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Does onboard video/sound hinder performance?

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Last response: in Motherboards
April 13, 2001 8:15:23 AM

I am building a cheap socket 7 system for my brother and don't have a lot of money to spend. My question is whether or not onboard video and/or sound eat more CPU cycles than standard sound and video cards do. Since the motherboards with onboard features are usually only a little bit more than their castriated counterparts, this would save me a great deal of money over buying seperate video and sound cards. I thought I once read that onboard sound used more processing time than a typically PCI sound card would, but this may have only been in regards to the AMR/CNR motherboards that use the AC97' chipset and push the load onto the CPU. Thanks for any information you have!

More about : onboard video sound hinder performance

a b V Motherboard
April 13, 2001 8:43:55 AM

short answer to your question is... yes. your decision is whether the extra bucks for the seperate cards are worth the extra cycles gained back.
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April 13, 2001 6:13:21 PM

if you want to get a cheaper system, you have to compromise on quality, compromising on sound or display is much better that compromising for a cheaper motherboard which will make the systems unreliable.

<font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
April 13, 2001 6:55:17 PM

Ok, so it DOES hinder performance. Does anyone know how much we're talking about here? Any benchmarks or comparisions? I've really never looked into onboard features before, so I'm interested in its effect.

Also, if they are any techies out there that want to explain exactly WHY it hinders performance and eats extra CPU cycles, I'd love to read it. Thanks!
April 13, 2001 7:12:56 PM

well, i guess you will be going for a SiS530 board, thats the only integrated board available for socket 7 chips.

as for video, it normally uses some of system RAM, that makes lesser amount of RAM available to the system, and everybody knows how windows visits the disk when its low on RAM! that does decrease the performance a bit, but if you get some decent amount of memory, at least 64 MB (and you are not doing any serious memory intensive or graphics intensive app - in short, routine business class work - documents, internet etc) then you wont really notice much difference.

besides, as gets the system memory, memory bandwidth also gets shared between the graphics circuits and the processor. that gives each of them lesser time to work and wait for the other for a while. some UMA architectures do optimise this mutually exclusive access to memory so that effective performance hit is reduced to some extent.

in general, you do get a performance hit of aroung 15-20% (dependent on amount of system RAM, share of the display subsystem in that RAM and te nature of work you are doing)

as for sound, you might get about 5-10% hit, and minor but irritating glitches or disturbances when the cpu is too busy (especially when loading large applications) or doing intensive calculations.

in general, integrated systems do lose out on an average 20% of the performance. i have used a SiS530 system and also a ALi system with dedicated display and audio hardware.

so assume you are having a 400 MHz processor instead of a 500 MHz one you actually put in, and still you save almost 50 bucks! :-)


<font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>