GeForce 2 and sound card sharing IRQ #, bad right?

I was looking through my system settings in the control panel and I realized that my new GeForce 2 GTS is sharing the same IRQ # (11) with my sound card a Sound Blaster Audio PCI 64D. This has to be a bad thing right? Maybe this could explain why my old voodoo 3 outperformed my new GeForce 2 in Half-life.

The GeForce is running ~ok~ though...It beats my Voodoo 3 for Quake3 but I'm surprised that it's not better for Half-Life.

Please give me some help!...I really have no idea what the significance of an assigned IRQ number is.
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  1. Interrupt request (IRQ) is an old ISA standard still haunting computers. Intel promised PCI would do away with it--yea right!
    Anyway, any IRQ sharing is bad (but inevitable) and can lead to slow downs and crashes. Nvidia's video cards do not like to share. If you can change the IRQ settings under device manager, do it. If not you will need to move your sound card to a different slot. If you have enough slots, you should avoid putting any cards in PCI slot 1 as this one usually shares resources with the AGP slot.
    To keep your system running optimally, remember to clean out you windows/temp directory, run scandisk, and defrag regularly.

  2. Yeah device manager in win98 won't let me change the IRQ number...why not...makes me sad :( Guess I'll have to try and move the sound card to a different PCI slot...problem is that it's an OEM sound card that came with my computer and it's tucked far away in a crevasse in my computer case and incredibly difficult to reach with my human telling if it will work. I just wish there was another way to assign a new IRQ number.
  3. There are often options within the bios to set what IRQ you want with what PCI slot. However, with this, the AGP and the first PCI slot under it, share the same IRQ. Avoid putting ANYTHING in the first PCI slot as it will almost ALWAYS conflict with your AGP, and thus degrading video performance.

    Ian McGinley
  4. ravenprime is right on the PCI slot1 and AGP slot sharing IRQs. IRQ's are the way a device asks for the CPU to process a request. Usually if they can't share IRQ's then one of the devices just doesn't work. Most new PCI/AGP devices can share IRQ's, but the general convention is that if you don't have to share then don't. As far as AGP and PCI1 sharing it's built into the motherboard like that and can't be changed by reassigning it in the OS or the BIOS. (At least on boards I've worked on) So if the soundcard is in the slot next to the AGP slot that's probably the reason. If somehow it's not in the top PCI slot I'd still move it to another slot and see if your performance improves. Also you might have more visual goodies turned on by default with the GTS2 plus Voodoo3 boards don't exactly suck.

    If the board is hard to get at the easiest thing to do would be to disable the soundcard in the control panel. Run your benchmarks knowing that not having the soundcard enabled should free up some resources, i.e. better scores. But if your scores are dramatically improved the conflict could be the problem.
  5. Thanks guys...but for the life of me I can't reach the soundcard with my average sized human hand...Apparently Gateway doesn't take into account that it's customers might want to make *upgrades* to their default configurations at some point. Maybe if I can somehow pry off the entire case I can get my hand in there...but it's so dark and cramped...I can hardly see what I'm doing.

    I don't think I'll ever buy Gateway's sort of become the AOL of mail order computer companies...good customer service but god forbid you want to try and reach your hand into that mess. And they sold me a ~ 3800 R.P.M. hard drive grrrr....
  6. Call me an idiot (I prefer hardware illiterate)...But I finally found the sound card and it's totally hardwired into the mainboard. So I go into device manager and disable the soundcard, restart my computer and run Half-Life and it turns out that I get 25 more frames per second than I did with the soundcard enabled. Now this more than makes up for the frames per second I would gain by simply not having half-life have to process the sound data. So the only conclusion I can come to is that the fact that my one and only APG slot shares an IRQ number with my sound card that is hardwired into PCI slot #1 is causing interference and a lack in performance with regards to my APG slot. And I don't know what I can do to fix it. I thought of buying a new sound card but how could I ever disable my original hardwired sound card? Every time I start up windows it would say that a new piece of hardware has been found.
  7. Some computer companies make upgrading dificult if not impossible, but if you're lucky you should have an option in the BIOS to enable or disable the onboard sound. Check if you have something in the BIOS like Peripherals or PNP or sometimes Advanced Chipset Features. If it's not in the BIOS there may be a jumper on the MotherBoard. It's totally stupid that they would build them to share but it doesn't surprise me either. The only other thing I can think of is sometimes in the BIOS the IRQ's get locked in memory look for ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) enable that or reset it. That would allow the BIOS to reassign the IRQ's. You'll probably get stuck with the same IRQ's. So the Voodoo board was in the same computer?Right? Maybe the Voodoo likes to share.
  8. Building the sound card into the motherboard is a way to make the overal system cheaper. You may be able to change the sound chip's settings in the BIOS. You will probably find the settings in "I/O Device Configuration" depending upon the type of BIOS you have. If you can't change its settings there, you will be able to disable it there. Built in moterboard sound is low quality(you get what you pay for) so I would suggest a dedicated sound card.
    Let me know if you need help with the BIOS settings--I will need to know you BIOS type and version.

  9. Seems that I can't change the IRQ number in my BIOS but I was able to disable the onboard sound card in my BIOS. So now all that's left is to get a new sound card...I'm leaning toward the SB Live X's called something like that.

    I think when I install the new sound card it will assign itself to one of the open IRQ numbers that I have.
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