Hi, I have an EVGA x58 FTW3 Motherboard which comes with onboard Realtek HD Audio. I was just wondering, is this considered Hardware? I need to know in order to determine whether or not to enable "Hardware Audio" in certain games. To my knowledge only a device that's installed in one of the expansion slots is considered a hardware audio device, but I'm not 100% on this because technically the motherboard is hardware.
I could be mistaken, but I think the term "hardware audio" refers to a sound card which will process the audio itself rather than relying on the game and the CPU (e.g., in Windows OSes past, Creative cards would basically totally offload audio processing from the game, OS, and CPU).
Try it and see what happens. Maybe your integrated audio has what it takes to do this. If it works, great. If not, just don't enable it.