Audio Card with DSP vs onboard audio

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.games (More info?)

I do not know how to determine the CPU load of audio on a motherboard or how
to determine if the sound includes a digital signal processor (DSP). I
assume a DSP, especially for older CPUs (600 MHz. or so) is a big improvement
because it offloads a lot of processing from the CPU. I am interested only
in stereo. How can I know if an add-in sound card with a DSP is actually an
improvement? Does the DSP overweigh other issues, eg. does a cheap Mad Dog
Prowler 4.1 DSP sound card offer an improvement over the motherboard sound of
a Compaq DeskPro ENS/P600? Truth is, I've been looking for but have not seen
a treatise on this topic. Does anyone have any links for me to pursue?
Thanks in advance for your help.
5 answers Last reply
More about audio card onboard audio
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.games (More info?)

    Hi Eric,

    In general, a dedicated sound card is the best option.
    How many speakers/watts do you have in your configuration?

    --
    Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com

    Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    _________________________________________________________

    "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:67759175-6330-4A0E-B8FB-41F34E9F84E6@microsoft.com...
    |I do not know how to determine the CPU load of audio on a motherboard or how
    | to determine if the sound includes a digital signal processor (DSP). I
    | assume a DSP, especially for older CPUs (600 MHz. or so) is a big improvement
    | because it offloads a lot of processing from the CPU. I am interested only
    | in stereo. How can I know if an add-in sound card with a DSP is actually an
    | improvement? Does the DSP overweigh other issues, eg. does a cheap Mad Dog
    | Prowler 4.1 DSP sound card offer an improvement over the motherboard sound of
    | a Compaq DeskPro ENS/P600? Truth is, I've been looking for but have not seen
    | a treatise on this topic. Does anyone have any links for me to pursue?
    | Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.games (More info?)

    Hi Jimmy S. I am struggling to rate your post helpful but no option to do
    that appears (omit standard complaints about programmers) but I did say your
    post did not answer the question though it was quite helpful and the links
    you gave me include much about ICS I have been looking for. I saved the link
    in my Favorites. Thank you for them.

    I plan to put the analog stereo output into a Bose receiver/amplifier and DO
    NOT plan to use the multiple channel output capability of this cheapo card
    (free after rebates). So I don't think the number of speakers or watts is
    really relevant here. I agree that in general an addin sound card is an easy
    choice but the Compaq computer I plan to use has an extremely low profile
    allowing only two PCI cards but also making this computer a good choice for a
    rack of audio/visual equipment. I like the idea of a very low profile a lot
    more than the small cube formfactor now being offered for Home Entertainment
    Center computers. So I don't want to give up an empty slot willy nilly.

    If I understand this correctly, a DSP does offload the CPU and being
    digital, is not one DSP the same as another in terms of quality while within
    the processing power of the DSP? This card claims 4.1 capability and
    suggests this is a big improvement but does not speak to any possible
    improvement when used in a stereo mode that presumably reduces the computing
    load by a factor of the channels or 60%. I've scoured the Compaq/HP web site
    and all available documentation but none of it speaks to whether there is a
    DSP onboard. I've visually scoured the mb itself but my knowledge of actual
    DSP chips is not sufficient for me to be sure of what I am looking at. A
    slower DSP onboard that handles stereo ok would, I believe, generate similar
    stereo audio as a faster add-in DSP would when it is running at only two
    fifths of its processing capacity.

    Perhaps I am wrong in this analysis and if you can set me straight that
    would help. Thanks again for your post.

    "Jimmy S." wrote:

    > Hi Eric,
    >
    > In general, a dedicated sound card is the best option.
    > How many speakers/watts do you have in your configuration?
    >
    > --
    > Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    > Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
    >
    > Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    > MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    > My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    > _________________________________________________________
    >
    > "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:67759175-6330-4A0E-B8FB-41F34E9F84E6@microsoft.com...
    > |I do not know how to determine the CPU load of audio on a motherboard or how
    > | to determine if the sound includes a digital signal processor (DSP). I
    > | assume a DSP, especially for older CPUs (600 MHz. or so) is a big improvement
    > | because it offloads a lot of processing from the CPU. I am interested only
    > | in stereo. How can I know if an add-in sound card with a DSP is actually an
    > | improvement? Does the DSP overweigh other issues, eg. does a cheap Mad Dog
    > | Prowler 4.1 DSP sound card offer an improvement over the motherboard sound of
    > | a Compaq DeskPro ENS/P600? Truth is, I've been looking for but have not seen
    > | a treatise on this topic. Does anyone have any links for me to pursue?
    > | Thanks in advance for your help.
    >
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.games (More info?)

