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Onboard sound card VS PCI sound card

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Tan DJ, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. Tan DJ

    Tan DJ New Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a system with an Intel D845GRG motherboard which has an "Audio subsystem for AC '97 processing using the Analog Devices AD1981A codec featuring SoundMAX Cadenza"

    Recently I managed to score a PCI sound card (from my mother-in-law's old computer) that has a label on the back that says it is from Creative Labs, model number: CT4740.

    Will this card provide any better performance/quality than the built-in one on my mother board? Some of my old games have a bit of a "stuttering" problem that I think might be caused by the built-in sound card.

    This card doesn't appear to have any connectors for connecting to the front audio ports, so would it be a correct assumption that if I used this card, the front audio ports would no longer be useable?

    Also, if I inserted this audio card, would I need to do any configuration of the MB to make the sound go through the PCI card, or is that something that would be available in the OS?

    I'm either going to use the card, or sell it on e-bay, so even if I'm not going to use it, I'd like to be able to connect it up to confirm that it works.


    Regards,

    Tan DJ
     
  2. Jimmy 2004

    Jimmy 2004 New Member

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    Normally I'd say that the PCI card would be slightly better because it would take some load off the CPU, but in this case I'd say stick to the AC'97. The Creative card looks like it is very old and I doubt Creative still offer driver support for it, so it probably wouldn't run as well as newer sound cards like the AC'97, because those drivers are still updated regularly. You could try connecting it and see if it sounds better, but I think the difference would be negligible so I would stick to the AC'97.
     
  3. peach1971

    peach1971 New Member

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    You can measure the performance of both, onboard and PCI with RightMark Audio Analyzer.
    http://audio.rightmark.org/index_new.shtml

    But I´d also say got with the AC´97 in this case.
    The CT4740 doesn´t feature EAX which offers a real improvement for in-game sound.
     
  4. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    EAX is over rated, and the 4740/47xx are just sblive variants, nothing fancy, ur ac97 will probbly gave the same or better perf with the advantage of having newer driver support.

    i would also advise that you search the forums b4 you ask these kinda questions, the onboard vs pci/addin card sound things been talked about like 15+times since i been here!!!!
     
  5. Scheich

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    Theres a little performance loss, maybe 5%. What´s more important is the audio quality. It´s signifantly worse than even average old sound cards. Earphone output is distorted at high output levels and when there should be silence, theres a little noise instead.

    This board cant handle many irq too well, therefor it would be best to turn off the onboard sound in the bios.
    And no, theres no connection to the front connectors.

    If you are using anything newer than win98 with this mobo, the stuttering will most likely come from irqs conflicts.
    In others words, you may want to buy a new mainboard.
     
  6. ktr

    ktr

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    i dont know about that man...when i play red orchestra with eax on, its like a whole new gameplay.
     
  7. DaMulta

    DaMulta My stars went supernova

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    FTW
     
  8. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    i just got a x-fi extreme music and it rocks.i can even hear cloth rustling in 2142 now.
     
  9. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    my 1988 soundmax is working great after some driver tweaking thanks to KET, no quility issues at all, and perfs better then the 3 addin cards i tested(old cmi8738,audigy3,sblive5.1)

    ur best bet with onboard sound is ALWASE to update the drivers to the newest you can find for that chip, even if they are from another board maker(like asus or intel)

    also i would update ur bios if you havent, thats alwase a good idea, if you get problems with audio quility set the pci latancy to 64 if you can, sometimes boards, specly older intel ones need that done for their onboard audio.
     
  10. tkpenalty New Member

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    LOL!!!

    I tried my friend's PC with the Fatal1ty FPS Sound card installed. I could hear a guy throwing a medkit IN THE COMPLETELY CORRECT POSITION WITH TWO CRAPPY SPEAKERS, it was real... I thought I was in 2142 (yay for snowboarding)! There wasn't any stuttering before any major sound events occured.
     
  11. Carcenomy

    Carcenomy New Member

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    The only major bonus I'd see in running a CT4740 or equivalent would be for older games. The Vibra128Ds I've owned have always been pretty good for DOS support, critical if you want to play something like Duke Nukem 3D or Death Rally with proper SB16 support.

