On board sound, any good?

V

-=V8=-

New Member
#1
Hello All,

Ive just ordered a new mobo a AM2NF3-VSTA. It say it has onboard sound as:

- 7.1 CH Windows® Vista™ Premium Level Superior Audio (C-Media CM6501 Audio Codec with UAA architecture)

Would this be a better option than my old creative audigy. I have a creative 7.1 speaker system but obviously this has always been limited to the audigy 6.1 properties?

Thanks.
 
U

uart

New Member
#2
It probably depends on the purpose that you primarily want to use it for, but I would think the audigy would be preferable.

For recording I'd definitely prefer the audigy, it would almost certainly have lower distortion (THD and IMD) and better singal to noise ratio (SNR) than the onboard audio.

For music playback I suppose the onboard might be good enough, it depends on how important 7.1 is to you (I only use stereo so I cant really offer an opinion on that).

For games I don't know. Convential wisdom is that onboard audio uses more system resources than a PCI card solution but I don't know if that is still relevant.
 
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krupted

krupted

New Member
#3
actually, with vista he probably gets better sound with his onboard setup then he will with the creative card. vista has a built-in software audio engine that is fantastic. no more need for seperate soundcards at all, onboard sound will sound great.
 
V

-=V8=-

New Member
#4
krupted said:
actually, with vista he probably gets better sound with his onboard setup then he will with the creative card. vista has a built-in software audio engine that is fantastic. no more need for seperate soundcards at all, onboard sound will sound great.
Interesting, thanks chaps.
 
K

Kane17

New Member
#5
It is true, the onboard sound will probably at least sound as good as audigy, especially in vista. The only other issues that may be considered is what uart suggested, the signal/noise ratio in recording and that the onboard sound may use more resources...

with onboard sound (this is just a wild guess) your audio chip is probably more dependant on your cpu and bus so the extra traffic may possibly increase the amount of noise.

You might not do recording, but if you have a not-so beefy machine the resources point may be an issue..

I have an analogue devices SoundMax onboard audio, and it sounds great but it totally CRIPPLES my C3 800Mhz. Now I realize that hardly ANYONE (at all) has a computer with such a lowly cpu in it but still, nothing should affect performance as much as this did.

My Cpu Usage jumps between 30-60% usage during simple mp3 playback, and MIDI (again, something hardly anyone uses) clips, jumping between 50-100% usage (probably due to the fact that it was a SOFTWARE synthesizer running on an audio chip that just used the CPU to do its work = double dose of death for my system). Just for the record, these were recorded in Win98SE with NOTHING RUNNING aside from the creative media player (or wingrove :eek: ). I placed my aging SB Live! card in and everything is a lot quicker, since I'm ALWAYS using audio (machine is my recording studio). And now I can even play games :eek:



But just to make this clear, if you dont plan on playing games, it is a total-non issue for CPU's above 1 measley Ghz and the onboard may defineately be better.
 
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V

-=V8=-

New Member
#6
Kane17 said:
But just to make this clear, if you dont plan on playing games, it is a total-non issue for CPU's above 1 measley Ghz and the onboard may defineately be better.
Yikes, my achilles heal, I must admit I am a big gamer. Some may say go for a better SC but I must draw a line in the sand. Simply putting togethor my new rig has involved new mobo, ram, cpu and all this around a 7600GT AGP card that is less than a month old (old one melted). I refuse to go PCI-E yet:D

After all the above comments I suppose I should have penned my question as thus:

Would I see an increase/decrease in performance over quality and vice versa using on board sound as opposed to a PCI Audigy card. Personally I would place performance more important than audio quality.

I guess maybe I need to try a few benchmarks using both?
 
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krupted

krupted

New Member
#7
so far, in my experience, the software audio uses very little resources. also, remember that most, or all on board audio is immediately supported by vista, either right on the cd or through windows update. and, vista is designed to work solely on software audio- their whole purpose for the overhaul to the audio was to eliminate the hassles and need of pci cards- and to uniformally put audio programming and usage into one straightforward path. with creative or other pci cards now, you have to worry about drivers, tricking windows to use hardware audio, you lose a space in your case, possible incompatibility.... its just not worth it. its like slapping a patch on a cut thats just healed over.
 
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V

-=V8=-

New Member
#8
Scuppered

Well it seems my choice is now limited as the audigy doesn't have vista drivers. I'm now without a firewire port also...grrr computers eh;)
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#9
im fairly certain there will be or is vista drivers out there somewhere for the augidy. at least i know for sure they have sblive! and xfi drivers, it would only make sense the audigy ones are not far behind.

but honestly, who cares. just use onboard sound, its absolutely fantastic with vista audio. i really cant say enough....
 
V

-=V8=-

New Member
#10
krupted said:
im fairly certain there will be or is vista drivers out there somewhere for the augidy. at least i know for sure they have sblive! and xfi drivers, it would only make sense the audigy ones are not far behind.

but honestly, who cares. just use onboard sound, its absolutely fantastic with vista audio. i really cant say enough....
Thanks fella, you've sold it to me :)
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#11
im surprised more people haven't noticed. then again most people thought xp's on board solutions were fine. when i first installed vista onto my home theater i just laughed. it sounds better then the audigy2zs or the montegoddl, no joke. actually it sounds better then my cd player hooked up to it, it has literally made my system sound better then it ever has and thats even with an old intel onboard audio controller, its not even HD or anything. plus i have got over $100 back from selling my two pci cards, so that alone has paid for one of my vista keys.
 

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