forshaw

Integrated vs. dedicated sound board/Not a HW issue

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Hello Folks;

 

I think this was discussed a long time ago but never took note since it really didn’t affect me at the time, and I can’t seem to find the topic.

I noticed that I get static in my sounds and when it does occur it seems that there is some shutter at the same time. I think it has always been there to some extent but only now taking a careful look at the shutter issue.

My sound card is integrated into my mother board which does a good job from sound prospective.

The question is, will a dedicated sound card take a little stress off the CPU since it’s not an intricate part of the Motherboard? I am not looking for performance increase but just a smoother flight at times.

I am using FSX

My specs are:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 --- 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4x USB 3.0, 6x SATA-III 6Gb/s-  

CPU: i7-4790K Processor (4x 4.0GHz/8MB L3 Cache Over Clock to 4.4Ghz.

Maybe there is something else that could be causing the issue. Settings too high somewhere which i doubt but you never know.

Not sure if anyone else has anyone experienced the same issue. Again, not a big deal just more of an annoyance but if it’s something that can be addressed; whey not.

Thanks very much.

Kindest Regards.

Forshaw.

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Posted (edited)

Static in audio can be many things:

1.  Check for dust inside the PC
2.  Check your plugs are in solid, turn them to see if the static changes
3.  Do you have a low frequency hum?  (this is usually a grounding issue)
4.  Check audio drivers are updated
5.  Disable any conflicting audio device (i.e. nVidia install HDMI drivers which you may not need, disable them in Control Panel)
6.  Keep your mobile phone away from speakers and/or PC

Onboard, or dedicated internal sound card, or dedicated external sound device don't usually impact FPS unless their is a driver problem or conflicting devices.  If you want the "cleanest" possible sound (less likely to get interference) then going with an external audio device will provide the best results (these are usually connected via USB or lightning port).

But my hunch is your onboard audio is fine.

Cheers, Rob.

 

Edited by Rob_Ainscough

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Echoing what Rob had to day - if you can do a digital connection to either the audio device or the speakers, that should eliminate interference or grounding issues. I crank it all through a receiver connected via an HDMI port on my video card.

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

Back in the day of single core CPU's, the use of a dedicated sound card relieved the CPU of a significant work load.  With Dual Core CPU's, it became less of an issue and it is usually not an issue with CPU's that have 4 or more cores.  As for static, I sometimes get static with piston engines at certain power settings and that occurred when I had a Sound Blaster card and, with my current computer, when using onboard sound.  I suspect there is something with the FSX software and the way it generates sounds at certain pitch levels.

Edited by stans

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Hello Folks;

Thank you all very much for your responses, I really appreciate it.

@Rob, I will definitely try your suggestions. Some off of them don't apply but the ones that do will try. In reference to #3, there is no hum so it wouldn't be a ground issue.

@Stans,, Yeah thanks for the clarification, I remember reading something way back about the CPU and no longer an issue relevant to the sound card  but couldn't quite remember.

I will play around based on the suggestions and see what happens.

Thanks again.

Forshaw.

 

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The CPU offload is a non issue because every Windows version since Vista (iirc) no longer supports hardware acceleration of audio. It's really a trivial amount of work in any case.

Cheers!

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Forshaw,

I agree with Rob and Luke, Onboard sound is really good these days, but there are some things to consider other than those noted by Rob and Luke.

