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Thread: Which is better onboard sound or PCI?




  1. #11
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    Negligible

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by [size=6
    tesna[/size]]
    Isn't onboard sound use cpu cycles especially onboard chip using AC 97 codec??
    The only time that I use an AC 97 codec (southbridge sound) is with office PC's but your motherboard has a hardware chip onboard which gives very good 4 channel sound plus with the processing power that you have are you really that worried about loosing 2-4fps in some game that you already have in excess of a 150fps? :?:
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  3. #13
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    Well, so far I have stuck with the onboard C-Media Chip and I personally can't notice much difference between the onboard chip and the Sounblaster 5.1. I don't have any 5.1 or 6.1 speakers, I have Altec Lansing' ATP3 which produce great sound, but I don't have surround speakers. The only problem I had with the C-Media chip is when doing a windows update, microsoft had a new driver posted, and I tried it out and it caused the sound to suck. So I rolled back the driver and all is well. Warcraft 3 sounds great on the card and DVD's are rocking so unless I am really missing something with SoundBlaster Audigy or something, I think I will put my soundblaster in my wife's computer.

    Oh yeah, I was having some problems with my Geforce 4 TI4400 in my box, causing the system to crash etc. It was just to big for my box, so I took the card back to circuit city and was able to exchange and pay the difference for a Radeon 9700 Pro!!! I love circuit city (and my new card rocks too!!!)
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  4. #14
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    in my opinion, the only advantage to having the onboard sound as compared to PCI is that you have room for something else to be used on those PCI slots........in a small case / small mobo.

    but when you build your own system or if you in general get a 'standar' sized medium sized or tall case , PCI is far better because the onboard chipsets can caus conflicts with the system if you put another sound card on there.......plus....... dont the onboard stuff automatically and permanently occupy IRQ and DMA request inputs (BIOS or otherwise)???? If I am correct about that last line....then I would say that it takes up necessary IRQ / DMA needed for adding other PCI cards onto the system.
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  5. #15
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    I could be very wrong on this. Apparently CMedia 1378 5.1 uses a seperate chip so it doesnt hog CPU cycles. AC97 DOES use CPU cycles, but hardly any. Also as wiggo said, you wont notice the difference, IMO sound quality comes mainly from your speakers. I have perfect hearing, and i can barely tell any difference between my SB Live, 2 channel AC97, and my old Sound blaster 64, all using the same speakers.

  6. #16
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    Posted by [b]{PoSeIdOnAs}
    PCI is far better because the onboard chipsets can caus conflicts with the system if you put another sound card on there.......plus....... dont the onboard stuff automatically and permanently occupy IRQ and DMA request inputs (BIOS or otherwise)???? If I am correct about that last line....then I would say that it takes up necessary IRQ / DMA needed for adding other PCI cards onto the system.
    I'm sorry but you couldn't be more wrong there. :(

    Adding a soundcard to the board is much more likely to cause conflicts and a lot of boards only really have one or two PCI slots that can function properly with a SoundBlaster in them due to sharings with other onboard components (LAN, USB, etc).

    Onboard sound can be disabled in BIOS but when used uses the settings that the boards manufacturer set in order for hassle free and issue free operation no matter whether it's AC97 or a dedicated onboard chip taking into account the other onboard components. : peace2:
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  7. #17
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    In the old days of DOS the IRQ's and DMA's were important. With new OS's (Plug and Pray ;)) it is not that important. Usually if conflicts arise you can change the IRQ's and DMA's through the control panel (in old hardware you have to set it up using jumpers). Most of the time onboard chips will not cause conflicts. In any case most of the manufacturers are adding functionality to the boards including sound so it is only a matter of whether you want to use it or override it :).

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