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ludi
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:24 pm

Still using an Asus Xonar DG in the desktop PC, but the newest HTPC build I didn't bother because HDMI audio was planned from the start. The previous HTPC had a Xonar DG also, but all it was doing was providing optical PCM to the receiver since that unit didn't offer an HDMI output.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:08 am

morphine wrote:
I should note that "external soundcard/DAC" does not imply "audiophile." I'm just putting this out here lest people think that the discussion is about going from $50-$100 soundcards to $500-$1000 dedicated DACs.

yeah I use a fairly badass receiver/speaker setup and it's not cheap stuff but I'm hardly an audiophile

(in fact if there's a next time I know I'm downgrading something or other cause this setup was insane on my budget)

I always find it weird that these discussions often seem to just skip past receivers.
And now I'm no longer primarily a PC gamer. *shrug*
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:39 am

LostCat wrote:
I always find it weird that these discussions often seem to just skip past receivers.


Depending on available space and desired output range, receivers can be good- but I feel that most have skipped past surround speakers altogether, negating a large part of a receiver's advantage.

Most use a 2.0 or 2.1 speaker setup for desktop 'sound', and switch to headphones for privacy/lower noise/surround sound.

I've skipped the speakers entirely lately, and just have my USB DAC/Amp and HD600 cans.

In response to the OP: I don't see the 'need' for sound cards much these days, even for gaming. Personally, I'm using Razer's Synapse software to provide surround HRTF to my headphones, and I call it a day. Those that are really into great sound and great gaming support are typically using a modern Creative card with optical out to a DAC/Amp chain.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:44 am

Discrete GPUs are going to be facing the same music with next generation of iGPU solutions coming out. They will start becoming "good enough" for masses and causal gamers which make up the bulk of the revenue for discrete GPU market.

It is the main reason why Nvidia has been trying to distance itself from discrete GPUs as its bread and butter for almost a decade now.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:01 am

Unlike sound fidelity, there will always be a need for more visual fidelity - and GPUs have area and thermal requirements that sound cards never had. GPUs are around to stay.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:13 am

They are becoming increasingly niche though. In the beginning, there was no IGP. Then there was IGP that was good enough if all you were doing was office applications. Now it's good enough unless you play technically demanding games or do content creation/CAD/CAE. DGPU is being pushed up-market, which means lower volumes and higher prices for the people who need/want them.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:25 am

The GPU extinction event really doesn't compare; sound took basically nothing, and most of the advancements today are on the software side and on not halfassing the analog stage.

GPU fusion with the CPU is still a memory revolution or two away; one requires some bandwidth but is intensely latency sensitive, while the other requires as much bandwidth as it can get and couldn't give a rats about latency. These are two opposing design goals, and any solution that 'splits the middle' will remain far from optimal.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:52 am

Airmantharp wrote:
GPU fusion with the CPU is still a memory revolution or two away; one requires some bandwidth but is intensely latency sensitive, while the other requires as much bandwidth as it can get and couldn't give a rats about latency. These are two opposing design goals, and any solution that 'splits the middle' will remain far from optimal.

Give the IGP its own DRAM and you solve that issue. I think we may start seeing more solutions like that Intel/AMD MCM.

I was disappointed that AMD's "SidePort" memory architecture never gained much traction, I thought it was a pretty reasonable solution to providing IGP without eating into the RAM capacity or bandwidth of the CPU. I guess that went out the window when they shifted their focus to APUs.

Somewhere in the parts collection I've got a Socket AM3 board with SidePort RAM for the IGP...
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:23 am

just brew it! wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:
GPU fusion with the CPU is still a memory revolution or two away; one requires some bandwidth but is intensely latency sensitive, while the other requires as much bandwidth as it can get and couldn't give a rats about latency. These are two opposing design goals, and any solution that 'splits the middle' will remain far from optimal.

Give the IGP its own DRAM and you solve that issue. I think we may start seeing more solutions like that Intel/AMD MCM.


I disagree. What I see in the future is that technologies like HBM or WideIO will simply replace (LP)DDR4(L). The performance factor isn't the primary reason but power and space savings in board layout will drive integration in this direction. For mobile, the removal of memory expansion is already common place in the thin and light market. This will be accelerated as EMIB is used between different functional blocks (CPU, GPU, IO, etc.).
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:27 am

I don't think JBI meant specifically DRAM, but rather give the IGP its own dedicated pool of low-latency, high bandwidth memory like Intel's EDRAM and such. Also similar to, at least from what we have seen, the new joint AMD-Intel Core+Vega+HBM.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:49 am

DancinJack wrote:
I don't think JBI meant specifically DRAM, but rather give the IGP its own dedicated pool of low-latency, high bandwidth memory like Intel's EDRAM and such. Also similar to, at least from what we have seen, the new joint AMD-Intel Core+Vega+HBM.


Other then laptops and SFFs with no room for dGPUs, I really don't see a use for this outside of that.
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:45 am

whm1974 wrote:
Other then laptops and SFFs with no room for dGPUs, I really don't see a use for this outside of that.

Most people don't buy laptops with dGPUs anymore in the first place, so that's kind of the point.

And memory bandwidth is pretty much the biggest sticking point for iGPUs and dGPUs. I'm all about replacing it with HBM2 if they can drop costs.
And now I'm no longer primarily a PC gamer. *shrug*
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:50 am

LostCat wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Other then laptops and SFFs with no room for dGPUs, I really don't see a use for this outside of that.

Most people don't buy laptops with dGPUs anymore in the first place, so that's kind of the point.

And memory bandwidth is pretty much the biggest sticking point for iGPUs and dGPUs. I'm all about replacing it with HBM2 if they can drop costs.