Pops crackles & hisses combined with graphics stutter are usually a result of process latency of the onboard sound chip. This can be somewhat alleviated by not using sound effects of your onboard Sound Manager, (Perhaps yours is a Realtek chip & driver like many of us), setting Environment & Equaliser Effects to (none) no enhancement and making sure your speaker config matches the setting, for 5.1 - 7.1 surround or stereo 2.1 or 2x speakers.
MOBO's with Realtek Onboard sound chips/drivers are usually responsible for these latency issues, but mostly they're pretty good.
My setup is Z87 ASUS EXPERT MOBO i74770K 4.6GHz, Realtek onboard sound, speakers - Quad sound delivered via Logitech 2.1 x 2x (Rear Green and Rear Black jacks) 2xSubwoffer 4xStereo into Quad. Packs quite a punch, (music sound really full and punchy as well) I also use the Realtek Sound Manager (Effects) SewerPipe - Environment, & Live - Equaliser) with DTS in Movie mode), I hear No odd popping hissing or crackling, Stutters are minimal in sim, probably related more to scenery load than sound latency issue in my setup. Sometimes I will find reverberation when two objects in the Sim room vibrate close together I blame this on the power of moving air with 2x subwoffers cranked to max, it takes a few minutes to track down the culprit, separate the objects and all is well once more.

I have thought about the benefits of installing dedicated sound hardware myself, but the price weighed against the way the onboard sound actually sounds is pretty good to my ears, but there are people out there who can detect the difference in sound fidelity when a high quality dedicated sound card is installed, and obviously there will be better feature refinements with a dedicated sound device ( I have no recommendations for sound hardware brands types or otherwise). 

Edited by Jethro

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On 8/9/2019 at 11:40 AM, Jethro said:

Hi Forshaw,

I agree with Rob and Luke, Onboard sound is really good these days, but there are some things to consider other than those noted by Rob and Luke.

Pops crackles & hisses combined with graphics stutter are usually a result of process latency of the onboard sound chip. This can be somewhat alleviated by not using sound effects of your onboard Sound Manager, (Perhaps yours is a Realtek chip & driver like many of us), setting Environment & Equaliser Effects to (none) no enhancement and making sure your speaker config matches the setting, for 5.1 - 7.1 surround or stereo 2.1 or 2x speakers.
MOBO's with Realtek Onboard sound chips/drivers are usually responsible for these latency issues, but mostly they're pretty good.
My setup is Z87 ASUS EXPERT MOBO i74770K 4.6GHz, Realtek onboard sound, speakers - Quad sound delivered via Logitech 2.1 x 2x (Rear Green and Rear Black jacks) 2xSubwoffer 4xStereo into Quad. Packs quite a punch, (music sound really full and punchy as well) I also use the Realtek Sound Manager (Effects) SewerPipe - Environment, & Live - Equaliser) with DTS in Movie mode), I hear No odd popping hissing or crackling, Stutters are minimal in sim, probably related more to scenery load than sound latency issue in my setup. Sometimes I will find reverberation when two objects in the Sim room vibrate close together I blame this on the power of moving air with 2x subwoffers cranked to max, it takes a few minutes to track down the culprit, separate the objects and all is well once more.

I have thought about the benefits of installing dedicated sound hardware myself, but the price weighed against the way the onboard sound actually sounds is pretty good to my ears, but there are people out there who can detect the difference in sound fidelity when a high quality dedicated sound card is installed, and obviously there will be better feature refinements with a dedicated sound device ( I have no recommendations for sound hardware brands types or otherwise). 

HI Jethro;

Interesting I have pretty muchhave the same set up are you. My motherboard is the GA-Z97X and my CPU is exactly the same as yours oc'd to 4.6. My speakers are just as close but I don't have 2xSubwoffer. After reading your post I think it may have something to do with the drivers and me messing around with the utility about 8 months. Here is what happened.

I stopped getting sound all together so as part of trouble shooting I purchased a separate sound card to confirm if the onboard sound card with out.

As part of installing the new card I had to disable the on-board card in my MB BOIS and de-install the sound drivers in Windows.

Long story short, it wasn't my MB integrated card but my PSU was acting up so I replaced it and everything was fine.

I had to now reinstall the sound drivers and it took me the devil's own job the get it done. I have to load it from the CD and it wasn't really straightforward selecting just the sound drives without other things. After that I had issues setting up the various option within the device manger. I think that's when I noticed the static issues.

I will revised those setting and see if there was anything I may have missed or set up incorrectly. I really never thought about reviewing them.

