Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:36 am

bthylafh wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I've not tried using the Xonar on Linux myself, but IIRC they use an off-the-shelf C-Media codec. Provided that the generic C-Media drivers in Linux are up to snuff, it may actually work quite well.

The Xonar DX does work well enough in Linux, but you don't seem to get extras like Dolby Headphone and various DSP presets as in Windows.

Good to know. I'm starting to get into some amateur DAW-ish stuff and may be in the market for another discrete soundcard with decent ADCs. Not willing to pay big bucks for a professional-grade card though, so Xonar is on my short list.

Anything Dolby tends to be a no-go on Linux due to licensing issues. DSP presets are a non-issue; I've got that covered with JACK, which has a bazillion DSP plugins available. Getting JACK to play nice with Pulseaudio (the de facto "consumer" audio stack on Linux these days, for you non-Linux folks who haven't heard of it) is kind of a bitch, but once you get things sorted you've got a very versatile/flexible (if a bit fiddly... there's still a script I need to run after login to configure everything properly) audio setup.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:35 am

The Egg wrote:Hmm.....I agree with you that Asus is very slow to update drivers and they leave a bit to be desired, but so far I've seen none of the crashing/breaking that you're experiencing. Which Xonar card do you have, and what sort of sound config are you running? I suppose it helps that I just run 2-channel PCM stereo out through the headphone jack with no DSP. I also generally only adjust the master volume.


It's a DX model. Don't get any blue screens, but the sound driver will glitch or break in the listed ways, or stop working completely until I disable / re-enable the speakers in the Win 7 devices. At one point I got so fed up I used Driver Sweeper to nuke every single Realtek + ASUS sound related driver it could find, but that alas didn't lead to any improvements. I've tried the last three driver versions as well. Win 7 seems capable enough I may just reinstall the Realtek drivers and use it for the mic input alongside the Xonar, I probably should've done that months ago honestly. In the times I've removed the Xonar outright from the system I never once had any of those peculiar issues reappear.

Using 2.0 AudioEngine speakers with headphone jack. PCM 96k with only the hi-fi option set. I don't even mess with the channel settings anymore as it's random luck which ones work normally when watching 1080p movies, so I only modify the channel setting when I hear distortion. I actually prefer watching shows/movie off my monitor than the HDTV so my desktop has turned into my main media center.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:42 am

Kougar wrote:It's a DX model. Don't get any blue screens, but the sound driver will glitch or break in the listed ways, or stop working completely until I disable / re-enable the speakers in the Win 7 devices. At one point I got so fed up I used Driver Sweeper to nuke every single Realtek + ASUS sound related driver it could find, but that alas didn't lead to any improvements. I've tried the last three driver versions as well. Win 7 seems capable enough I may just reinstall the Realtek drivers and use it for the mic input alongside the Xonar, I probably should've done that months ago honestly. In the times I've removed the Xonar outright from the system I never once had any of those peculiar issues reappear.

Using 2.0 AudioEngine speakers with headphone jack. PCM 96k with only the hi-fi option set. I don't even mess with the channel settings anymore as it's random luck which ones work normally when watching 1080p movies, so I only modify the channel setting when I hear distortion. I actually prefer watching shows/movie off my monitor than the HDTV so my desktop has turned into my main media center.

Well, both cards use the same "AV100" chip made by C-Media. Can't say that I've ever had to mess with the speaker settings like that. One difference I see is that I only run PCM 48k, so maybe there's some sort of quirk in the driver relating to 96k.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:05 am

I haven't used the analog section of a modern onboard sound solution for a loong time...back in the day I used Creative SB Live! cards, then when I moved to Vista (SP1 so I avoided the early mess) I got various flavors of Xonars and Auzentechs. They are fine if you *must* have a good analog section built-in to your PC, but for the last 4 years or so I've been using various external 2-channel DAC/headphone amp/preamp units hooked up via S/PDIF and with the standard Realtek drivers direct from Realtek. Weird driver support and quirks were part of what soured me on soundcards, and audio gear is something that should last for many years imo, not become worthless because of poor driver support. Plus I only need stereo sound so I'm not worried about whether the motherboard manufacturer driver version has some added effects, but I suppose if that did matter I would look into a surround decoder of some type, probably in a receiver or prepro. The units I've used tend to be compact, half-rack sort of sized which I find convenient since my setup is on a desk and not an HTPC.

