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HDA Intel Audio To Improve A Lot In Linux 3.9 Kernel

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  • #21
    Originally posted by archibald View Post
    If they are playing flash games on facebook, then they probably don't need a dedicated graphics card, or sandybridge graphics. I'm not referring to people that play games like Crysis and don't see why a dedicated sound card would be good, I'm talking about the "joe bloggs" user.

    For the record, I have a reasonably good dedicated sound card and some reasonably good speakers. I like the sound they make together. I noticed the difference from my onboard sound and my previous speakers. However, I spend (too many) hours per day listening to (losslessly compressed) music and playing games, so it makes enough of a difference to me to be worth the extra money.
    Well... Joe Bloggs is still listening to music and watching videos even if just on youtube, although more likely to his pirated collection, and even if not loseless there is benefit. I will however grant that the extra cost might not be worth it to him, although I personally have seen plenty of Joe Bloggs who are buying skullcandy headphones and such.

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    • #22
      Are you sure it's not just placebo? MS hasn't allowed 3d sound accel since Vista, your card does not do it in hardware (fake emulation in drivers, says google), and to top it off this is a linux forum, where linux has never supported openal offload to any sound card AFAIK.

      So what remains to explain the microstutter is not less interrupts, but merely better quality drivers, if it's not placebo to begin with. The sound interrupts are the same regardless of the driver, as the game very likely submits the same-sized buffers. (Anyone who has separate audio paths raise your hand. Nobody? Thought so.)

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      • #23
        Originally posted by curaga View Post
        Are you sure it's not just placebo? MS hasn't allowed 3d sound accel since Vista, your card does not do it in hardware (fake emulation in drivers, says google), and to top it off this is a linux forum, where linux has never supported openal offload to any sound card AFAIK.

        So what remains to explain the microstutter is not less interrupts, but merely better quality drivers, if it's not placebo to begin with. The sound interrupts are the same regardless of the driver, as the game very likely submits the same-sized buffers. (Anyone who has separate audio paths raise your hand. Nobody? Thought so.)
        I'm quite sure, and you can be sure by playing through the section that I highlighted in Crysis Warhead. Setting up the RAMdrive didn't fix that section, I know because getting to that point was a progressive thing where we upgraded the RAM and created the RAMdrive first and were testing out the extremely impressive difference in performance, although problem was it was still microstuttering on 3D audio, and then about a week later we got the soundcard and that section cleared out completely and microstuttering went down in general.

        Part of the reason for this is that a sound codec (which the integrated sound 'cards' are) are just that a codec that runs off the CPU, whereas a soundcard has a RISC CPU on the card itself, and sound is offloaded to it rather than the CPU you're running everything else on, now I'll grant you can also offload to other things but unless you're offloading to something that codec IS interrupting the CPU in order to work.

        and yes I realize I'm talking about Windows gaming in a linux forum, however I'm going after the people who think a soundcard doesn't do anything, and gaming is the most tangible because unlike a movie or a sound file I can point out microstutters that goes away and it's not subjective at all, and even though a sound card is objectively better as those who hear the difference will note it becomes a lot more subjective.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
          Part of the reason for this is that a sound codec (which the integrated sound 'cards' are) are just that a codec that runs off the CPU, whereas a soundcard has a RISC CPU on the card itself, and sound is offloaded to it rather than the CPU you're running everything else on, now I'll grant you can also offload to other things but unless you're offloading to something that codec IS interrupting the CPU in order to work.
          Intel HDA compatible chips use DMA to transfer the data, just like your expensive discrete sound card.

          The things they don't do that your discrete soundcard probably does is 1. hardware mixing (but it's a known fact that software mixing (on the CPU) is usually better quality than the hardware mixing in discrete soundcards) and maybe 2. hardware decoding of surround channel info (but again: software on your CPU can probably do that in better quality).

          Now, it is true that some Intel HDA chips/implementations are notorious for their bad S/N ratio, but that is not because they follow that spec, but because they are placed in a bad spot on the motherboard, and/or because they are badly shielded. In any case, if you want high quality sound, you want the sound to leave your desktop/laptop case as digital data, and not analogue audio.

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          • #25
            Great, in 3.9 the new code has been merged for all codecs: http://mailman.alsa-project.org/pipe...ry/058883.html

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