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View Full Version : How much would a soundcard improve my computer's performance? I am using on-board sou



sledgehammer2
10-27-2004, 06:52 PM
I am planning on getting a Soundblaster Audigy when I get the money, or maybe asking for it for Christmas. But I was wondering how much if any it would improve the capacity of my machine to handle FB. My system is

AMD 64 3000
ATI Radeon Pro 9800 128 meg
1 gig PC3200 RAM
Windows XP
Logitech 5.1 speakers
380 watt PS
MSI Neo mobo

Right now I have me ATI set up for 4x AF and AA, V-synch off, hi quality mipmapping.

I am using Open GL and 1024x768 32 bit res. I think the game settings are at Excellent. My average on the Black-Death track is 36 FPS. I can set up stuff from the UQMG with, depending on the map and ground action, about 60 - 80 planes in the air. Sometimes the fps will drop down to around 20 in heavy activity which I don't like. A set up with around 40-50 planes is better. The few missions I have done in the stock Bf-109 campaign have averaged in the mid 40s.

So, would adding a sound card make much of a difference? I am pleased with the quality of my sound and the Logitech speakers are great, but I am wondering if a SB2 would free up some CPU power. I just had this sytem built specifically for AEP/PF and I am pleased, but I want to maximize what my system can do.
Thanks.
sledgehammer2

VW-IceFire
10-27-2004, 07:32 PM
What onboard sound system do you have? I don't see it listed.

What you are getting is generally very good FPS but for your system I would be expecting 36 fps with Perfect mode and not Excellent. I'd check on that to be sure. If its 36 fps in Perfect...then you are doing well. I have a lesser system and get 32 fps in Perfect mode on the Black Death track.

If its a SoundStorm onboard audio...a Soundblaster will make no difference. If its one of the others...then yes it can make a difference...but probably 5-6fps at the most. You can find out by turning the sound off in the setup and seeing what difference it makes.

sledgehammer2
10-27-2004, 07:58 PM
VW, your response poses another question. How exactly do I set up for Perfect? In initial set up screen there is an option for Simple, and Excellent is the highest option among the choices. That is what I selected. Are you talking about going into the config file and changing a bunch of numbers? I don't think I know how to do that or which numbers to change to what.

In answer to which onboard sound - the manual says it is RealTek ALC655. Compliance with AC97 97 v2.3 Spec. That's word for word from the manual. Is that what you were asking?

dannyworkman
10-31-2004, 11:23 AM
I had the same on board sound and replaced with a 20 US dollar 24 bit audogy live sound blaster.I have a new game as far as I'm concerned.Really like it.
P4 2.4ghz
1024 ram 2700 pci
fx5200 pci
20" samsung
What am am missing to get those frps
black death avg 23.
can the eye see over 20?

SlickStick
10-31-2004, 11:45 AM
Onboard sound uses CPU cycles that could be used for the game. Having a seperate sound card puts the work on the sound card and it's sound processing.

As for Perfect mode. OpenGL, 32-bit color and Stencil Buffer must be on. Then instead of Simple mode in Video Options, choose Custom and select Perfect, while keeping all others at their highest.

Von_Zero
10-31-2004, 11:55 AM
i've changed an AC97 with a new Audigy, (togheter with the whole sytem http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif )
and belive me, it is a brand new sound. that also depends of your speakers, from my pov, some good quality surround system should do the job.
the fist time i noticed the diff i was flying an 109 and got hit by the flak. nothing strage, except the fact i was stunned in the chair for about 30 sec, after hearing that sound. it was the most perfect i had ever heard within FB, something with an outstanding depth and clarity. it simply broke ur soul and made u think the entire sky had broken over ur plane.
oh, sry, i got carried away, but to get an outstanding imersion, quality sound is one of the basics. if you can afford a top of the line sound board and a hi quality surround system (5.1 should be ok, i have never understood the ideea behind 6.1 and 7.1 and aldough i heard how these sounmd, i still consider them "useless", but maybe i'm just biased http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif ) yuou wil literally feel like playing a different game (in better, that is ) http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

sledgehammer2
10-31-2004, 03:36 PM
I have tried to select Perfect landscape- and when I try to run it everything except the plane I am in is totally black. What could cause this?

Xiolablu3
10-31-2004, 04:02 PM
AC97 sound is awful in my experience, I picked up a soundblaster live second hand for 5 and its wicked.

A brand new sound card just doesnt warrant the expense as you get a bit of extra performance but not that much.

I cant tell much difference between my system with the SB live and my brothers with the Audigy.

Von_Zero
10-31-2004, 04:14 PM
i've read somewhere that some guy modified some drivers for SB live and worked perfectly for Audigy, except a port or something, thus launcing the rummor that Audigy is just a "overclocked" (is this term correct for audio cards?) SB live... preety fuzzy, i don't know much about, but it comes quite hard to belive.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

steve_v
10-31-2004, 08:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>How much would a soundcard improve my computer's performance? I am using on-board <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The answer is - depends, and I don't mean the adult diaper.

Replacing the current onboard RealTek ALC655 with a sound card having an APU will open up the sound element of the sim and provide a few extra FPS. Simply stated, APU onboard or separate sound cards require fewer cpu resources than non-APU cards which results in better sound and performance.