    Hi Eric,

    I tried to locate information to determine which Compaq branded
    home computer systems ship with DSP onboard, and like yourself
    I was unable to find the data that we needed. I think the absolute
    best next step towards a going forward solution would be to send
    in inquiry to the Customer Care folks at HP/Compaq via this URL:
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHomeC?lc=en&cc=us

    --
    Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com

    Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    _________________________________________________________

    "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:437E7372-E4EE-42C6-BA59-C26D874AD8A8@microsoft.com...
    | Hi Jimmy S. I am struggling to rate your post helpful but no option to do
    | that appears (omit standard complaints about programmers) but I did say your
    | post did not answer the question though it was quite helpful and the links
    | you gave me include much about ICS I have been looking for. I saved the link
    | in my Favorites. Thank you for them.
    |
    | I plan to put the analog stereo output into a Bose receiver/amplifier and DO
    | NOT plan to use the multiple channel output capability of this cheapo card
    | (free after rebates). So I don't think the number of speakers or watts is
    | really relevant here. I agree that in general an addin sound card is an easy
    | choice but the Compaq computer I plan to use has an extremely low profile
    | allowing only two PCI cards but also making this computer a good choice for a
    | rack of audio/visual equipment. I like the idea of a very low profile a lot
    | more than the small cube formfactor now being offered for Home Entertainment
    | Center computers. So I don't want to give up an empty slot willy nilly.
    |
    | If I understand this correctly, a DSP does offload the CPU and being
    | digital, is not one DSP the same as another in terms of quality while within
    | the processing power of the DSP? This card claims 4.1 capability and
    | suggests this is a big improvement but does not speak to any possible
    | improvement when used in a stereo mode that presumably reduces the computing
    | load by a factor of the channels or 60%. I've scoured the Compaq/HP web site
    | and all available documentation but none of it speaks to whether there is a
    | DSP onboard. I've visually scoured the mb itself but my knowledge of actual
    | DSP chips is not sufficient for me to be sure of what I am looking at. A
    | slower DSP onboard that handles stereo ok would, I believe, generate similar
    | stereo audio as a faster add-in DSP would when it is running at only two
    | fifths of its processing capacity.
    |
    | Perhaps I am wrong in this analysis and if you can set me straight that
    | would help. Thanks again for your post.
    |
    | "Jimmy S." wrote:
    |
    | > Hi Eric,
    | >
    | > In general, a dedicated sound card is the best option.
    | > How many speakers/watts do you have in your configuration?
    | >
    | > --
    | > Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    | > Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
    | >
    | > Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    | > MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    | > My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    | > _________________________________________________________
    | >
    | > "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:67759175-6330-4A0E-B8FB-41F34E9F84E6@microsoft.com...
    | > |I do not know how to determine the CPU load of audio on a motherboard or how
    | > | to determine if the sound includes a digital signal processor (DSP). I
    | > | assume a DSP, especially for older CPUs (600 MHz. or so) is a big improvement
    | > | because it offloads a lot of processing from the CPU. I am interested only
    | > | in stereo. How can I know if an add-in sound card with a DSP is actually an
    | > | improvement? Does the DSP overweigh other issues, eg. does a cheap Mad Dog
    | > | Prowler 4.1 DSP sound card offer an improvement over the motherboard sound of
    | > | a Compaq DeskPro ENS/P600? Truth is, I've been looking for but have not seen
    | > | a treatise on this topic. Does anyone have any links for me to pursue?
    | > | Thanks in advance for your help.
    | >
    | >
    | >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.games (More info?)

    Hi Jimmy S: (still wondering about the rating system) I followed your link to
    the HP/Compaq site and found the document
    http://forums2.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=658718
    that gives cpu util. for a 733 MHz PIII with/without sound that clearly shows
    there is no DSP onboard.

    "I discovered that when both channels of the stereo output are active, CPU
    utilization goes to 80-100%. When it "hits the wall" at 100%, audio
    (understandably) breaks up and becomes distorted, and the application itself
    become erratic.

    As a sanity check, I disabled the onboard sound via BIOS and measured CPU
    utilization again with our application running... now less than 15%,
    including overhead from Windows Task Manager. Everything is happy and stable."