So, onboard is fine as a digital transport, there are plenty of reasonably-priced external DACs including pretty inexpensive USB DACs if you're after sound quality. My outlook on it is either use onboard or use an external unit that fits your needs and budget, internal soundcards are just a half-way solution...the one exception might be for people who *need* good analog surround output.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:19 am

I bought a new PC in feb 2013 and I got a $200 ASUS mobo with the ACL 892 or whatever....so here's some thoughts from me bearing in mind that on my old system I had the xonar DG soundcard.

892 with my Logitech z550's are quite acceptable, but there's a HUGE decrease in volume without the Xonar DG, however, I was having problems with some of my HD rips which I originally assumed was the rip, but with the new system and 892, those problems are gone, as such, I didn't re-install the xonar DG.

That being the case, my next soundcard will be $200 or so as I don't want any problems associated with a cheaper SC.

I know the value of a SC when I play blurays{which bypass the onboard}, so even my old Panasonic BD player connected to my Z550's via optical kicksass, for example, Breaking Bad on BD has epic sound quality, but you could've fooled me when watching HD rips of it with 892 onboard.

I'm not going to waste my time and money moving up from a $30 DG to a $100 whatever SC, I'm just going to get whatever I deem is the best SC for $180-$220.

Don't get me wrong, 892 is quite acceptable as you can always turn up the volume, but BD's via optical={the same thing as a decent SC} can scare the crap out of me if I'm caught off guard by an explosion, gunshot etc, etc.

Ignoring driver issues, I strongly encourage people to get both good speakers and SC, as there's no question that there's a HUGE advantage versus onboard and I find it impossible to believe anyone could say onboard is just as good as it's just not the case...that's not to say I consider 892 as rubbish, it's quite good, but you move to another level of volume, sound depth and punch with SC's etc.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:53 am

MadManOriginal wrote:I haven't used the analog section of a modern onboard sound solution for a loong time...back in the day I used Creative SB Live! cards, then when I moved to Vista (SP1 so I avoided the early mess) I got various flavors of Xonars and Auzentechs. They are fine if you *must* have a good analog section built-in to your PC, but for the last 4 years or so I've been using various external 2-channel DAC/headphone amp/preamp units hooked up via S/PDIF and with the standard Realtek drivers direct from Realtek. Weird driver support and quirks were part of what soured me on soundcards, and audio gear is something that should last for many years imo, not become worthless because of poor driver support. Plus I only need stereo sound so I'm not worried about whether the motherboard manufacturer driver version has some added effects, but I suppose if that did matter I would look into a surround decoder of some type, probably in a receiver or prepro. The units I've used tend to be compact, half-rack sort of sized which I find convenient since my setup is on a desk and not an HTPC.

So, onboard is fine as a digital transport, there are plenty of reasonably-priced external DACs including pretty inexpensive USB DACs if you're after sound quality. My outlook on it is either use onboard or use an external unit that fits your needs and budget, internal soundcards are just a half-way solution...the one exception might be for people who *need* good analog surround output.

This is really not a bad idea. You can keep or change external DACs whenever, without being tied to a particular card and it's limitations (whether hardware or driver). I occasionally frequent the Head-Fi forums, and I admit that I thought about this a little bit before getting my card (probably because it was the lazy option). There are, however, a few potential issues with this setup:
  • You will need to look at the sound chip for all future motherboards, and make sure it has a decent digital-output
  • If you're connecting to a TV/Stereo system, you will either need two (2) digital outputs, or an SPDIF passthrough on your external DAC (unless you can just transmit the audio via HDMI)
  • External DACs are generally higher quality, and also more expensive
  • If you were going to use a USB solution, this will result in additional CPU overhead (bad for gaming)
Another alternative would be to just buy a decent cheap soundcard that meets criteria and has a chip which you know is going to be viable for many years, rather than worry about what solution a future motherboard might have.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:32 am

What I've gone and done is have two discrete audio devices on my PC. On-board audio is the default sound device and used for gaming and everything else, routed to some cheap but decent 2.1 computer speakers. Then I use an external DAC for music via foobar2000's ASIO output. The external DAC gets piped through an integrated stereo amp, and then to a pair of floorstanding towers. Entry level stuff far as audio goes, but better than any PC speakers I've heard so far.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:01 am

l33t-g4m3r wrote:That said, we've totally reached diminishing returns and modern pc users have turned into wood knob / vacuum tube audiophiles who have no clue about what we really need for good sound, and they destroyed the 3d sound market for gaming. Consoles have dedicated 3d sound hardware, and now offer far better sound that their PC port equivalents.


