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Captain Red

My sound card makes my computer cry.

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A few months ago, I got a new sound card when I upgraded to XP. But when I tried to run games under XP I noticed a severe decline in performance. I thought that it was because XP bogging my aging hardware down, so I downgraded to 98SE, but when I tried my games again I was still getting chunky FPS. So I turned down the hardware acceleration for my sound card to basic, and got a performance boost, but I’m also getting static and other undesirable side affects.

I’ve never heard of sound cards sucking away performance before (I mean I’ve heard of them fucking over other things) The device manager is calling it a “CMI8738/C3DX PCI Audio device” and I suspect it’s a cheap and nasty little bugger. I don’t know. Any advice?

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On my Audigy card back home, Stepmania actually skips unless I turn hardware sound acceleration off.

But I'm guessing that in your case, it's just a cheap, off-brand card. How much did you buy it for?

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my sound card sux, too....in fact, i dont think the comp even has one. Intel Integrated, maybe? anyway...it has a real hard time running my techno looping sofware.......makes the song sound like crap.

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I recently bought a $20 Chaintech AV-710, which actually has phenomenal sound... in 2 channel mode. For some reason they put a really high quality DAC on the card that can be enabled through a special driver setting. The difference in sound quality between it and my old Live is utterly staggering.

The card is basically perfect for headphones or 2.0 setups if you mainly listen to music on your pc. It has absolutely no hardware acceleration at all, so any fancy DirectSound stuff will be done in software and cause a nasty drop in framerate (which sounds like what your card does). Fortunately if you don't enable anything like that and leave it at 2 channel output (which you're forced to in HQ mode anyway) it doesn't affect performance (Q3 timedemo was identical with the Live in those settings). I couldn't enable EAX on my Live anyway due to the horrendous static and popping it caused, so I came out ahead.

The card has become very popular with the HTPC and PC audiophile crowd as a cheap way to get hi-fi sound for music.

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Captain Red said:

I’ve never heard of sound cards sucking away performance before (I mean I’ve heard of them fucking over other things) The device manager is calling it a “CMI8738/C3DX PCI Audio device” and I suspect it’s a cheap and nasty little bugger. I don’t know. Any advice?


Weird, i have that very same sound card! Bought it for £12 2/3 years ago. Really should buy a new one, but i don't care about fancy sound stuff.

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