Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Integrated Sound

Last response: in Components
Share
April 27, 2006 10:00:27 AM

which integrated sound is better?
SoundMax Digital or Intel High Definition Audio?

More about : integrated sound

April 27, 2006 10:34:34 AM

Again, they both suck. A real soundcard is only $20.
April 27, 2006 11:49:59 AM

Integrated sound isn't THAT bad. SoundMax is the better of the two IMO.
Related resources
April 27, 2006 11:57:34 AM

Hmmm, well if you don't mind distorted sound, poor quality line level outputs, total lack of or very bad mic preamps......
April 27, 2006 12:26:06 PM

Quote:
which integrated sound is better?
SoundMax Digital or Intel High Definition Audio?


Out of the two, SoundMax is better. But, truly, both suck. I mean, onboard sound sound is OK if fidelity and sound quality are not a top priority. For better overall system performance a dedicated sound card is the preferred way to go.

IMO, the only good onboard sound that has come out in the past 3-5 years has been the Via AudioVinyl and the nVidia nForce2 Soundstorm. Unfortunately, both are not offered anymore... :cry: 
April 27, 2006 1:44:36 PM

While getting just plain fed up with crap quiet lackluster integrated sound on my 5th laptop, i came to a conclusion that most integrated audio solutions really suck goat nads in general until my latest discovery.

I have accidentally stumbled upon something that has actually brought some life to my lackluster laptop and desktop PC integrated audio solutions. While being really pissed off with how quiet my audio is on my Smell..err Dell laptop (My airplane travel craptop..err laptop), I was going to be risky and try installing a different manufacturer's audio driver just to give me a reason to reformat and reload windows (yeah at this time i was just pissed off with the sound and all around windows performance of this laptop), instead it actually gave very positive results. I have installed the VIA Vinyl Audio driver from www.viaarena.com and the drivers section, yes i know my Dell's integrated crap audio is a SigmaTel junk AC'97 chip. (before installing the factory drivers Windows labeled it Intel AC'97 Audio). During the installation process it was scanning to find any compatible chips and sure enough the SigmaTel is compatible enough for the driver to install.

After install i rebooted and i first was happy to see that it did not give me a blue screen or fail to boot. I was completely shocked and amazed when it booted up and the volume of the audio blew me right off of my chair because it was so loud. 8O :D  Before i had to crank the volume up all the way to max just to get audio output that would require another amplifier to hear properly, now i can leave the volume level just below the midpoint for decent output.

I also decided to test how much better the audio sounded on headphones. All i can say is WOW! 8O The sound has much better range than it used to be, even when playing certain MP3's. The highs are much crisper and not at all distorted like before and i can hear deeper bass details thru my headphones. I also love how the audio driver gives you several environmental sound effects, 3D Sound (which is a major plus in my book when using headphones), and a multiple band graphic equalizer with much better precision than Realtek, or even nVidia (i shall not comment on CMI's poor attempt). The control panel for VIA AC'97 Audio does pack plenty of features. Of course there are some features that are unusable like the SPDIF output capability but who needs it for this junk Dell when i only use it for travel. When i was playing games i was even amazed at how full the surrounding environment sounds. I actually feel like i am in the game instead of standing in front of some arcade machine next to some fat dude with a gas problem.

I was so amazed that i tried this on my old Desknote PC with the crappy disappointing SIS 7012 and sure enough the installation there was a success too and the sound from there was just as amazing as my Dell laptop.

I decided to really be gutsy and try it on my home theater PC which has the SoundMax with 5.1 channels and wouldn't you believe it? It installed perfectly without any flaws. I bypassed the sound card i installed into it to compare how the integrated audio sounds next to the sound card. I was actually amazed to hear that the sound quality is much better in the integrated audio than it used to be. The sound is also indistinguisable from the 5.1 sound card that i had installed into it. Of course the drawback is that you have to select weather to use all of the 3 plugs on the back of the integrated audio jack for 5.1 sound or have 2 channel audio with a mic and line input.

Of course i really am not recommending anyone to do this but if you do, please be aware that you do this at your own risk. Make sure that you backup your registry and create a restore point before attempting. Via has many audio drivers and the one i used was for the VIA VT1618. It's the VIA Vinyl Audio driver Version - 6.50d. Here is the Windows XP direct link for lazy surfers: http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=1&...

Of course the best recommended method is to get a sound card but if you don't really have any choice and you are stuck with integrated audio then this may bring new life to your lackluster audio.

I guess you can say that i have come to a different conclusion that the main reason integrated audio sucks is because it starts with the lazy or poor driver programmers.
April 27, 2006 2:36:05 PM

Quote:
Again, they both suck. A real soundcard is only $20.


Rubbish. Integrated solutions perfectly fine for output, and can even be excellent. A "real" card for output is just a waste of electrons. If you really want to be pristine (especially with input) then you need to move your A/D & D/A converters off the M/B and Backplane entirely and switch to either a USB or FireWire solution. But to call onboard sound systems crap is just false snobbery.
April 27, 2006 2:57:16 PM

Quote:
Rubbish. Integrated solutions perfectly fine for output, and can even be excellent. A "real" card for output is just a waste of electrons. If you really want to be pristine (especially with input) then you need to move your A/D & D/A converters off the M/B and Backplane entirely and switch to either a USB or FireWire solution. But to call onboard sound systems crap is just false snobbery.


Well it's not really snobbery - the fact is they aren't as good. They are the weakest link in the audio chain, perhaps moreso than the tinny speakers everyone uses. I have yet to hear a soundcard (other than professional FW or USB interfaces, and those usually have the advantage of kickass monitors attached) that sounds really good. But that's another debate for another time. I stand by my comment - onboard sucks.
April 27, 2006 3:09:24 PM

Quote:
Hmmm, well if you don't mind distorted sound, poor quality line level outputs, total lack of or very bad mic preamps......


The who's a jigga what... apparently I don't cause I'm pleased as punch with my integrated sound. Ignorance is bliss.
April 27, 2006 4:33:00 PM

Quote:
np, IMO he has been trying to get his post count over the hundred mark so he can use a god damn avatar.


LOL
April 28, 2006 5:38:19 PM

Yup should be, it has an Audigy DSP which is much better than any onboard.
April 30, 2006 6:15:12 AM

About that Audigy SE, does it have pins for my case's front panel audio?
April 30, 2006 8:59:30 AM

I put one of those Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy SE budget cards on an Asus P3V4X to go with his AIW and his audio performance is great for the twenty some odd bucks it cost, and there is a digital IO module you can add to it. Digital IO
He actually was able to squeeze out some more frames playing games with high sound quality enabled. Nice clear bang for the buck card.
April 30, 2006 9:06:24 AM

About the pins for the front inputs, I don't think it does but you can get the male end from radio shack to conect them, real cheap. Just get the shielded ones.
!