How do sound cards affect performance?

How much do sound cards like the Audigy series affect performance in games? If I am correct, the sound cards have their own processors and they dont require the cpu to work for the sound (is that right?). In that case, how much of a performance difference would an Audigy or an Audigy 2 make in fps in games?
Thanks


Doug

p4 2.6C @ 2999 mhz
2x512mb pc3200 kingmax
ATI x800 pro
western dig. 160 gb 7200 8mb
asus p4s800
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  1. <<How do sound cards affect performance?>>

    with today's cpus no-how.

    ..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
  2. Hmm, there are no TRUE HARDWARE sound cards any more, their all hardware assisted. The Audigy can cause a HUGE performance hit compared to "no soundcard", from articles I've read up to 18%. I think the most "powerfull" solution is an "onboard" one, in the form of the nForce APU found on some Socket A boards, but even that solution carries SIGNIFICANT overhead.

    People say it doesn't matter with today's CPU's. Well, if you like your P4 3.0GHz performing like a 2.2GHz, I guess it doesn't matter!

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  3. well, you see, when I drive 35 mph and my speed will drop to 25, I WILL notice the difference, BUT when I drive 235 mph and there will be drop to 225, I don't really think I will NOTICE the difference. I that more clearer explanation?

    PS: by the way, where is that 18% drop came from? are you on the pipe again?

    ..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
  4. Actually that's a worst case scenario, I got it from a recent review of a VIA Envy with a Creative Audigy 2 comparison. Depending on the sound application, CPU usage was between 4 and 18% as I recall.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
  5. I thought those cards had onboard processors or something. I dont know. Whats the big difference from the Audigy cards and the sound blaster lives, and the Audigy 1 / 2 , LS, ZS, etc? (main differences, I don't need a thorough explaination)


    p4 2.6C @ 2999 mhz
    2x512mb pc3200 kingmax
    ATI x800 pro
    western dig. 160 gb 7200 8mb
    asus p4s800
  6. Main difference is the sound quality comming out of your speakers/headphones.

    ..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
  7. Yes, they have fairly weak onboard processors (as opposed to those used in, say, a cheap video card). Those processors don't handle all tasks, they handle specific tasks, and leave the rest to software. And when they handle a specific task, they often process parts of those with the CPU too. Break up the workload, spread it out.

    <font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
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