Oct 11, 2004
I have a K7T Turbo2 Mother Board (http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pro_mbd_detail.php?UID=24) and it has v=chip integrated Direct Sound AC97 Audio (know nother of how good it is). I also have a Sound Blaster 16 PCI 4.1 (supports EAX, hardware buffer). I would like to know wich of these is better for gaming (performance purpose). Is the Sound Blaster 16 PCI 4.1 better than the integrated Direct Sound AC97 Audio? Doesent the on board hurt the cpu load while the sound blaster (though not great) better due to it helping cpu load. Please help.


Dec 31, 2007
I don't know the answer but I can tell you how to check for yourself.

I'm using Quake3 for an example but the method can be used with any game if you know how to enable/disable the sound card. Some games let you do this others don't. Just make sure the game actually disables the sound and doesn't simply cut the volume. If in doubt you can always disable the profile for the sound card in Device manager. This will turn off the sound.

To prepare Quake for testing sound loading create two shortcuts to start Quake 3. Edit the first one as follows.

Change the Target string like this.



<b>D:\demos\Quake3Demo\q3demo.exe + set s_initsound 0 + cd_nocd 1</b>

(Note: I only have the demo of Q3 but you can use the same method for the full game)

That first shortcut will let you benchmark Quake3 with sound disabled.

For the second shortcut the target string will just read

<b>D:\demos\Quake3Demo\q3demo.exe + set cd_nocd 1</b>

I don't recall what the "set cd_nocd 1" option does but it's generally used when benchmarking Q3.

Now all you have to do is benchmark with and without sound for each sound card then you compare which one puts more load on the CPU. The one that reduces the framerates the most (vs no sound) is the one which relies most on the CPU for sound reproduction.

Just in case you don't know how to benchmark Q3, start the game. Press the "~" key. Type "timedemo 1" (without the quote marks) and press Enter. Next type "demo demo001" and press Enter. After the benchmark runs press the "~" key again to see your score.

<b>A mind is a terrible thing</b>