Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 13/12/2006 - 22:13.

Question relating to...


Asked by: ganja_claus

The motherboard is an ASROCK 939 dual SATA2 with DDR ram, it has an onboard soundchip AC97.
The soundcard would be a SB live!

Question: Would installing the old soundcard and deactivating the onboard soundchip slow down the system?

I think the onboard chip would be using up system resources to process the sound, but the soundcard doesnt have the fast DDR ram


Submitted by: tcsenter

It's true that SB Live! requires less CPU utilization than an integrated audio solution, but that does not translate into zero CPU utilization.

You would be amazed at how much CPU utilization is required by just about any Creative Labs sound card, including their Audigy 2 and 4 family. The older SB Live! cards are fairly notorious for being much more CPU dependent than necessary, due to Creative's usually inefficient drivers and software bloat.

The two disadvantages of host-driven integrated audio are increased CPU utilization and lower quality CODECs. The latter is not a disadvantage of integrated audio, per se. There is no reason why good CODECs cannot be used for integrated audio, except to save a few bucks. Many sound cards use inexpensive CODECs, too.

Increased CPU utilization is fastly becoming a non-issue with modern processors that have plenty of processing cycles to spare for audio. Current integrated audio (as opposed to solutions just a few years ago) has an advantage in that it connects to the CPU and DMA engines through a high-speed chipset interconnect with very low latency, while PCI cards are still bound to the relatively slow PCI bus with much higher latencies and strained bandwidth.

In the end, you should trust your ears and go with whatever sounds better to you, unless you desire particular features not provided by the integrated solution or just want to say that you are getting 5% better performance in games and benchmarks over integrated audio. Very demanding environmental audio and audio effects may widen that performance advantage to 10%