    So a PCI slot will go to a sound card because I am assuming the models are
    not so different (T5700 vs ENS/P600). Thanks very much for your help. Eric
    Lewis

    "Jimmy S." wrote:

    > Hi Eric,
    >
    > I tried to locate information to determine which Compaq branded
    > home computer systems ship with DSP onboard, and like yourself
    > I was unable to find the data that we needed. I think the absolute
    > best next step towards a going forward solution would be to send
    > in inquiry to the Customer Care folks at HP/Compaq via this URL:
    > http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHomeC?lc=en&cc=us
    >
    > --
    > Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    > Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
    >
    > Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    > MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    > My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    > _________________________________________________________
    >
    > "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:437E7372-E4EE-42C6-BA59-C26D874AD8A8@microsoft.com...
    > | Hi Jimmy S. I am struggling to rate your post helpful but no option to do
    > | that appears (omit standard complaints about programmers) but I did say your
    > | post did not answer the question though it was quite helpful and the links
    > | you gave me include much about ICS I have been looking for. I saved the link
    > | in my Favorites. Thank you for them.
    > |
    > | I plan to put the analog stereo output into a Bose receiver/amplifier and DO
    > | NOT plan to use the multiple channel output capability of this cheapo card
    > | (free after rebates). So I don't think the number of speakers or watts is
    > | really relevant here. I agree that in general an addin sound card is an easy
    > | choice but the Compaq computer I plan to use has an extremely low profile
    > | allowing only two PCI cards but also making this computer a good choice for a
    > | rack of audio/visual equipment. I like the idea of a very low profile a lot
    > | more than the small cube formfactor now being offered for Home Entertainment
    > | Center computers. So I don't want to give up an empty slot willy nilly.
    > |
    > | If I understand this correctly, a DSP does offload the CPU and being
    > | digital, is not one DSP the same as another in terms of quality while within
    > | the processing power of the DSP? This card claims 4.1 capability and
    > | suggests this is a big improvement but does not speak to any possible
    > | improvement when used in a stereo mode that presumably reduces the computing
    > | load by a factor of the channels or 60%. I've scoured the Compaq/HP web site
    > | and all available documentation but none of it speaks to whether there is a
    > | DSP onboard. I've visually scoured the mb itself but my knowledge of actual
    > | DSP chips is not sufficient for me to be sure of what I am looking at. A
    > | slower DSP onboard that handles stereo ok would, I believe, generate similar
    > | stereo audio as a faster add-in DSP would when it is running at only two
    > | fifths of its processing capacity.
    > |
    > | Perhaps I am wrong in this analysis and if you can set me straight that
    > | would help. Thanks again for your post.
    > |
    > | "Jimmy S." wrote:
    > |
    > | > Hi Eric,
    > | >
    > | > In general, a dedicated sound card is the best option.
    > | > How many speakers/watts do you have in your configuration?
    > | >
    > | > --
    > | > Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    > | > Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
    > | >
    > | > Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    > | > MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    > | > My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    > | > _________________________________________________________
    > | >
    > | > "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:67759175-6330-4A0E-B8FB-41F34E9F84E6@microsoft.com...
    > | > |I do not know how to determine the CPU load of audio on a motherboard or how
    > | > | to determine if the sound includes a digital signal processor (DSP). I
    > | > | assume a DSP, especially for older CPUs (600 MHz. or so) is a big improvement
    > | > | because it offloads a lot of processing from the CPU. I am interested only
    > | > | in stereo. How can I know if an add-in sound card with a DSP is actually an
    > | > | improvement? Does the DSP overweigh other issues, eg. does a cheap Mad Dog
    > | > | Prowler 4.1 DSP sound card offer an improvement over the motherboard sound of
    > | > | a Compaq DeskPro ENS/P600? Truth is, I've been looking for but have not seen
    > | > | a treatise on this topic. Does anyone have any links for me to pursue?
    > | > | Thanks in advance for your help.
    > | >
    > | >
    > | >
    >
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.games (More info?)

    Hi Eric,

    I'm glad I was able to offer you a little guidance on your path
    to discovery, and I'm delighted that you found your answer. :-)
    Please don't worry about the rating system. Most of us who
    answer use Outlook Express to read the newsgroups and we
    don't see any of that ratings stuff. Thanks just the same though!

    --
    Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com

    Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    _________________________________________________________

