On-Board audio



My friend has a PC which has a AMD Athlon 1.4GHz CPU and a GIGABYTE GA-7DX motherboard which has onboard audio.

He wants me to ask you how much of a performance decrease is there using on-board audio as opposed to using a PCI sound card like an Audigy?

Does it stress the CPU? If so, how much?

Tabula Rasa

Stranger Than Kindness
Political User
All i know is that Onboard audio and video tends to have crappy preformance and even whorse it tends to break down really fast. once its gone you need a PCI card anyway, so I sugest buying a PCI card right away :D


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
onboard should not affect performance actually because you have a separate piece of hardware running your sound for you... you have separate controllers for the on board audio so I see no reason for there to be a cpu hit...

besides... consider that to run the sound the cpu is being used even with a pci or CNR slot card... therefore the cpu hit is probably LESS for onboard since it is integrated into the hardware of your mobo :)

of course this is from personal experience... I was using onboard and now am using and audigy gamer... and there is no discernible difference in any of my pcmark2002 benches that I have run...

XP Abuser

i would say it uses less resources and i dont think the sound is much different to dedicated sound but maybe thats cuz i have permanent ear drum damage from loud music


I think a lot depends on the chip that the onboard sound uses. I have a Soyo Dragon + with the C-Media onboard sound. When I first built the rig I was planning on putting my SBLive in it. That is until I heard the quality of the C-Media sound. I notice no more of a hit on the CPU resources and the sound is better than the SBLive was. I especially noticed this in games where I would hear things that I never heard with the SBLive. Onboard sound has come a long ways from where it first started.


Using onboard sound actually does affect performance. It needs to draw a few cycles from your CPU to actually play the sound but in general, Onboard sound is CRAP. I don't know about you but even a cheap Creative Vibra 128 has better sound quality than an onboard sound. (unless we're talking about the nForce onboard... 5.1 Channel Dolby Certified)


My onboard sound has always been there for me. As far as it pulling away from the processor, I havn't really noticed anything. From what i know about it, its running of a different chipset and shouldn't affect performance.
I'm actually about ready to start shopping for a sound card, whats some opinions on Soundblaster cards vs. a TB Santa Cruz?


OSNN Addict
Graphite - get a sb live, the drivers are kick ass now (the audgity drivers still bite) .... and they are dirt cheap now... white box for $38 i think

hehe check it out all the lives are the same card just bundled with different softwear


A Proud Australian
I used to use a Creative Live soundcard until I bought a m/board with onboard sound and to tell you the truth, I didn't notice a great deal of difference in the quality of the sound.

I am happy with the onboard sound.

Shamus MacNoob

OSNN Veteran Addict
Political User
True Stereo

On board sound workd fine but what was a let down was the one plug out to speakers that I had on mine.
It sounded ok but when I installed my sound card and added a second pair of altec lansing speakers well hell no contest its now true stereo and four speakers

what ? what ? I cant hear you let me turn this down a little lolol

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