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If you are contemplating sound card vs onboard audio

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Take a look at these benchmarks using AudioBench 99. They are comparing my Aud II vs AC97 RealTek audio onboard chip.Enjoy,Noel

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Are there units to go with those figures Noel?Are they %CPU utilisation?Cheers,Paulhttp://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/sbird.jpgOfficially licenced by British Airways plc for use of name and logo[p]AMD XP2800+ Barton, Gigabyte GA-7NNXP nForce2, 1Gig Crucial PC3200 DDR 400MHz, Gainward 128 MB GF4-4200, SB Audigy, 3 x WD Caviar SE[/p]

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It depends on which onboard audio chipset you're using. The Realtek audio is very crappy.Nvidia NForce2 Soundstorm onboard audio on the other hand, actually has lower CPU utilization than Audigy2.It still does not provide the same audio quality (crappy DACs), so if you're serious about sound, you should still get a card like the Audigy2 or M-Audio Revolution 7.1.

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Hello All,Was wondering, which takes more CPU usage, the onboard chip on my Asus p4B266 which is a C Media 6 cfhannel PCI Audio chip, or my AOopen PCI card which is presently installed in the computer.If, perchance the AO uses more CPU power, then I would switch to the on board, which is a simple as changing a check mark in the bios.Anyone know?Clay

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So, bottom line: is any sound card better for CPU usage (frees CPU cycles) or does it have to be one like Audigy2?If sound quality is not so important, can I get by with cheap Soundblster PCI?

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>Too bad they limited they focus to Realtek. Hardly an>in-depth study. >>Michael J.>http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpgJust reporting the test I did for my own PC. I am not a benchmarking company and had no intention of being an "in-depth" study. Perhaps a bright person like you might generalize off the info provided--like how you could grab AudioWinbench and do some "in-depth" testing yourself . . .Noel

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Rafael, they vary, the different sound cards. Probably most late model cards perform well with respect to CPU use. You can download AudioWinbench and do some testing on your own to see where you stand relative to two fairly extreme examples.Noel

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Actually my experience with onboard / PCI cards has been quite the opposite, but I have only been able to compare my onboard Cmedia chip with a Hercules Fortissimo 3 card. Not only did I find the C-media sounded vastly superior, but the CPU utilisation figures were far lower than for the Fortimisso 3. And the Fortissimo 3 is supposed to be similar to the Audigy 2 in terms of CPU overhead. The results of those tests were borne out in games, where the fps were noticeably higher with the C-media onboard chip.But before anyone wonders why my results are what they are, I still run Win9x and used vxd drivers for the tests. Had I used WDM drivers, the CPU usage on the C-media would have been much higher than the Fortisimmo. With vxd drivers, the worst utilisation for the C-media chip was a tiny fraction of 1%.

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According to a benchmark shootout I read, the Soundstorm system on the high end Nvidia NForce2 motherboards is really the only onboard system that can approach an Audigy 2 etc...

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..I've read similar things too, though I can say with any authority: I neither own an A2 nor have I ever used my onboard Soundstorm.Cheers,Paulhttp://www.strontiumdog.plus.com/sbird.jpgOfficially licenced by British Airways plc for use of name and logo[p]AMD XP2800+ Barton, Gigabyte GA-7NNXP nForce2, 1Gig Crucial PC3200 DDR 400MHz, Gainward 128 MB GF4-4200, SB Audigy, 3 x WD Caviar SE[/p]

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