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CPU usage of 15% for DPCs because of USB sound device

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January 2, 2009 2:02:31 PM

Hey you smart hardware types! Did Santa bring you any cool gadgets?

When I use a USB based sound device (I tried 2) I see a substantial drain in the CPU usage for DPCs. It’s usually about 15%. That number goes to zero when I disconnect the USB sound device. Unfortunately, there are no driver updates for either device.

The thing I’m wondering is should I be trying to regain that 15%? I wonder if that is actually a substantial performance drain that I might notice on an otherwise fairly powerful system (core 2 duo with oodles of RAM)? Maybe I need to buy a decent PCI-based sound card?

Thanks for reading this!
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2009 4:07:35 PM

Why are you using a USB sound device? Just plug your speakers or headphones into the standard sound jack instead.
January 2, 2009 5:24:18 PM

Thanks for the reply. The computer (an HP Pavilion 061 RC663AA-ABA a1640n with an HP Pavilion 061 RC663AA-ABA a1640n MOBO) comes with an onboard generic Realtek High Definition Audio sound device. However, the sould quality of the Realtek is very poor (why do they call them "high Definition", anyway? They certainly are not "high Definition"! They are more like "crappy Definition").

I found that both USB sound devices produced far superior sound. One is a "xitel Pro Hi-fi link" and the other is a Toshiba Multimedia Cnter which is actually a rebranded 24 bit Creative audigy, I think.

So I'm willing to put up with a performance hit in exchange for the better sound, but if I can resolve the performance issue also, even better!!


Thanks again!
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2009 8:50:14 PM

The onboard sound actually sounds bad? I've had good luck with the Realtek - while it is certainly not as good as something like a dedicated sound card, I would not describe them as crappy. Have you tried reinstalling the drivers?

If nothing seems to work though, a decent PCI or PCI-express card should not have the performance hit that you are describing.
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