Onboard Sound Vs. Add in Sound Card

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ROBSCIX, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Fle@

    Fle@ Member

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    Onboard has become better the last few years with options in the back and some doing 7.1

    I perfer a add in sound card. Most handle more better and I would think most will notice after addin PCI card a better overall sound.

    I went for a small pc theater for nite 24in widescreen

    My Logitech Z5500 needs a SPDIF to get the most options

    For sound so I went Audigy2 ZS PLT PRO with External hub SPDIF

    a few asus ones have used in past for short time and I was thinking for just music maybe.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2006
  2. VoGonPT

    VoGonPT New Member

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    Hear ya,

    But a friend gave me a SB live! 24 Bit, and I was using Soundmax from Asus, it is still better than using onboard right? (considering the fact that it was free... lol)

    Behave
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Well the 24 bit Lives! are usually frowned upon to buy but Yes it'll still sound better than a onboard. Do a A/B test install and listen to it if you like it use it if you don't pull it back out..Hope that helps.
     
  4. VoGonPT

    VoGonPT New Member

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    First of all thanks for your prompt reply man.

    Using the Soundmax onboard had its uses (mainly because of having the headphones in all the time and not having to plug them in and out as in SB Live!'s case (and yes, I have a ear jack in the front of the case but it sucks...), but from reading one of your other posts I think it still eats CPU cycles and SB Live! does not right? So I would benefit performance using SB Live! - I believe not that much more that I had, but still a few CPU cycles. (Until money comes to buy a good sound card...)

    Didn't do a 3dmark with it before since I installed my 6800GS at the same time, so the difference was huge from my X700 Pro, but I can tell you that now I can do sound tests in 3dmark 03 that I was not able to, not sure about 3dmark 06 (with Soundmax no for sure) and with 05 I still have to find the CD I have it in so i can compare it to my old setup.

    Ah, and the most important thing about soundcards... Sound. - it sounds better than it did with Soundmax, although I have some noise interferences in Mark Ecko's Getting Up, but that is probably because my windows is now a bit messed up from all these different drivers... and that leads me into another question for you... Using 64bit windows should I use soundmax and asus driver for 64 bit or does Creative support older models with 64bit drivers?

    Thanks
     

  5. double_cut

    double_cut Ancient Guru

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    Im in a similar sitiuation; I dont know whether to use my onboard Azalia HD Audio or add in PCI SB Live! 5.1. The Azalia thing actually sounds pretty good as far as I can tell.

    Also, im fairly sure, but please correct me if otherwise, that using normal software sound there would be a very minimal difference between onboard and add in sound, simply because the cpu is still doing the work. Also should mention my Azalia card handles EAX better then my SB Live! does.

    Tbh, awesome sound is pretty far down my list in terms of priorities, id rather blow the cash on a faster cpu or better cooling etc. Sound is just so subjective and so influenced by environment etc that getting tangible gains in terms of quality isnt always easy, certainly without spending some serious money.

    "That spell is not ready yet!"
    "He can't join our group!"
    "I need more mana!"

    How much quality do I really need to say those eh? ;)
     
  6. QuadCannons

    QuadCannons Ancient Guru

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    The good thing is, soundcards don't update as quickly as GFX cards. They should start making 3D audio accelerator cards, soundcards that help with games and increase FPS:) (The X-Fi supposedly does more MIPs than a P4 3Ghz)
     
  7. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Hey it's up to you man, use what you like. I would still try both and see which one is better.
    @Vogon, That's the bad thing with the Live! 24 bit, the have ho hardware support for EAX..so your cpu is doing the calculations again. This is because the card has NO 10KX processor which almost all the other Creative cards do.
    As far as 64bit drivers go, your kinda at the mercy of Creative for that one. Check their site and see what's available.
     
  8. ohno

    ohno Member Guru

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    sheesh, i would if they make our lives a little easier by providing front audio inputs
     
  9. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Not many add in soundcards have a header for front audio connectors, the new Auzentech X-purity does. I am not sure the price though...
     
  10. Mad Cow

    Mad Cow Maha Guru

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    It's possible to modify some Creative cards for front audio.
     

  11. xg-ei8ht

    xg-ei8ht Ancient Guru

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    Actually i do have a question concerning this subject.

    At the momment i'm using soundstorm and i think it sounds good. I've heard other systems and thought they sound good, but like a good graphic card, its nothing with a good monitor. So if you gonna invest buy some nice speakers.

    Sorry this is my question

    in 3dmark03 i get 42(no sound),38(24sounds) 33,(60sounds)fps

    My m8 with a faster system,processor,etc but with a audigy gets.

    3dmark03 70(nosnd) 64(24) 60(60)fps

    My question is, how much does this affect gaming. Does a soundstorm slow your system down?
     
  12. roguesn1per

    roguesn1per Ancient Guru

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    it would be his processor that is giving him higher FPS
     
  13. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Actually, If I remember correctly the Soundstorm audio solution connstec to the bus in a different way then normal AC'97's so the soundstorm doesn't hurt performance the same way other onboards do. Atleast that how I remember it. He is right though it's probably his CPU giving him the higher scores...add-in soundcards with dedicated DSP's are usually better though and provide better scores than onboards. -maybe somebody who is using a Soundstorm can comment on this subject. I read that info Wild posted, very informative, although I think there are other factors to consider when comparing a Soundstorm to a Full add-in PCI. Especially when running EAX enabled games. It is a good read though...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2006
  14. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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  15. WildStyle

    WildStyle Ancient Guru

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    You might find this article useful: http://tomshardware.co.uk/2003/04/05/sound_can_be_hazardous_for_games/index.html

    I remember reading it when I used SoundStorm on my NF7-S. It shows the differences in frames per second when using a variety of sound cards, including SoundStorm.

    Also I believe that (this is from memory) unless you're using the digital out you're not using "SoundStorm" as such. If you use the analog out you're still using the basic Realtek codec. If you use digital though you will hear the benefits. You don't indicate which you're using though.
     

  16. weaponx525

    weaponx525 New Member

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    With all the discussion about CPU cycle gain from using an add-in sound card I think I will try to install one of my generic pci sound cards. My mother board has onboard sound. Am I correct to assume that the correct procedure to install a sound card onto a mother board with existing onboard sound is to:

    1) Disable the onboard sound in bios.
    2) Power off.
    3) Install PCI sound card.
    4) Power up and boot to windows.
    5) install software for sound card.

    What about setting IRQ's and such in bios? Will the PCI bus auto detect the card? What other settings in bios are there to consider.
     
  17. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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    Looks good for the install procedure. One thing though, a "generic" sound card won't take any load off of the cpu, it will work/perform the same as the onboard sound as it still has to do all sound processing in software. About the only thing you may get out of it is better sound.
     
  18. Mr.Bigtime

    Mr.Bigtime Ancient Guru

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    I think SBLIVE is considered s GENERIC?
     
  19. JMerrick

    JMerrick Member Guru

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    I bought Audigy 4 about a month ago, have just returned it and gone back to my SoundMAX. That's how much I despise Creative's ugly software implementation (bloated driver, bloated apps), and some silly hardware design flaws (plugs too close together, calling the CD connector "Aux" instead of "CD Player" screwing up volume control for CDDA games. The performance and quality was nice, but my SoundMAX sounds very nearly as good and performance loss is only 5%.
     
  20. roguesn1per

    roguesn1per Ancient Guru

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    wow you musnt know how to use computers if u gave backa A4
     

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