At this time APUs can be found on nvidia chipsets with onboard Soundstorm and Creative's Audigy series.

hobnail
10-31-2004, 10:33 PM
Weird Sledgehammer2,

I have the EXACT same specc'd machine and am running with AC97 onboard sound, my SB Live having terminated my previous computer when it fried.

I'd be interested in people's experiences on this. I couldn't tell much difference with my new PC to my old with the Live. However there was a good period of time in between the two and sound is a hard thing to compare at the time let alone over a few weeks.

Marek_Steele
10-31-2004, 11:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Von_Zero:
i've read somewhere that some guy modified some drivers for SB live and worked perfectly for Audigy, except a port or something, thus launcing the rummor that Audigy is just a "overclocked" (is this term correct for audio cards?) SB live... preety fuzzy, i don't know much about, but it comes quite hard to belive.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

For what I remember it was actually an hack to use the audigy mixer software on a CL Live if that's what you refer to (such as there are other hacks to run the 2 on a 1 and zs on a 2 for added band filter). On the other hand those chips are quite different, from newer eax3-4 engine to true 192khz and asio support. Maybe a firewire port/wavetable or joystick might stop working then.

Btw, I'm running an aud 2 using a 5.1 setup, live settings on il2setup and sometimes I get crackle on the front left speaker after long burst cannon fire (pretty evident with mk108s), does this happen to any of you? TIA

DD_NL
11-01-2004, 01:07 AM
Definately get a new soundcard. I have the onboard AC97 also, then got a Creative Sounblaster Live 5.1 last week (30 bucks). MAJOR difference,even MP3's sound a hundred times better.

The-Good-Guy
11-01-2004, 03:01 AM
This is an interesting thread.

I have SoundMAX Digital Audio. I don't know how this is regarded quality-wise. Would there be much benefit going to SB Live for example?

Ta,

Nutcase

Viking-S
11-01-2004, 06:04 AM
You can do a practical test by benchmarking a track. I tested a track with Soundblaster Audigy2 and got 10378 frames and then disabled sound and got 11204 frames. I loose 8% with this card. Normal?

RevvinUK
11-01-2004, 07:15 AM
I used to have an ASUS A7N8X motherboard that used the nVidia Soundstorm chipset and noticed no noticeable drop in frame rate or quality of sound. Before I used that motherboard I was a happy Creative user for many years since their first Soundblaster card many years ago. I was really quite pleasantly surprised by the Sounstorm chipset as it delived good quality sound, was 5.1 compliant and could emulate EAX which a lot of games support.

A few months ago I upgraded my PC and stayed with ASUS, this time buying an A8V Deluxe motherboard so I could use an AMD 64 CPU. The onboard sound chip in the specs looked ok, it was 7.1 compliant and a pretty popular chipset (Realtek ALC850) but I was dissapointed with the quality of the sound especially in IL-2:FB where I tried many different settings but suffered odd sound glitches. In the end I decided to go with an Audigy 2 ZS card and have since added a 7.1 speaker setup (Creative Inspire 7700) and I'm very happy with the results. IL-2:FB has never sounded so good and that goes for the rest of my games.

Spinnetti
11-01-2004, 07:32 AM
SAVE YOUR MONEY!

I have esentially the same setup as you do.
I went from onboard ac97 to audigy2, and hated it. Had lots of wierd problems. Went back to onboard, and happy since.

Hunter82
11-01-2004, 07:33 AM
only if I use 16 channels

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Marek_Steele:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Von_Zero:
i've read somewhere that some guy modified some drivers for SB live and worked perfectly for Audigy, except a port or something, thus launcing the rummor that Audigy is just a "overclocked" (is this term correct for audio cards?) SB live... preety fuzzy, i don't know much about, but it comes quite hard to belive.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

For what I remember it was actually an hack to use the audigy mixer software on a CL Live if that's what you refer to (such as there are other hacks to run the 2 on a 1 and zs on a 2 for added band filter). On the other hand those chips are quite different, from newer eax3-4 engine to true 192khz and asio support. Maybe a firewire port/wavetable or joystick might stop working then.

Btw, I'm running an aud 2 using a 5.1 setup, live settings on il2setup and sometimes I get crackle on the front left speaker after long burst cannon fire (pretty evident with mk108s), does this happen to any of you? TIA <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Viking-S
11-01-2004, 08:25 AM
Lots of talk and no shop!
Well I did a test on my NF7-S with Soundstorm and found this:

Audigy2 10750 frames.(In game SB Live setting)
NF7-S APU 10930 frames.(In game EAX1 only...)

All settings same! 1024x768x32 first track of €œallPF€.
NF7-S, 3200+, 2x512 dual channel (3-4-4-11) ,2xSATA,GF5900 etc.

GH_Klingstroem
11-01-2004, 09:09 AM
Sledgehammer get the latest driver for your video card!! that should solve it! if its an ATI card, get the 4.10 driver at their website!

Simjock
11-01-2004, 11:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SlickStick:
Onboard sound uses CPU cycles that could be used for the game. Having a seperate sound card puts the work on the sound card and it's sound processing.

As for Perfect mode. OpenGL, 32-bit color and Stencil Buffer must be on. Then instead of Simple mode in Video Options, choose Custom and select Perfect, while keeping all others at their highest. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

AHA!!!!!

I have a radeon9800 128. yer little tip did the trick http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Mucho Gracias!

Marek_Steele
11-01-2004, 03:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hunter82:
only if I use 16 channels
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks a lot! I was starting to think it was a more serious issue and not directly related to the game.