on-board sound..cpu overheads?

Micro-star international / Ms-7250
January 3, 2009 at 11:37:19
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, 2.211 GHz / 2047 MB
I'm wondering if cpu overheads from onboard sound nowadays is as bad as what they used to be?

I've an Athlon 64x2 4200 processor & an MSI K9N SLI mobo with onboard realtek sound (of some sort 7.1 I think)

Anyway have ordered a 6000 processor to replace the above & was wondering if I should also buy a cheap (sound not THAT important)Soundblaster Audigy 7.1 se card as well.

No point in trying to improve my processing power if the onboard audio may be taking a chunk out of it....So is it negligable these days/would buying a seperate sound card make any noticeable difference in overall performance when things get intensive in games?

This is all in relation to using the system as a gaming machine with hardware demanding games.

Any feedback appreciated...TIA Andy.

Athlon64 x2 4200
2GB pc6400 800mhz mram
2x gforce 7950gt sli
Thermaltake TR2-500

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January 3, 2009 at 12:45:22
Never buy the SE version of a SoundBlaster card. The SE versions are not hardware-accelerated, so you'll be using just as much of the CPU for audio processing as before. The main purpose of the SoundBlaster SE cards is to provide better sounding, interference-free audio, NOT accelerated audio.

If you want lower CPU utilization, spring for a real X-Fi card--one that actually has the X-Fi DSP onboard.

C2D performance from Socket 939:
Opty 185 @ 3.2GHz
4GB CL2 DDR400
2x 8800GTS in SLI
X-Fi Titanium Pro PCI-E
A8N32-SLI Deluxe
Vista 64
24" Samsung

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January 3, 2009 at 12:49:35
The "bite" that onboard sound takes from the processor is minimal. There's little need to add a card unless you're a hardcore audiophile, or need features that the onboard doesn't offer, or insist on every single MHz your CPU has to offer.

As for the CPU choice, I would have gone with the 5400+ Black Edition & overclocked it to 6000+ speed (or higher).

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January 3, 2009 at 13:36:45
I would say the CPU cycles used by integrated sound are probably even higher than in the past.

That said, the number of cycles available is tenfold what it used to be. Therefore as jam said, it is minimal. Both responses above are accurate and helpful.

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January 3, 2009 at 15:00:29
Tnx for the replies each & all...didn't know that about the se editions either!!

Will stick to the onboard sound then.

As for the 5400 black edition & overclocking..did look at that side of things...but no longer can be arsed with messing about with overclocking etc...maybe a few years ago when I was into self build etc...I like the easy life & slippers now :¬) Only downside to the 6000 appears to be it won't utilise my ddr2/800 ram to it's full speed?! (multipliers) Therefore the 6400 woulda been a better solution..(ignoring overclocking 5000's).except for the higher wattage/heat/nm....always a negative at the positives!

Was ready to order the said soundcard above...so tnx for saving me the hassle allround all.


Athlon64 x2 4200
2GB pc6400 800mhz mram
2x gforce 7950gt sli
Thermaltake TR2-500

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