The sounds are great, don't get me wrong it's just the static in FSX which may attribute so some set up somewhere.

I also did what others suggested which is clearing everything in my PC including the contacts and that didn't clear the issue. So hopefully it may be something I changed from the original.

 

Thanks again.

Forshaw.

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Hi Forshaw,

One other thing that may help, in the FSX settings, there are 2 settings for your sound device. Sometimes even if you have set the speakers / audio to the sound device previously ((in my case for both Sounds and Voice - Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)) the setting will for no apparent reason revert to (<Default Primary Device>) that is when the sound quality can become less than ideal.

You should check these settings once in a while,  make sure your Sound device is applied then click the OK button to Apply. Don't use <Default Primary Device>.

FSX-sound-set.jpg

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13 hours ago, Jethro said:

Hi Forshaw,

One other thing that may help, in the FSX settings, there are 2 settings for your sound device. Sometimes even if you have set the speakers / audio to the sound device previously ((in my case for both Sounds and Voice - Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)) the setting will for no apparent reason revert to (<Default Primary Device>) that is when the sound quality can become less than ideal.

You should check these settings once in a while,  make sure your Sound device is applied then click the OK button to Apply. Don't use <Default Primary Device>.

FSX-sound-set.jpg

Hi Jethro;

Great Idea, thanks a lot of pointing that out. The last time i really looked at it was about a year ago. I will definitely check it when I get home this evening.

BTW: Interesting setting you have in terms of your volumes. I think voice is the only one I have set to max, the others I think are at medium like the Engines. Hey, I will try yours as i am in there anyway wouldn't hurt. Maybe I'll get a whole new sound experience😊 I never really played around with the sound and I have been using FSX since it came out.

Cheers mate. 

Forshaw.

 

Cheers.

Forshaw.

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Hi Forshaw,

Yes, I've had to reset these many times, haven't worked out why it happens though.

There is a reason I set the sound sliders that way, maybe not to everyone's taste. I suppose its an attempt to create an environment that seems more alive. I like the air blasts from the subs around my legs. Its hilarious when a guest fly's the sim and thinks my cat is playing rough under the desk.
I also use A2A Accufeel, which utilises sound to produce effects, this is where the 2x subwoffers come in handy, in my opinion better than buttkicker hardware.

Engine : 40% - User Aircraft engine sounds can sometimes override other more important sounds, and can if they are overly loud become a ear drumming nuisance, particularly when you begin to hone in on an RPM loop.

Cockpit: 100% - Sounds for Switch clicks, Tyre screech & scrub, doors open/close, Wind noise, drag /vibration, buffeting, flaps, gear, warning horns, ground service interaction, beeps from Autopilot, GPWS, Terrain warning, TCAS, stick shaker. Very important to hear these sounds as loud as possible.

Environment: 100% - With Orbx scenery and airports, there are some environmental sounds like bird chirps, radios, telephone rings, barking dogs, chainsaws, people chatting, dolphins, waves crashing. Also you are more likely to hear the AI aircraft at the airfield (various noises) engine start/shutdown, pass-by engine sound, flap deployment. Sometimes these are not loud enough so 100% allows them to be heard.

Voice: 100% - ATC & radio coms, GPWS, altitude Callouts Lvars PMsounds, callouts cockpit checks from Copilot using MCE voice activation, these are all very important to hear, they don't seem to compete with other sounds.

 

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Hi Jethro;

Thanks for the additional information I appreciate it.

I actually did have to change my sound from the default to the my sound device and yes i did indeed notice the difference it was better. I could still hear very little static but not a pronounced and very small which is something I can live with. So overall it did help 

Going back to the sound volumes yes i will definitely experiment with it given the additional info you provided. With the great add-ons these days there is a lot of in-cabin announcements, Cruise music and chatter (not that i would like to hear it😊) Ground vehicles and the raindrops which I actually do hear. So yes will definitely tweak it to get an all around good balance.

Thanks again.

Cheers.

Forshaw.

 

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