I recently bought an AMD based PC (AMD 7750 BE, Asus M3N78EM board with HD audio, 2 GB 800MHz DDR2 Corsair XMS2, 400 W Cooler Master box). What I notice is the sound system really sucks.. I previously had another AMD system (AMD Sempron 2500+, MSI RS480M, 1 GB 400MHz TwinMos DDR). This problem is carry forwarded to my new system. I also had Intel based systems (Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz, Intel 865 GBF, 512 MB 333 MHz DDR), but the audio in this system too good. I have used serveral other Intel based systems, C2D based, branded ones Lenovo ThinkCenter, etc. No complaints.
If I need to be precise, I can say that when I listen to a MP3 file rendered at 128 Kbps, I get a crystal clear, loud sound in my Head phone as well as desktop speaker at 20 units of Media player's sound level with the system sound at 100%. The same file gives a similar output when played on a new Intel C2D based system with HD audio at 15 units (approx.) of Media player's sound level. Similar should be the case when the same file is played in an iPod Shuffle. But, when it comes to the AMD systems (mentioned above), I get this amount of sound output at around 45 units of Media player's sound level with the system sound at 100%. This is really something not good. Media files rendered at 128 Kbps can be managed some how in this way, but what happens to files rendered at 50 or 64 Kbps. The AMD systems hardly has any strength to play.
My question to you guys... Are all AMD systems meant to be like this ?? Is there any setting that needs to be tweaked or changed to get a similar audio experience as in Intel systems apart from original driver installation ??
First of all, audio is ecoded or decoded. Rendering generally refers to visual things such as graphics.
For what I have noticed, any motherboard which advertises itself to have HD audio generally has the opposite when it comes to sound quality. I believe it means that is can do a digital output. There your amplifier decodes the sound so it should sound perfect, unless you amp is crap or does not support digital. then, you wont get any sound unless you put it in analog mode. (normal). Furthermore many sound cards if you put the volume above 50% (in main system volume not media player) the sound turns pretty crap. Luckily, there is usually a volume knob on your speaker set.
Guys, I am not using any amplifier or so for my audio.. i simply use the built-in sound that comes with the Asus motherboard I bought and I use Altec Lansing VS4121 Speakers.. if you look at my post carefully I have tried to compare things and found that consecutive motherboards I bought for the AMD systems are giving as good sound output as with motherboards for Intel..
Per my first post in this regard, I probably forgot to mention that I was using Windows XP as the OS in all those systems. Apparently, the Intel based systems gave a good/appreciable quality output even with Windows XP (SP2 & SP3) and Realtek/SoundMax/Conexant as audio chips. But, the AMD system with the RealTek audio under Windows XP gave a poor audio output. I simply had to ignore the issue and started using headphones (outputs little better than speakers) for audio plays, as I did not find suitable answer to my question in any of the forums in those years. I also tried to install latest drivers from the respective manufacturer's website, but in vain.
Finally, a couple of months back, I upgraded the PC to Windows 7 and that did the trick. This time around, I didn't even had to install drivers. Windows 7 automatically installed all the necessary drivers from its database.
So, per my experience there is a problem with the driver compatibility with each OS. It seems that unlike Intel, AMD does not seem to pressurise its motherboard suppliers to provide quality drivers for various OSes and that seems to cause issues for the end users.