That may be true of "audiophiles" but most PC users are nowhere near the point of diminishing returns. I work on a lot of home PCs and most of the desktops have speakers about as good as a clock radio, and most people with laptops use the built-in speakers.

Good 3d sound in gaming would be nice I suppose, but it's not my primary concern when it comes to PC audio, since I do most of my music listening through my PC. Surround setups tend to sound worse for music at a given price range too. If you are buying 2-3x as many speakers for the same price those speakers are usually going to be a lot worse. Most music is mastered for stereo listening as well, unlike movies (which I watch on my big TV with surround)

l33t-g4m3r wrote:As for listening to music, we're still stuck with poorly mastered 16-bit stereo cds, as the superior 24-bit dvd surround audio format never caught on.


I totally agree with you there. I wouldn't expect any physical media to catch on at this point, but I don't know why more digital stores and artists/labels don't release their music in 24-bit. Most of them are recording in 24-bit or higher anyway. Even most of the "lossless" downloads you can get are just 16-bit FLAC files taken directly from the CD, but CDs have already lost a lot of the sound. Better mastering would help a lot too. Most audio engineers don't seem to know the meaning of dynamic range.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:20 am

travbrad wrote:Better mastering would help a lot too. Most audio engineers don't seem to know the meaning of dynamic range.

This. As I noted above, the mastering on a lot of contemporary music doesn't even push the limits of lossy compressed codecs, because it's already had all the life squashed out of it. If you master stuff so that it sounds like it is playing on an AM radio nobody's going to care whether it is 16-bit or 24-bit, compressed or uncompressed.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:51 pm

just brew it! wrote:If you master stuff so that it sounds like it is playing on an AM radio nobody's going to care

Exactly, which is why I don't care to obsess over super high quality stereo equipment. It's pointless epeen. A $100-200 system is good enough for recordings of this level, and you can just ironically hook that up to your free onboard. (lol "audiophiles" using onboard.) I'm more concerned about having some depth in my games, which most pc "audiophiles" have completely overlooked and written off. This is why gimmicky 5.1 headsets exist. Modern PC games are not even using basic HRTF, let alone any effects, while consoles take gaming audio serious with dedicated hardware. This is killing pc gaming, as consoles are turning out to be a superior experience.

Yeah. Let's all continue to buy $1000+ speaker systems and hook it up to onboard for 16bit stereo cds. Ugh. Wallet voting for the wrong party.

Can AMD fix this? Maybe. But not if they don't open it up to everyone. OpenAL could work, but I get the feeling it's not being used because ease of use and stability aren't there. Amnesia turned out really well with OpenAL, but newer versions of the API break compatibility with the in-game audio settings. AMFP should have fixed that, but they didn't, and most people downloaded the latest version and had trouble configuring it.

Actually, I do have some hope for pc audio via the steambox. That might be just enough to push developers to start using a 3rd party api over Microsoft.

Another alternative would be to just buy a decent cheap soundcard that meets criteria and has a chip which you know is going to be viable for many years

Yup. I have one of the original xtreme music cards, and it's still good. Actually went back to using it over my auzentech, because auzentech quit updating the drivers. You can pick up dell versions of these cards pretty cheap off ebay, around $20, only issue being pci. I did pick up a pci-e x-fi for future proofing, but haven't bothered to install it.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:36 pm

l33t-g4m3r wrote:
Another alternative would be to just buy a decent cheap soundcard that meets criteria and has a chip which you know is going to be viable for many years

Yup. I have one of the original xtreme music cards, and it's still good. Actually went back to using it over my auzentech, because auzentech quit updating the drivers. You can pick up dell versions of these cards pretty cheap off ebay, around $20, only issue being pci. I did pick up a pci-e x-fi for future proofing, but haven't bothered to install it.

