1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Do ALL sound cards have RAM?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by hat, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. hat

    hat Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,303 (5.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,260
    Location:
    Ohio
    I was reading the X-FI clubhouse and learned that ALL X-FI cards have SOME amount of RAM even if it is only 2MB. So I wonder... does my SB Audigy2 ZS have any RAM?
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  2. Nitro-Max

    Nitro-Max New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,476 (0.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    239
    Location:
    Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom.{East Anglian Coast
    Not all creative sound cards have ram you'll have to check there website.
     
  3. hat

    hat Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,303 (5.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,260
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hm... I wonder if it says anything about the audio processor? I wonder if its overclockable? :roll:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  4. francis511

    francis511

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,547 (0.78/day)
    Thanks Received:
    271
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    I was reading a review of a sound card the other day and the guy said he saw a fps increase with a generic 5.1 sound card !!!
     
  5. beyond_amusia

    beyond_amusia New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,140 (0.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    64
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I remember when I had a SoundBlaster card and a AWE-32 add-in with it that you could put a stick of RAM into...
     
  6. Nitro-Max

    Nitro-Max New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,476 (0.75/day)
    Thanks Received:
    239
    Location:
    Great Yarmouth, United Kingdom.{East Anglian Coast
    Ive seen reports of people going from a audigy 2 card to the latest xfi and been dissapointed because sound wise they sounded the same. And they felt they wasted heaps of cash.

    i use a cheap audigy soundblaster live external card and its great in any game.Infact its proved to be better in one game lol compared to the xfi.

    operation flashpoint "ressistance addon" suppose to dissable eax but it still worked on mine gave me a huge advantage.
     
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    43,561 (10.93/day)
    Thanks Received:
    10,720
    Location:
    Australalalalalaia.
    only x-fi cards have ram.

    Going from a crappy AC97 card to a real card will sound better and give a performance boost.

    Changing from a dedicated card to a HD audio onboard (or vice versa) only quality changes, as onboard audio is quite good for resources tehse days. The thing is, the dedicated cards come with shiny features (enhanced equalisers such as X-fi crystaliser, EAX etc) that INCREASE CPU usage.

    That said, there is barely any difference from an SB live to an Audigy 4 - its pretty much down to your speakers/headphones, with the exception of bass control (for some reason, no onboard i've used has a working/useful bass boost feature)
     
  8. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,135 (4.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,459
    Location:
    Oklahoma T-Town
    Not true, my awe 32 has ram. LOL but is ISA :(

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    43,561 (10.93/day)
    Thanks Received:
    10,720
    Location:
    Australalalalalaia.
    may god have mercy on us.

    But thats ram you ADD ON, we're talking integrated RAM :D
     
  10. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,135 (4.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,459
    Location:
    Oklahoma T-Town
    :)You got me there, but the card did take extra ram for that extra kick.

    That card rocked in its day, and I'm glad I still have one.
     
  11. spud107

    spud107

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,194 (0.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    131
    Location:
    scotland
    dunno if mine would have any, ct-4780
     
  12. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,135 (4.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,459
    Location:
    Oklahoma T-Town
    No the live card does not.
     
    spud107 says thanks.
  13. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    7,043 (2.37/day)
    Thanks Received:
    909
    Location:
    Sector ZZ₉ Plural Z Alpha
    not all sound cards have onboard RAM. From what I know of the current audio card market, only the Creative X-Fis and the Auzen X-Fi Prelude are packing.

    The biggest reason the X-Fis are using onboard RAM is to try to alleviate a dependancy on the SYS BUS for transferring audio files in and out of SYS MEM, as a file is being processed, it's swapped to MEM, where another component will call it then send it back, and over and over until the file is ready for playback. By having MEM integrated to the board, all work in progress is kept on the PCB, instead of moving it in and out of SYS MEM. Asides from that, the X-Fi APU works so quickly, that it would end up hogging the crap out of the SYS BUS (as if they aren't BUS hogs enough as it is).

    But, although onboard MEM goes down to the 2MB range, you don't really see a performance benefit with only 2MB; as the BIOS for the APU is loaded into the MEM on the card, much like how the SYS BIOS is loaded into SYS MEM upon startup, but this leaves very little room with which to work - which is why, much like video cards, the more MEM on board, the better the card performs.

    Creative's marketing strategy, though, is to only advertise 64MB on their high end cards, the Fatal1ty and the Elite Pro; and for marketing reasons, they call it X-RAM (cause it just sounds ever so much more hardcore than DRAM).

    As to your Audigy 2 ZS - no, not packing.


    believe me, I keep my eye out :D Haven't run across any software to do so yet, and hardmods haven't gotten to the point of trying to vmod the card, either . . .
     