    "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:32591375-8BB8-48F2-B829-466124747E75@microsoft.com...
    | Hi Jimmy S: (still wondering about the rating system) I followed your link to
    | the HP/Compaq site and found the document
    | http://forums2.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=658718
    | that gives cpu util. for a 733 MHz PIII with/without sound that clearly shows
    | there is no DSP onboard.
    |
    | "I discovered that when both channels of the stereo output are active, CPU
    | utilization goes to 80-100%. When it "hits the wall" at 100%, audio
    | (understandably) breaks up and becomes distorted, and the application itself
    | become erratic.
    |
    | As a sanity check, I disabled the onboard sound via BIOS and measured CPU
    | utilization again with our application running... now less than 15%,
    | including overhead from Windows Task Manager. Everything is happy and stable."
    |
    | So a PCI slot will go to a sound card because I am assuming the models are
    | not so different (T5700 vs ENS/P600). Thanks very much for your help. Eric
    | Lewis
    |
    | "Jimmy S." wrote:
    |
    | > Hi Eric,
    | >
    | > I tried to locate information to determine which Compaq branded
    | > home computer systems ship with DSP onboard, and like yourself
    | > I was unable to find the data that we needed. I think the absolute
    | > best next step towards a going forward solution would be to send
    | > in inquiry to the Customer Care folks at HP/Compaq via this URL:
    | > http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHomeC?lc=en&cc=us
    | >
    | > --
    | > Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    | > Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
    | >
    | > Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    | > MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    | > My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    | > _________________________________________________________
    | >
    | > "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:437E7372-E4EE-42C6-BA59-C26D874AD8A8@microsoft.com...
    | > | Hi Jimmy S. I am struggling to rate your post helpful but no option to do
    | > | that appears (omit standard complaints about programmers) but I did say your
    | > | post did not answer the question though it was quite helpful and the links
    | > | you gave me include much about ICS I have been looking for. I saved the link
    | > | in my Favorites. Thank you for them.
    | > |
    | > | I plan to put the analog stereo output into a Bose receiver/amplifier and DO
    | > | NOT plan to use the multiple channel output capability of this cheapo card
    | > | (free after rebates). So I don't think the number of speakers or watts is
    | > | really relevant here. I agree that in general an addin sound card is an easy
    | > | choice but the Compaq computer I plan to use has an extremely low profile
    | > | allowing only two PCI cards but also making this computer a good choice for a
    | > | rack of audio/visual equipment. I like the idea of a very low profile a lot
    | > | more than the small cube formfactor now being offered for Home Entertainment
    | > | Center computers. So I don't want to give up an empty slot willy nilly.
    | > |
    | > | If I understand this correctly, a DSP does offload the CPU and being
    | > | digital, is not one DSP the same as another in terms of quality while within
    | > | the processing power of the DSP? This card claims 4.1 capability and
    | > | suggests this is a big improvement but does not speak to any possible
    | > | improvement when used in a stereo mode that presumably reduces the computing
    | > | load by a factor of the channels or 60%. I've scoured the Compaq/HP web site
    | > | and all available documentation but none of it speaks to whether there is a
    | > | DSP onboard. I've visually scoured the mb itself but my knowledge of actual
    | > | DSP chips is not sufficient for me to be sure of what I am looking at. A
    | > | slower DSP onboard that handles stereo ok would, I believe, generate similar
    | > | stereo audio as a faster add-in DSP would when it is running at only two
    | > | fifths of its processing capacity.
    | > |
    | > | Perhaps I am wrong in this analysis and if you can set me straight that
    | > | would help. Thanks again for your post.
    | > |
    | > | "Jimmy S." wrote:
    | > |
    | > | > Hi Eric,
    | > | >
    | > | > In general, a dedicated sound card is the best option.
    | > | > How many speakers/watts do you have in your configuration?
    | > | >
    | > | > --
    | > | > Cheers, Windows XP MVP Shell / User
    | > | > Jimmy S. http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
    | > | >
    | > | > Visit my MSN Zone.com and Gaming Help Site: http://mvps.org/nibblesnbits
    | > | > MS Games Help and Support Center: http://support.microsoft.com/?pr=gms
    | > | > My advice is donated "AS IS" without warranty; nor do I confer any rights.
    | > | > _________________________________________________________
    | > | >
    | > | > "Eric Lewis" <EricLewis@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:67759175-6330-4A0E-B8FB-41F34E9F84E6@microsoft.com...
    | > | > |I do not know how to determine the CPU load of audio on a motherboard or how
    | > | > | to determine if the sound includes a digital signal processor (DSP). I
    | > | > | assume a DSP, especially for older CPUs (600 MHz. or so) is a big improvement
    | > | > | because it offloads a lot of processing from the CPU. I am interested only
    | > | > | in stereo. How can I know if an add-in sound card with a DSP is actually an
    | > | > | improvement? Does the DSP overweigh other issues, eg. does a cheap Mad Dog
    | > | > | Prowler 4.1 DSP sound card offer an improvement over the motherboard sound of
    | > | > | a Compaq DeskPro ENS/P600? Truth is, I've been looking for but have not seen
    | > | > | a treatise on this topic. Does anyone have any links for me to pursue?
    | > | > | Thanks in advance for your help.
    | > | >
    | > | >
    | > | >
    | >
    | >
    | >
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