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Guest BravoOne

A general technical (hardware) question

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Guest BravoOne

Hi captains,My current hardware configuration includes an on-board soundcard. I was wondering when I use a seperate soundcard iso the on-board one, would that increase the performance of my processor? (so more time for the processor to proces FS ;) )Thanks a lot for your comments!nick

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Erm, *cough* I'd say no, on the contrary: your onboard sound card will take less on the system than an added sound card (PCI I assume)...I also have on onbaord sound card, the main problem with onbard sound cards is their cheap quality compared to added PCI SB cards.On another hand, PCI sound card can bring some hassle with wrong drivers.


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>I'd say no, on the contrary: your onboard sound card>will take less on the system than an added sound card (PCI I>assume)...I'm curious here, how do you figure that?


Mike Roth

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Guest Edwin

Hi Nick,It's been a long time since I used an onboard sound solution (since the AMD AthlonXP 1800+ days) so things may have changed a bit since then.I think the answer to your question lies somewhere between yes and no (as with most questions) but more to "no" than to "yes". Theoretically, you are correct - a dedicated sound card will take the audio processing off the CPU load and thus, should increase FS9 performance. However, in a practical sense, most onboard sound solutions nowadays (i.e. since I used an onboard sound solution) are very efficient and so the CPU utilization is negligible relative to a dedicated sound card. So in practice, I would not expect any performance differential FPS-wise with and without a sound card. If FPS is all you're after, you are better off spending money on other areas e.g. CPU, motherboard and/or video card upgrade.Having said that, I do notice an audible sound quality difference between onboard sound solutions and dedicated sound cards e.g. Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS. Obviously, whether you will be able to hear it depends on your own ears as well as the quality of your speakers/headphones. It is for sound quality alone that I am still using a dedicated sound solution rather than the motherboard ones.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Guest Buck Bolduc

I have both in my system.The sound card is Audigy gamer.The onboard chip is AC97.To me the AC-97 sounds as good and seems to increase performance.This may or may not be true with a later sound card.I have no sound issues what ever with AC-97.

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Built in audio almost never performs as well as a dedicated card - the reason is that your CPU has to do a bunch of the processing for the onboard chip, whereas a card like an Audigy or an X-Fi does something similar to what a 3D video accellerator does - offloads things from the CPU to the card itself.In most benchmarks I've ever seen, the dedicated card usually always has higher performance. There's also the driver issue - Creative updates their drivers far more frequently than you're going to see for a built in solution...


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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It is fallacy to think that the sound in FS is so "crude" (it is not a philharmonic orchestra) that you can easily get away with the onboard sound card. Mnay people on these forums learned the hard way - this simulation puts enough strain on all parts of the hardware that a seperate sound card is almost a must. Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_747F.jpghttp://www.hifisim.com/images/asv_beta_member.jpg


Michael J.

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Guest D17S

I've seen a couple of those reviews too and my take-away was that PCI/PCI-E add-on audio boards do unload the CPU a bit . . . but not a lot. After reading these reviews my consideration became a cost/preformance acessment. Say $100 for Audio Card that might actually help would give me a %5 increase in performance. So instead of spending $100 for 5%, I spent $50 for a new CPU cooler and was able to just turn up my CPU by an additional 10%. 5% for $100 or %10 for $50. It just seemed to me like a better investment. My old dead ears can't tell the difference anyway. (Been way too close to way too many JT-3 trying to tweak in Part Power.)

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Guest BravoOne

Hi all,All your extensive answers are very appreciated and I think I'm gonna follow the advice to invest in other hardware :)Thanks a lot!Kind regards,Nick

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And of course don't forget that you can also get an external USB sound card. I have one Creative Extigy and one Audigy 2 NX that work extremely well and it's also very convenient since you don't have to reach behind our computer.


Krister Lindén
EFMA, Finland
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