How do sound cards affect performance?

dougyfresh

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How much do sound cards like the Audigy series affect performance in games? If I am correct, the sound cards have their own processors and they dont require the cpu to work for the sound (is that right?). In that case, how much of a performance difference would an Audigy or an Audigy 2 make in fps in games?
Thanks


Doug

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blah

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<<How do sound cards affect performance?>>

with today's cpus no-how.

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Crashman

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Hmm, there are no TRUE HARDWARE sound cards any more, their all hardware assisted. The Audigy can cause a HUGE performance hit compared to "no soundcard", from articles I've read up to 18%. I think the most "powerfull" solution is an "onboard" one, in the form of the nForce APU found on some Socket A boards, but even that solution carries SIGNIFICANT overhead.

People say it doesn't matter with today's CPU's. Well, if you like your P4 3.0GHz performing like a 2.2GHz, I guess it doesn't matter!

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blah

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well, you see, when I drive 35 mph and my speed will drop to 25, I WILL notice the difference, BUT when I drive 235 mph and there will be drop to 225, I don't really think I will NOTICE the difference. I that more clearer explanation?

PS: by the way, where is that 18% drop came from? are you on the pipe again?

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Crashman

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Actually that's a worst case scenario, I got it from a recent review of a VIA Envy with a Creative Audigy 2 comparison. Depending on the sound application, CPU usage was between 4 and 18% as I recall.

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dougyfresh

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I thought those cards had onboard processors or something. I dont know. Whats the big difference from the Audigy cards and the sound blaster lives, and the Audigy 1 / 2 , LS, ZS, etc? (main differences, I don't need a thorough explaination)


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blah

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Main difference is the sound quality comming out of your speakers/headphones.

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Crashman

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Yes, they have fairly weak onboard processors (as opposed to those used in, say, a cheap video card). Those processors don't handle all tasks, they handle specific tasks, and leave the rest to software. And when they handle a specific task, they often process parts of those with the CPU too. Break up the workload, spread it out.

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