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buffdaddy110
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Is P35 onboard audio any good?

Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:30 pm

I've strayed away from onboard audio in recent years and went with creative. I was wondering if anyone knew whether or not the ICH9R southbridge had a good enough on board audio solution, or should i go ahead and get another offering.
 
mako
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Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:53 am

I don't have a P35, but I have a G33 w/ICH9R. I've been using the onboard Realtek audio for a few weeks now and I'm not impressed. I get random clicks and pops (that at first I thought were from bad CD rips) and a faint hum. These issues have finally got me annoyed enough to dig the Revo7.1 out of the closet.

EDIT: Rereading this, I come off as pretty harsh, so I should say I'm satisfied with the sound quality: it actually sounds pretty good to me (who's been listening to Envy24 hardware for the past few years). The clicks and pops are the deal-breaker, though. They happen fairly infrequently, maybe once every 15-20 minutes; it's something that some people may not notice. Or it could be a driver/config issue. As always, YMMV.

EDIT2: After some experimenting, I think the random pops are actually due to PCI/IRQ conflicts.
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jhm
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Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:35 am

"Good enough" is subjective. It's good enough for me, but I'm not worried about perfect sound. Noticeable electronic noise especially when running 2x prime95. With music playing or gaming, can't hear it. Haven't experienced pops or clicks though..Definitely better than my old nforce2. Haven't tried 5.1 (or 7.1)..

NOTE: I'm not picky when it comes to sound. If it sounds like a reasonably accurate reproduction, I'm generally happy.

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ChronoReverse
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Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:06 pm

The P35 doesn't have built-in sound. The sound chipset is entirely dependent on the motherboard manufacturer.

For instance, my Gigabyte P35-DS3P Rev. 1.0 has the Realtek ALC 889A chipset which is fairly decent as far as onboard goes (claims 106dB SNR, haha). The Asus P5K-E comes with the ADI AD1988B chipset instead.

For my setup, I don't seem to get clicks and pops (thankfully) but if I turn the volume way up, I can hear a slight buzz that's not present with my old SB Live. Overall, I like it better than my old SB Live since I don't actually keep my volume maxed out ;)
 
crazybus
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Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:00 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:
The P35 doesn't have built-in sound. The sound chipset is entirely dependent on the motherboard manufacturer.

For instance, my Gigabyte P35-DS3P Rev. 1.0 has the Realtek ALC 889A chipset which is fairly decent as far as onboard goes (claims 106dB SNR, haha). The Asus P5K-E comes with the ADI AD1988B chipset instead.

For my setup, I don't seem to get clicks and pops (thankfully) but if I turn the volume way up, I can hear a slight buzz that's not present with my old SB Live. Overall, I like it better than my old SB Live since I don't actually keep my volume maxed out ;)
I don't think you understand how onboard audio works. In simplest terms, all the audio processing is handled by the cpu, but the chipset provides a serial interface to the codec, which as it's name suggests, encodes or decodes the analog or digital signal as required. The codec chip generally also provides a direct s/pdif interface for direct digital input/output. The codec chip on it's own wouldn't do a whole lot of good. That's why Intel has their HD Audio spec. You are right in surmising that the choice of codec and its implementation plays the biggest role in the quality of the analog output.
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ChronoReverse
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Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:24 am

I'm referring to the DAC when I talk about the SNR. I think you've misunderstood what I meant.

When you talk about onboard sound, it's not just the codec.

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