Does Creative still use proprietary digital outputs? I remember my Audigy2ZS wouldn't do more than stereo through the digital out because they wanted you to buy some bulls**t Creative speaker system.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:12 am

No, not on their newer cards. They have standard connectors, although IMO that defeats the purpose of having a dedicated sound card. There also is some software hacks for those older cards, if you look.

BTW, Creative doesn't offer the xfi anymore, only the z series and lesser models. IMO, the xfi is a better card with better drivers, so you might have to go eBay if you want one. The z's do have some new features though, so it just depends on what you like.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:12 am

Been very happy with my Z, upgraded from an old Audigy 2ZS plat. PCI slots are getting scarce on new mobos so I figured might as well upgrade. Not had any real issues with it and sound quality at least is much better. Sound used to sound real bassy and muddled at times on the old card, everything is a lot more defined now. Not a single driver issue so far with the new card, and I have upgraded them twice so far since it has been installed. Mic input is a lot better too, my guildies on mumble say I do not sound like I am talking on a tin can anymore :D
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:58 am

Hey Starfalcon, a little off-topic, but I dig the PC in your sig. I used to have an Abit BP6 with dual-celly 366's. I also had a SB AWE32, which was an awesome card for it's day. The MIDI Wavetable synthesis blew everything else out of the water, even cards from several generations afterward. I still remember using it to listen to classical MIDI files on my 1995 edition of Compton's Encyclopedia. If you listened to the same songs with a different card, there was literally no comparison.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:36 am

I listened to music on my main PC for the first time in about six months today. For the past six months I had exclusively been listening to music on an HTPC in my living room through a $100 external USB DAC.

My main PC has an Asus Xonar DG sound card which is pretty cheap as far as sound cards go. Anyway, moral of the story is that my main PC sounded muddy, less detailed and all around worse than my HTPC with an external DAC. I was honestly very surprised at this, but all and all I think you get what you pay for when it comes to DACs (which is all a sound card really does).
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:21 am

kumori wrote:that my main PC sounded muddy, less detailed and all around worse than my HTPC with an external DAC. I was honestly very surprised at this.

It's called a "placebo effect", there's nothing really surprising about it :wink: Before noticing the difference you already knew that your "main PC" had a different and supposedly "inferior"/cheaper sound card and its DAC so it was easy for you to make yourself to believe that it sounds "all around worse" :P
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:13 am

JohnC wrote:
kumori wrote:that my main PC sounded muddy, less detailed and all around worse than my HTPC with an external DAC. I was honestly very surprised at this.

It's called a "placebo effect", there's nothing really surprising about it :wink: Before noticing the difference you already knew that your "main PC" had a different and supposedly "inferior"/cheaper sound card and its DAC so it was easy for you to make yourself to believe that it sounds "all around worse" :P


Our brains do get used to certain speakers/headphones/sound cards/DACs/etc too. A lot of people talk about "breaking in" new headphones but when people have done actual measurements on them there is virtually no difference between a brand new speaker and a "broken in" speaker. What you are actually "breaking in" is your brain and how you perceive the sound. That's one reason why most people think THEIR speakers/DAC/whatever sounds better.

There's a good chance that if kumori had done the reverse and had been listening through their PC/internal sound card for the last 6 months, then switched to the external DAC, the DAC would probably sound "weird" or "wrong". It wouldn't surprise me if the external DAC does actually produce better sound, but so much of how we "hear" music and audio is actually in our brains/psychology which is still largely a mystery to us.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:39 am

l33t-g4m3r wrote:
just brew it! wrote:If you master stuff so that it sounds like it is playing on an AM radio nobody's going to care

Exactly, which is why I don't care to obsess over super high quality stereo equipment. It's pointless epeen. A $100-200 system is good enough for recordings of this level, and you can just ironically hook that up to your free onboard. (lol "audiophiles" using onboard.)

That argument only holds water if you listen to the badly mastered source material exclusively. There's high-quality audio content out there; it's just a little hard to find among contemporary pop/rock recordings. If you listen to classical, jazz, or stuff that was mastered before the "loudness wars" spiraled out of control you can find plenty of material with decent dynamic range.

l33t-g4m3r wrote:I'm more concerned about having some depth in my games, which most pc "audiophiles" have completely overlooked and written off. This is why gimmicky 5.1 headsets exist. Modern PC games are not even using basic HRTF, let alone any effects, while consoles take gaming audio serious with dedicated hardware. This is killing pc gaming, as consoles are turning out to be a superior experience.

