers and it sounds great.
Foster, you are most welcome!