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On-board VS add-in

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by iiee, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. iiee

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    Is it true that on-board items are of lower performance than add-in item?
    for example:-

    1) add-in sound card is better in CPU utilization and quality
    2) add-in LAN card is better in CPU utilization and handling heavy traffic
    3) add-in SATA/IDE controller has own memory and processor

    I have a on-board Marvell gigabit LAN. I also have a 3Com gigabit LAN card, using same Marvell chip. I observe the 3Com card has much more ICs & chips on it. What does that mean actually?

    I observe also expensive LAN card has 2-3 times more ICs & chips compared to cheap LAN card, although bandwidth rating is the same. What make the difference?

    Sorry for tonnes of questions :p
  2. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Sometimes it is, depends on the items you're comparing. In cheap motherboards cheap chips are used. Though onboard Intel CSA or 3com chips perform quite well. Nforce 2 (or 3?) had a great soundchip on board. Some add-in cards even use AC'97 chips. Which are worse than some on board solutions.
    Though on average onboard stuff can't cope with high end add-in cards.
  3. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    2. It r0xx0red my world. :( I miss you, NF7-S.
  4. gR3iF

    gR3iF New Member

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    you cant compare onboard sound to a creative x-fi
    but the between a onbard land and a pci lan card there is no difference

    1)nope only a good add in sound card is better
    2)nope the onboards are most time better because they are attached on there own irq to the southbridge
    3)only expensive raid cards are better the average cheap ones will use your onboard ram and your cpu to work
  5. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Actually when talking about Gbit the PCI bus is often a bottleneck, onboard reigns here. Sure there is PCI-X and PCI-e, but most people don't have PCI-X slots and most NICs aren't PCI-e.
  6. Ketxxx

    Ketxxx Heedless Psychic

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    Actually onboard is pretty good, the only real skeptical factor is onboard sound, onboard is getting better and better very quickly though, onboard solution providers just need to learn to produce good drivers, once they do this, their solutions really become formidable. just remember if you want to use onboard solutions, do research into the parts used to ensure their good onboard solutions
  7. Pinchy New Member

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    whats the diff. between onboard sound and an add-in card? like what does the add in card do 'extra'? (lol sorry bout the nooby question but never had an add on card, and the on-board sound always works fine with me :p)
  8. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Sometimes they have more input/output options. CPU load might be lower. Some have better sound quality.

    I like my onboard card as well, works just fine.
  9. Pinchy New Member

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    yeah i get the input/output options.

    Would it really make THAT much of a diff on CPU load :p?

    And with sound quality, what if im getting 100% sound quality on my onboard, like i dont notice any crackling or issues :p and isnt sound quality based on the speakers?

    Like, what im amazed at, is people spending $100+ on a sound card, that i personally couldnt tell the difference with their onboard...
  10. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    when you use a gige card on pci bus your maximum throughput is about 40-50 megabytes/sec. tested with intel pci gige nic
  11. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    Pinchy and others, onboard sound use to be VERY poor back in the days when ac97 was invented, tiny and cheezy sounding making evena 300$ speeker set sound like they are 10$ speekers that came with an emachiens cyrex computer.

    now things have changed massivly, onboard sound in my oppenion is just as good as most addin cards now days, infact the only diffrance is the imputs and that some addin cards support some new fetures(mostly stuff for audiofiles/people who edit/record audio for a band/movies)

    the x-FI cards and all creative cards in my oppenion have poorer driver support then most onboard, cmedia and realtek make most commonly used onboard sound chips, and the are VERY good solutions, drivers avalable for 64bit(cmedia check the cmedia forums for updated drivers as the sites hard to update from what the driver programer has said)

    with the addition of HD audio to the nforce5 chipsets we have STELLER audio that uses sub 1% cpu power even under the heavyest loads(8ch audio anybody?) it works great, now the x-fi has had driver problems, hardware/firmware problems, and creative is still trying to work them out, creative still hasnt made a good/reliable sblive driver for 64bit windows dispite having said they would have one within weeks of 64bit windows being avalable.....

    so my oppenion from years of tech work and gaming is stick with onboard unless you need it for editing/recording sound then try the onboard and if it dosnt sufice check out azentech(sp) hdaudio cards, they are tops for recording without breaking the bank and support full dolby encoding, something even the x-fi at a far higher price dosnt support :)
  12. gR3iF

    gR3iF New Member

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    lol@
    come on the driver for the creative cards were poor, but the x-fi driver works like a charm
    you can notice the difference even on a cheap soundsystem
    the x-fi brings me (when i had it for two days) something like 15-20fps more in bf2 and other games

    so far the onboard resolution has no chip to render sound on its own and for what do you need digital encoding or even why would you like to hear sound in digital when your sound system is analog?
    rendering in dolby digital is a thing the x-fi can do
  13. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    *shakes head* ok u dont get it i understand that, encoding to dolby is something the x-fi cant do, its not designed for it, infact dolby wouldnt certify it if creative tryed to get them to.
    x-fi has alot of problems with nforce4 and some 3 boards due to a creative screwup, nf3/4 boards can be updated via bios to work around it in most cases, or u can rma your sound card and have them send you one with updated firmware(at your expence for the shiping)

    if you got higher fps from a sound card change u must have had a pathetic board or pathetic cpu, i havent had a drop in fps from onboard vs high end cards in years.
  14. iiee

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    hmm, i am using X-Fi too. There is drop in game performance when i switch to on-board audio (Asus A8R32-MVP), about 2% with latest driver.

    About LAN, what i observe, cheap card has lower performance in P2P program (over thousand threads). However this could be caused by lousy modem too, so no confirmed words on this.
  15. Pinchy New Member

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    i agree with ashensugar about the sound quality, cus i really cant noyice a difference b/w onboard and addin...btw thanks for clearing it up, about the olden days and stuff :D

    About the cpu usage and the fps in games, etc, i cant make a judgement cus ive never tried it :p
  16. gR3iF

    gR3iF New Member

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    in a way yes in a way no
    the gain in games is real maybe you should try it on 2 different windows?

    and the question behind it was for what do you need dolby encoding??
  17. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    nope, but what i said was IF you do need it then you need a 3rd party addin card, otherwise current onboard is plenty of power, only problems i have run into tend to be that people use the drivers that come with there motherboards insted of downloading the latest drivers from the chip makers sites(dont use the nvidia drivers, they SUCK)
  18. gR3iF

    gR3iF New Member

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    clearly yep the cd rom drivers most times suck^^
    why would the let people work on a new driver if there would be no reason for it?

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