July 16th, 2003, 10:52 PM #1
How do I know if my sound card decodes stuff?
I heard that certain games may run significantly faster if my sound card decodes sound instead of my CPU decoding it. I don't know anything about sound cards so this might be untrue.
Anyway, how can I tell if my sound card or the one I'm buying processes sound? Do all sound cards decode sound or just expensive ones? Any help would be great.
July 18th, 2003, 12:50 AM #2
Well, you have a PCI sound card, right? Then it decodes the sound in hardware. You may be able to find an old one that doesn't though.
If you have a USB card, chances are it offloads the audio chores to the CPU.
July 18th, 2003, 12:53 AM #3
If you`re using onboard audio then you might get slower FPSes in games. (slightly lower)
If you`re are using a PCI soundcard then it has a dedicated decoder which can improve performance in certain application such as games.
July 18th, 2003, 03:18 PM #4
If you have an Nforce 2 board, however, the onboard audio is decoded w/out the CPU.
July 18th, 2003, 08:18 PM #5
Not all PCI sound cards (add-in or otherwise) use hardware decoding. Some older ones were software decoders, meaning your CPU did the work. Certain Creative models were known for this. In fact, I think the Audigy (or Audigy 2) still does....
July 18th, 2003, 08:36 PM #6
The Audigy2 is famous for it's low CPU usage. I'm not exactly thrilled with Creative, due to software issues and the like, but I really like my Audigy, and plan to get an Audigy2 and use the hacked drivers that basically make it a new card.
July 18th, 2003, 10:01 PM #7
My sound card is a Sound Blaster Live 5.1, does this card do much?
Why would you need hacked drivers for the card? Are the company provided ones not useful or do they simply not work?
July 18th, 2003, 11:47 PM #8
The company provided ones have some issues that need to be worked out.; I've never lked Creative's drivers, esp. since the devldr16 program that killed performance. But the cards themselves are quite sound.
An SB Live is good at hardware decoding, but put tit on 3d decoding and game framerates suffer for some reason. Go figure
July 19th, 2003, 12:15 AM #9Originally posted by Redwolf
TI've never lked Creative's drivers, esp. since the devldr16 program
What is 3D sound anyway?
And what are A3D and EAX hardware acceleration?
July 19th, 2003, 12:29 AM #10
Okay, you obviously don't play many games, so don't worry to much about A3D and EAX. Those are schemes designed to create realistic surround sound from video games. 3D sound is the concept both use. It basically works by using each channel individually, so that the rear left puts out sound that's coming from the left behind you and such.
You may want to try and get rid of devldr32, unless you play DOS games that require it (ypu're using Win2k, so you shouldn't have a problem). It took me a while to get devldr16 off a friends machine. You have to go into the registry and delete all references to it, then find all of the devldr32 files and delete them. It's tough, but on my friend's comp he had an imediate performance gain.
July 19th, 2003, 12:50 AM #11
Actually I play lots of games, it's just that nobody considers sound and nobody really talks about sound cards and their usage. I've run Counter-Strike in both A3D and EAX and I couldn't even tell the difference between A3D, EAX and neither.
July 19th, 2003, 04:58 AM #12
Well, Counter-Strike isn't the best representation of good sound. If you want that, Ghost Recon is probably the top until DoomIII or maybe Half-Life2 come out. Oh, and if your using a 2.1 setup, don't worry much about sound API's (ie. EAX and A3D), because you just won't get the full effects of them in stereo mode.
But why should I be talking? I don't even have my multi-channel rig hooked up, and my headphones get more use than anything. That is the joy of having broadband and a PCI video card with 2 PCI slots: theirs no more room for my Audigy (which sits unused in a corner)
July 19th, 2003, 10:12 AM #13
Counter-Strike doesn't take full advantage of EAX or A3D. As Fox said, you also will need something like a 4.1 or a 5.1 system to see any real difference. In actuality, the difference between the two is that A3D simulates being in a room, so it can theoratically sound more realistic, but it is less friendly to developers. EAX simply treats each channel differently, which let's developers do as they please. At least that's my understanding of it.
July 19th, 2003, 10:56 AM #14
(Seems like this turned into the Alyson Hannigan thread )Where's Lunch?
July 19th, 2003, 08:01 PM #15
July 19th, 2003, 09:25 PM #16
Yes I know everyone loves my new avatar, thank you...
July 20th, 2003, 01:06 AM #17Originally posted by ShawnD1
Well she does have a very nice faceWhere's Lunch?
July 20th, 2003, 01:13 AM #18
In counter-strike, turn EAX and A3d off and go shoot in the garage or bridge section of cs_siege. Then turn both on (or one at a time if you wish) and go shoot in the garage again.
While CS isnt the latest and greates at 3d sound, it does work. Find any spot on any map that seems like it would ech in real life, and it will echo in CS. (or HL)
That is, if your Sound card supports 3d sound.Abit AW9D-Max | E6300 | XP-120 | Panaflow 120mm | 2x 1GB G.Skill DDR2-800 | BFG 8800GT | Corsair 650w
July 20th, 2003, 02:14 AM #19
Well, I'm not in a position to try that right now (computer is down), but if I remember right, I could still hear the reverb even when EAX/A3D was off. Because of my 2 PCI slot situiation, I am unable to run my Audigy when I am on a network, and I have a PCI video card. I think I still could get the extra stuff in cs_seige to work with my onboard Crystal Sound Fusion which does not support either audio API. In fact, CS won't load a game when I have that card active and the two options turned on.
I need someone else to back me up on this one, anyone?
EDIT: OK, I just had a freind check this for me, and he heard the reverb in seige with EAX/A3D on and off. So... maybe it's just his config, I don't know, but he said it sounded the same.
Last edited by ArcticFox; July 20th, 2003 at 02:24 AM.
July 20th, 2003, 12:05 PM #20
- Join Date
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Just because a card is PCI DOES NOT mean it does anything in hardware. Onboard sound is also connected by a PCI bus but it usually doesn't do anything in hardware. The thing that speeds up games is hardware mixing and effects. A $25 Soundblaster Live does this well.
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