  14. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,422 (1.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    238
    i just ditched my creative Audigy 4 to use my onboard sounds.. the fact creative still manage to sell expensive "soundcards" any more amazes me..

    marketing hype and the power of peoples imagination seems to keep em in business..

    trog
     
  15. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    16,135 (4.86/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,459
    Location:
    Oklahoma T-Town
    Or that the fact is that they sound better than onboard.
     
  16. spud107

    spud107

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,194 (0.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    131
    Location:
    scotland
    ct4780 > alc850 imo.
    unless i need 7.1
     
  17. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,422 (1.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    238
    do they.. how.. ????

    trog
     
  18. spud107

    spud107

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,194 (0.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    131
    Location:
    scotland
    frequency response/sample rate i think,
    onboard - 200-100000 hz
    card - 100 - 191999 hz
     
  19. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    10,553 (2.56/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,383
    ISA cards used to have RAM for the wavetable, this was because the ISA bus was way too slow. However when PCI became the standard they moved from using onboard RAM to using system RAM.

    Good old times, I recall the sound difference between my Opti card and the AWE32. Amazing it was.
     
    DaMulta says thanks.
  20. Graogrim New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    308 (0.11/day)
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Location:
    East Coast US
    Onboard audio has indeed come a long way from the days of AC97. That said, performance and quality still varies. SoundMAX has a great onboard solution that performs very well. When measuring impact on framerate, it generally proves equal or superior to PCI solutions. The price to be paid, however, is in audio quality. Certainly there's no practical difference for tasks like MP3 playback, but in games that take advantage of EAX and 3D audio there is still a compelling reason to choose an add-in board like an Audigy or X-FI. The difference is plainly audible, and not just because of frequency response or signal to noise ratios--the quality of the reverb and the clarity of the 3D placement is superior. Quality aftermarket sound cards also tend to support mixing of a greater number of sounds than their integrated brethren.

    Either is an acceptable solution, depending on your preferences and the tradeoffs you're willing to make.
     
  21. Graogrim New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    308 (0.11/day)
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Location:
    East Coast US
    To this day, the best most authentic sounding wavetable I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying came from an old Turtle Beach Tropez Plus. It had a strange combination of DOS and Windows drivers that required a weird initialization process and it was glitchy at times, but playing some well-crafted MIDI files with it could actually fool people into thinking they were listening to real instruments. And it had something else that's been missing from wavetable sound ever since--punchiness. You could actually feel the percussion thrum through your body. And somehow the Wavefront processor on it was smart enough in handling playback that it could be aggressive with note attacks without sounding fake.

    I've listened to some high end wavetables since--32, 48, 64 MB and even higher sets, and although they've sounded great in their own way, smooth and refined, none of them have had the oomph or the authenticity of that old ISA Tropez Plus.
     
  22. trog100

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,422 (1.25/day)
    Thanks Received:
    238
    its all very subjective.. plus its all dramatically affected by the quality of the amp/speakers plus room acoustics and our own ears..

    anyone that claims how good it is or sounds while at the same time using the average crap plastic PC sound system has a very active imagination..

    as regards system load.. thats a bit meaningless with all the spare multicore horsepower most of us have..

    in my "subjective" opinion my onboard sounds make very nice noises.. but i mostly run with special affects off.. they are there if i want em thow..

    i have used sound cards for years as a matter of course.. but what was.. aint what is.. i have finally decided to catch up with the times.. he he

    i now have two audigy 2 cards one live card and 1 audigy 4 card in my junk pile..

    no doubt the odd older card lurks deeper down in the pile..

    an awe 32 was my first real sound card.. back then there was a positive difference.. now i dont think there is.. mind u my ears aint as young as they used to be.. but then again neither is my imagination..

    trog
     
  23. zCexVe

    zCexVe

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    417 (0.14/day)
    Thanks Received:
    30
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA
    I felt a good difference(well I dont know if its my ears are bad)going from AC97 audio to Creative SB audigy SE ,both are onboard.(The creative one is same as SB 2 ZS external)It felt great with EAX,bass boost and lots of things.But Unfortunately I feel like all the SBs are same in quality like.
     
  24. spud107

    spud107

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,194 (0.38/day)
    Thanks Received:
    131
    Location:
    scotland
    when iv got it running through my stereo i notice the difference,
    plus, my onboard has 16/20 2d/3d channels, card has 64/64,
     
  25. Graogrim New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    308 (0.11/day)
    Thanks Received:
    31
    Location:
    East Coast US
    That's often how it is. Basically you've either got it or you don't. The effects difference between integrated and aftermarket is pretty profound, but once you have a capable sound card that does the effects processing in hardware there's much less reason to seek an upgrade.

    I, for example, have an original Soundblaster Audigy, and have been comfortable with it for years in several systems. It's easy to tell the difference when gaming between it and my motherboard's onboard sound. But for the most part, the sound quality difference between it and its successors like the later Audigies and X-Fi is very hard to perceive, even connected through a receiver to decent speakers like Criterion.
     

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)

Share This Page