Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol
What claims do motherboard manufacturers (with on-board audio) make that you allege are untruthful?
I do understand for the gamer or the home video user the audio might not be that important... but
Please forgive my rant but my experience with Intel and the azalia high definition audio codec has been far from stellar. I do not trust them to integrate high definition audio and video with any real reliability or common sense. I am afraid all you will get from them and Asus is bling and hype about how easy it is to turn your processor into a space heating device at the flip of a switch in the bios.
Higher bit rate recording or serious audio work with onboard chips has been anything but easy or of any real use. The alc883 from realtek is a good example. Sure you can record stereo 24/96 a-d at about 80-90 db as advertised with the device but there is always trouble with the motherboard drivers and audio rtprio, especially on asus boards.
Transcoding the saved high bit rate files invariably causes transcode time errors that do funny things like create pops and secondary noises and even timer drift. The software mixers are essentially useless. Even the ac97 based jack sensing can cause the driver to choke and puke when you switch devices. Sometimes even causing you to reboot the system.
Also using the line in function to the auxiliary input on the board causes hum at higher input levels so the input impedances are most likely set wrong for a hot line level signal. Something that the Creative consumer grade cards are also notorious for doing.
The drivers from Realtek and Creative are invariably over 20 meg in size and do squat that is really useful and hardly ever do what they say with any reliability. Whereas the drivers from M-Audio are rock solid tiny in size and the mixer does what it says it is doing without system lockups.
For this reason I stick with my good old pci 24/96 audiophiles with an ice1712 for stereo work or pair them for four track recording...they sync the crystals through the asio audio drivers and do not drift. And do transcoding really well with the drivers from M-Audio. At least they will handle a hot signal correctly.
Because Intel is slowly dropping the pci bus these cards may not usable on new boards in about 2 years. So I think I will stick with non Intel based boards for now. I see that their sandybridge spec is still for 2 32 bit pci slots so for now it is possible to use both of my cards but you can bet it will be down to a single pci slot very soon.
Some of the newer integrated chips like the alc892 that are supposed to be compliant with the azalia audio codec from intel spec
are supposed to do a-d conversion at high bit rate with a very good db rating of over 100.
But much like the consumer grade stuff from Creative the drivers and their implementation is by and large terrible
. If you look at what is happening when you search for the people who have already purchased motherboards with these chipsets you get the picture that driver hell is still the norm with azalia based highdef onboard audio.
So I think I will pass on the latest and greatest stuff until the drivers and problems are all ironed out, if they ever are. Either that or buy some really expensive pro gear that comes available at a reasonable price now and then when a studio goes out of business.
A good used Tascam HD-P2 or a portable 4 track would be just about perfect for my needs and would be just about as cheap as a new pc.
Fortunately there still are pci-x firewire cards readily available...heck I even have a spare one put away just in case the one I have blows up and all the manufactures suddenly decided to stop producing them.
That said I am still really interested in what is happening with the efficiency of the SandyBridge design. SandyBridge is a step in the right direction and I am very interested in the fact that combined graphics and cpu will work at 32 watts system idle and a max of 115 under heavy load. This means that a fan-less 300 watt power supply like the one I currently use will work really well with 2 hard drives and a SandyBridge I7.
I could easily run into trouble with the newer Phenoms that run at 60 watts idle or up to a ridiculous 221 under heavy load. Could be really useful though if I wanted to trancode video and cook supper at the same time though.
I currently use an 7750 black and I really have to watch the temps carefully if I Handbrake a dvd to m4v or do other stuff like do a lot of data transfer disk to disk. Or even blank a disk then reformat it for other purposes. So upgrading to something better is on the cards for me.
The wattage average is 95 on the processor alone, and I know that I could easily stress my power supply if I do something stupid and run everything my system can do all at once.
I have only caused a system lock from a power supply overload problem once in the past. And my boss was not impressed with my raid setup and the fact that he would have to shell out for a new bigger power supply for his hp server... because I did not do some simple math first... I do not like the smell of smoke very much when using a computer it makes me cringe a bit. The 4 story building being evacuated because of a smoke detector setting off the alarms was also a bit of black eye that I will also not forget.