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for that as well but I simply don't see iGPUs completely replacing dGPUs at all.
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:00 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for that as well but I simply don't see iGPUs completely replacing dGPUs at all.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/272 ... sktop-pcs/

Global desktop PC sales decline every year, and the majority of those are corporate/office machines with Intel IGPUs. dGPUs won't disappear entirely but as someone else noted up-thread, they're being crowded into an ever-smaller and extremely specialized niche.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:06 pm

ludi wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for that as well but I simply don't see iGPUs completely replacing dGPUs at all.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/272 ... sktop-pcs/

Global desktop PC sales decline every year, and the majority of those are corporate/office machines with Intel IGPUs. dGPUs won't disappear entirely but as someone else noted up-thread, they're being crowded into an ever-smaller and extremely specialized niche.

So are you saying that PC Gaming is Dying? :lol: :lol:
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:08 pm

ludi wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for that as well but I simply don't see iGPUs completely replacing dGPUs at all.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/272 ... sktop-pcs/

Global desktop PC sales decline every year, and the majority of those are corporate/office machines with Intel IGPUs. dGPUs won't disappear entirely but as someone else noted up-thread, they're being crowded into an ever-smaller and extremely specialized niche.

Unfortunately I think you are right. I say unfortunately because I'm afraid that dGPUs will end up priced well out the reach of people who have use for them or may need them badly.
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:11 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
ludi wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Oh don't get me wrong, I'm all for that as well but I simply don't see iGPUs completely replacing dGPUs at all.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/272 ... sktop-pcs/

Global desktop PC sales decline every year, and the majority of those are corporate/office machines with Intel IGPUs. dGPUs won't disappear entirely but as someone else noted up-thread, they're being crowded into an ever-smaller and extremely specialized niche.

So are you saying that PC Gaming is Dying? :lol: :lol:

I highly doubt as Gaming PCs are highly useful for other things. Although it does that is getting harder to convince "Console Peasants" of that. :roll:
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:20 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
So are you saying that PC Gaming is Dying? :lol: :lol:

Image

whm1974 wrote:
ludi wrote:
Unfortunately I think you are right. I say unfortunately because I'm afraid that dGPUs will end up priced well out the reach of people who have use for them or may need them badly.

Not necessarily. The likely trajectory is that iGPUs will become powerful enough to displace most ordinary needs we now have for them, and the people who buy dGPUs will be the ones blowing a small fortune on 8K gaming setups and 3D CAD/GIS.

I recently downloaded the original FarCry (released: March 2004) from GoG and, for curiosity's sake, played through it on near-maximum settings using a laptop Intel HD3000 graphics (Sandy Bridge i7, c.a. 2011). That game would really warm up a higher-end GPU from that era, yet within six years an iGPU could run it smoothly.
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:38 pm

ludi wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
So are you saying that PC Gaming is Dying? :lol: :lol:

Image

whm1974 wrote:
ludi wrote:
Unfortunately I think you are right. I say unfortunately because I'm afraid that dGPUs will end up priced well out the reach of people who have use for them or may need them badly.

Not necessarily. The likely trajectory is that iGPUs will become powerful enough to displace most ordinary needs we now have for them, and the people who buy dGPUs will be the ones blowing a small fortune on 8K gaming setups and 3D CAD/GIS.

I recently downloaded the original FarCry (released: March 2004) from GoG and, for curiosity's sake, played through it on near-maximum settings using a laptop Intel HD3000 graphics (Sandy Bridge i7, c.a. 2011). That game would really warm up a higher-end GPU from that era, yet within six years an iGPU could run it smoothly.

Yeah iGPUs have better to the point of being able to play older AAA titles and e-sport type games at least. Speaking of very high resolutions, I doubt that I will be moving to 4K let alone 8K anytime soon as I paid a great deal for my 30" 2560x1600 display. And that one was on sale at the time....
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:39 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I highly doubt as Gaming PCs are highly useful for other things. Although it does that is getting harder to convince "Console Peasants" of that. :roll:

hell yeah I don't even intend to use my upper mid range gaming (or is it high end? hell I don't even know anymore) PC for anything at all anymore, except the games I already have on it of course. And the internet of course.
And now I'm no longer primarily a PC gamer. *shrug*
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:42 pm

LostCat wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
I highly doubt as Gaming PCs are highly useful for other things. Although it does that is getting harder to convince "Console Peasants" of that. :roll:

hell yeah I don't even intend to use my upper mid range gaming (or is it high end? hell I don't even know anymore) PC for anything at all anymore, except the games I already have on it of course. And the internet of course.

Not even for light photo and video editing? Or for writing notes and stuff?
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:48 pm

LostCat wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
I highly doubt as Gaming PCs are highly useful for other things. Although it does that is getting harder to convince "Console Peasants" of that. :roll:

hell yeah I don't even intend to use my upper mid range gaming (or is it high end? hell I don't even know anymore) PC for anything at all anymore, except the games I already have on it of course. And the internet of course.

He's saying PCs are useful for other things besides gaming. I think maybe he didn't phrase it clearly because I read it the other way.

ludi wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:
So are you saying that PC Gaming is Dying? :lol: :lol:

Image

:lol: :lol: I saw that bait and I jumped on it as fast as I could
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:39 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
He's saying PCs are useful for other things besides gaming. I think maybe he didn't phrase it clearly because I read it the other way.

I was just celebrating becoming a 'console peasant'. Hah. :)
And now I'm no longer primarily a PC gamer. *shrug*
 
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Re: So is the sound card dead?

Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:53 pm

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