This isn't an onboard vs. discrete audio issue at all. Modern CPUs are perfectly capable of doing HRTF; the developers of audio APIs, game engines, and games just need to implement it.

l33t-g4m3r wrote:Yeah. Let's all continue to buy $1000+ speaker systems and hook it up to onboard for 16bit stereo cds. Ugh. Wallet voting for the wrong party.

What percentage of PC users do you think are actually buying $1000 speaker systems? I'd bet it is well under 1%. Their effect on the market is negligible.

l33t-g4m3r wrote:Can AMD fix this? Maybe. But not if they don't open it up to everyone. OpenAL could work, but I get the feeling it's not being used because ease of use and stability aren't there. Amnesia turned out really well with OpenAL, but newer versions of the API break compatibility with the in-game audio settings. AMFP should have fixed that, but they didn't, and most people downloaded the latest version and had trouble configuring it.

I seriously doubt AMD is going to "fix" anything in this area. Their clout in the PC segment is greatly diminished, and Microsoft/Sony are driving the console market (AMD is effectively just a component supplier). Any industry-wide standard for positional audio will need to come from Intel, Microsoft, or a collaboration between the major game engine developers. A serious push to standardize and stabilize OpenAL might be a reasonable way to proceed here.

l33t-g4m3r wrote:Actually, I do have some hope for pc audio via the steambox. That might be just enough to push developers to start using a 3rd party api over Microsoft.

I think the Steambox is a long shot. I'd love to see it succeed, but I think they've got a long uphill slog ahead of them.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:41 am

kumori wrote:I listened to music on my main PC for the first time in about six months today. For the past six months I had exclusively been listening to music on an HTPC in my living room through a $100 external USB DAC.

My main PC has an Asus Xonar DG sound card which is pretty cheap as far as sound cards go. Anyway, moral of the story is that my main PC sounded muddy, less detailed and all around worse than my HTPC with an external DAC. I was honestly very surprised at this, but all and all I think you get what you pay for when it comes to DACs (which is all a sound card really does).

Did you use the same headphones/speakers? If not, then there's a huge uncontrolled variable in this test.

I would also wager that a lot of modern onboard implementations don't really drive headphones properly, but this is not really a DAC issue. A headphone amp (connected thru the existing DACs) would fix it.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:35 pm

I care quite a bit for good audio, but I don't believe (as I have never experienced) that upgrading your DAC will help a lot.
This is because consumer grade DAC's have been very good for a long time now, and anything above 16bit/44.1KHz is pretty much useless anyway.

However, onboard audio is still really bad. Not because the DAC's are bad but because of the implementation of the entire audio circuit.
There little to no shielding available and, I don't know if this is a thing that Windows does or that Realtek drivers do, but when the Windows volume mixer is put above a certain level it will start gaining above Line level and thus cause clipping.
And because of the shielding issue, ever since I got 2 GPU's (in SLI) there's been a TON of static. So bad that quite often the source material could hardly be heard anymore.
I could also hear my HDD spin up or when it was busy through my headphones/speakers.

Ever since then I've had a external audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2) connected over a balanced connection (TRS > XLR) to my Yamaha HS80M's.

There's also the issue that a lot of front panel wiring have little to no shielding on them, which makes talking to people who have their mic plugged in to the front panel via Skype absolutely horrible.

If you want to watch some great video's on the subject, then I would recommend these: http://xiph.org/video/
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:24 pm

n00by wrote:There little to no shielding available and, I don't know if this is a thing that Windows does or that Realtek drivers do, but when the Windows volume mixer is put above a certain level it will start gaining above Line level and thus cause clipping.

This is a Windows software issue, not a hardware issue.

n00by wrote:And because of the shielding issue, ever since I got 2 GPU's (in SLI) there's been a TON of static. So bad that quite often the source material could hardly be heard anymore.
I could also hear my HDD spin up or when it was busy through my headphones/speakers.

Well, all I can say on this is that I haven't had this issue particular in close to 10 years. I do tend to stick with the rear jacks though; front panel jacks are indeed prone to interference.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:42 pm

just brew it! wrote:This is a Windows software issue, not a hardware issue.