    I wouldn't agree totally with the performance arguments... I only just gave up my poor old 845D based system with that very same AC97 setup. There's no way that horrible contrivance is better than the Ensoniq AudioPCI/SoundBlaster 128/ViBRA128D. I only used the AC97 for three weeks until I picked up an original Live with the matching Cambridge SoundWorks FPS1000 speakers. Faaaar better :)
     
  12. ktr

    ktr

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    XFI should be fairly decent for the fact they can support 2-3 times more voices than the average sound card.
     
  13. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    ah but the human ear and brain cant prosess that many, voices, read up and you will know that creative just uses that to sell cards to uneducated foolz who buy things because of a brand name not because they are really better.

    if you want a high end audio card grab something from auzentech, there cards are far and above the winners when compared with anything creative offers!!!!!

    and they update drivers regularly for those cards/chips where creative takes years to upgrade anything.........
     
  14. Tan DJ

    Tan DJ New Member

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    Yeah, I did that, but couldn't find anything about the ct4740. I already knew that in general the PCI card will be better than the onboard, but I was having trouble finding out anything about the ct4740.

    My problem with my existing system is several of my games have a bad occasional stutter, one game (theme park world) the game freezes while it is stuttering, and does nothing until the stuttering stops. Another, one of the kics games, the stuttering stops when you click the mouse button. A couple of other games that the kids like to play don't stutter, but every voice clip has the last half a sylable of each sentence missing.

    I'm not real concerned about the sound quality at the moment as my speakers are not the best - $20 ones from Tandy. :eek:

    The only reason I was considering the ct4740, was that I got it for nothing.

    Cheers,
    Tan DJ
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  15. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    i would advise a card based on the CMI8768 chipset then, drivers are better then that old sbive card.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829130002
    its 19bucks
    drivers can be found (up to date ones) on the cmedia forums, they are updating them regularly, these cards also support DTS and DolbyDigital in hardware!!!!

    good stuff!!!!! and kills the 4740/4760 cards :)
     
  16. Carcenomy

    Carcenomy New Member

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    Go for it. The old SoundBlaster128s might not have new drivers, but it's because they're GOOD SOLID CARDS. They don't NEED new drivers. Just throw it in and go nuts, it'll cause no problems.
     
  17. tweakboy New Member

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    Dedicated sound means the CPU can be free to do other tasks,

    Onboard sound will use CPU a lot, and slow down your games and pc,

    gl,
     
  18. ktr

    ktr

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    its very minimal. most benches say ac'97 vs the xfi only gave the xfi and advantage at most 2-4fps...now is it worth speeding 150+ smackers for the increase? I would say no, use the money on upgrading you gcard or get some more memory.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  19. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    no the reasion they lack new drivers is that creative dosnt want to support them they want to support/sell newer cards that make them more profit.

    also creative driver support has alwase sucked, and sucked hard core to!!
     
  20. Jimmy 2004

    Jimmy 2004 New Member

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    Although it is true that dedicated sound often reduces the load on the CPU it doesn't use a lot of CPU relative to what the games are using once you consider the performance gain you'll see. For a similar price to something like an X-Fi most people could buy a better CPU which would improve overall performance a lot more.
     
  21. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    truth is anymore with HD audio onboard most people are far better off using onboard sound with the latest drivers and use the $ they would have spend on a sound card to get a better cpu and more ram.

    if in the case of this system you need addin sound then go sith a CMI8768 (or better) chip based soundcard, driver support stomps creative and via into dust!!!!
    even then if you go with an auzentech card you could still afford a better cpu or more ram because even their cheapest card(58bucks) is better then x-fi ;)
     
  22. Carcenomy

    Carcenomy New Member

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    You are clearly retarded if you think C-Media soundcards are superior. The CMIs are a $10 OEM piece of crap for a reason... they're a piece of crap. There's no way, NO way those incompatible piles of incompatible junk can usurp a Creative. They use ugly software 3D, have damn near no compatibility mode, and are just a plain ugly device... which is why they're so cheap.

    The drivers are updated often for C-Media cards because they're poorly coded from the start. It's like patches on EA games. The older model Creative he has (which is fully supported I might add - all the drivers AND SoundBanks are available still) is a considerably better card that will be considerably more stable than any AC97 or C-Media crap you could dredge up.

    Given I use the onboard on my new motherboard (ASUS P5B Deluxe... so it's 8-channel HD somethin), but it won't be staying that way - NONE of the cheap crap does EAX. Most games use EAX. See the problem here?
     
  23. AshenSugar

    AshenSugar New Member

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    read some reviews of auzentech audio cards, cmedia use to have problems but since they steped their driver support up(via forums) they have started to really shine!!!!!

    and c-media updates them by request to try and work out spicific problems, creative ignores problems and blames the game maker, read their forums, if you think creatives drivers are great, you're wrong!

    adi on asus boards fully supports eax2.0, any higher is not allowed by creative, they wont licence it out to anybody, its their only way to make people buy their x-fi cards....

    try these
    http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/reviews/sound/Auzentech_X-Plosion_1.html
    or the sub 60$ XMystique (cmi8768+ based)
    http://www.ngohq.com/home.php?page=articles&go=read&arc_id=29

    im gonna give ya a bit more on the Xplosion card, its the newest mid range card(there top end is for audio files and pros only, 200+bucks)
    http://www.thinkcomputers.org/index.php?x=reviews&id=376&page=4
    http://www.rage3d.com/reviews/sound/auzentechxplosion/index.php?p=7

    note that the mentioned bug with stay alive was fixed with a driver update(and x-mystic can be fixed by using c-media drivers dirrectly from the CMI website insted of auzentechs)

    http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/hda_xplosion/page_3.shtml
    seems they all dissagree with you, as has ever review of the auzentech/bluegears sound cards i have found to date, i think your living back in 1997/1998 or something!!!!

    as to creative driver support, it sucks, they NEVER fix anything in a timely fassion, they ignore bug reports, and this after they charge you thru the arse for their cards.

    truth is that cmedia's current lineup is killing creatives for the avrage user, its all about the support you get, and cmedia/auzentech give you GREAT support, if you find a driver bug, post it, you will get a responce witin a few days from their driver team, oh yeah, and they are making new drivers for even their disscontinued chips like the 8738, full vista support!!!!

    creative will get you drivers when they feel like it, if they feel like it, and if they dont work properly, well thats your problem!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2007
  24. ktr

    ktr

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    I just check it out and they have nothing but complaints and few drivers that are dated about 3-4 months now. But they do have some recent vista "beta" drivers...but dated 3 months ago??

    http://www.cmedia.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=45648dd973822c712cd576a467199c14

    C-media is telling most of the posters ...

    "C-Media is a chip/solution vendor, not a consumer product company. C-Media did not produce, market, or sell you your sound card as a finished product. If you want to seek compensation, you should find out who manufactured your sound cards and contact them."

    and most of the thread have 0 replies...hmmm.


    WHY NOT! EAX is the product of creative, therefore the have all rights to hold there "property to themselves"

    If you cant beat them, join them...if you cant join them, die!!!!

    ^^pretty sad but true^^^



    Not to bash on c-media or you, i am personally ALL up on anything that is better and cheaper, but really i dont see much out of c-media...

    i would fork over 40 bucks and get a refurbished audigy 2 zs from creative's ebay store, than fork over 20 bucks on a cmedia card.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Creative-Sound-...QtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem?hash=item170067487190

    with audigy2 zs's eax4.0 and all, i would say its the best sound card to support quality for 95% of games out there...
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2007
  25. Grings

    Grings New Member

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    Do x-fi's actually do dolby live and dts? as ive got a dd/dts receiver (yamaha too) and am still using my old nforce2's soundstorm for its dolby digital live, and would really like to use my newer pc through the receiver instead(my current mobo hasnt even got spdif, but i did try my mates a8nsli dlx a while back, and its spdif didnt do either format)

    If not i'll get one of them auzentech's instead, seen a few good write ups on them now
     

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