Ah thank you for the clarifcation, what I started doing once I learned this (a couple of years back) is to just put Windows at 50% and control the volume at the hardware level.
just brew it! wrote:Well, all I can say on this is that I haven't had this issue particular in close to 10 years. I do tend to stick with the rear jacks though; front panel jacks are indeed prone to interference.

This is actually with the rear jacks which made it all the more interesting, I can make a video tomorrow to demonstrate (Don't have time right now).
The motherboard in question is the Asus P8Z68-V Gen3, which has the ALC892.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:54 pm

n00by wrote:This is actually with the rear jacks which made it all the more interesting, I can make a video tomorrow to demonstrate (Don't have time right now).
The motherboard in question is the Asus P8Z68-V Gen3, which has the ALC892.

One other thought: While the rear out jacks on recent motherboards tend to be pretty clean (in my experience), the input jacks (line in and especially mic) can still be somewhat noise-prone. Try muting any inputs you're not using.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:05 pm

Even the most expensive motherboards which I tested had noise and interference on his audio.

So I bought a cheap Asus Xonar DG. It was completely noiseless, and had headphone power gain, which is priceless.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:24 pm

marraco wrote:Even the most expensive motherboards which I tested had noise and interference on his audio.

So I bought a cheap Asus Xonar DG. It was completely noiseless, and had headphone power gain, which is priceless.

The Realtek ALC887 on my Asus M5A97 R2.0 has no audible noise either. It also has an integrated headphone amp, which I agree makes a big difference when listening through headphones.

To be fair, I don't have a high-end video card (let alone two of them), so I can't say for certain whether it would do as well in a dual-SLI setup like n00by's.

And I still use a discrete card if I need to record from an analog source. But I don't do much of that these days (though I may be doing more soon, but that's another story).
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:29 pm

Anyone used an ALC1150 in here? I'm about to get one and I don't know if I should expect it to be better, worse, pretty much the same (my guess heh)...their documents are pretty useless.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:53 pm

Savyg wrote:Anyone used an ALC1150 in here? I'm about to get one and I don't know if I should expect it to be better, worse, pretty much the same...their documents are pretty useless.

Their documents are indeed useless, but maybe not for the reason you think. Current audio chips are generally not the limiting factor with onboard sound. Quality of the motherboard implementation is the limiting variable. Provided the motherboard designer has a clue, any codec made in roughly the past half decade should be capable of decent performance. Fortunately, top-tier motherboard vendors seem to have a clue these days. Most of the time.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:51 pm

just brew it! wrote:Their documents are indeed useless, but maybe not for the reason you think.

From what I can tell it's because they're mostly (functionally) the same chips among the newer models, just with different SNR claims and power related circuitry.

That's about all I can tell. 'WaveRT-based audio function driver for Windows Vista and Windows 7 ' amuses me. Forgetting something? Heh.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:43 am

Yeah, onboard can be noisy, which is why most onboard users prefer digital. If you're using analog, you really should be using a dedicated card. Creative's old xfi expansion bay had mic noise issues, which was easy enough to fix by muting it. I've never had issues with front panel though. Afaik, Intel HD is supposed to be shielded, but that probably depends on your case manufacturer. Even if you can get good output from onboard, I don't like the concept. You're not contributing towards improving functionality, just maintaining status quo, and you will only get basic drivers. It's like people preferring Intel graphics over AMD/NV, and that's stupid. Onboard users should all donate to OpenAL Soft, otherwise they're hurting the community with non participation. AMD has the right idea in including audio in their cards, because IMO it's the only way to restore 3d audio when the community refuses to pay for dedicated sound cards. There's just not enough money in onboard to fund a 3d api.
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Re: Share Your Thoughts about Onboard Audio

Postposted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:16 am

I feel like you are confusing a couple of things there. First of all, audio has to go analog somewhere. It's just where you decide to go from digital to analog that makes a difference.
Second, AMD is not building a sound card/interface/DAC in to their cards, just a DSP which processes the sound before sending it over to an actual audio device (like your onboard audio solution or the HDMI out on your GPU).
As long as you are still digital (analog too, but not in practice) you can process the audio anywhere you like for effects, whether it be through a DSP or a CPU, before sending it over to your audio device of choice.

Personally, I don't like the way of a dedicated DSP. I would much rather have it done through the CPU (at least 2 core are idle most of the time) or GPGPU.
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