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  • deej_1977
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Hi all,

I'm looking at buying an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard (nVidia nForce2 chipset) which has an on-board Realtek Audio Chip which supports Dolby Digital and 5.1 surround sound. I also have a SB Audigy w/ LiveDrive lying around. My question is, should I stick to the onboard sound of the nForce2 or should I yank in the SB Audigy? Or perhaps some of you already have such an nForce2 board and can share something on the audio quality of it?

Main purpose for me is gaming BTW. I play my MP3s 99% of the time on my Nomad Jukebox.

Thanks!

Deej
No inspiration

  • Patsoe
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #1
RMAAnalysis of the Nforce2: http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/aud...ce2/default.asp

I read it last week. IIRC, it was found that NForce2 was to be positioned somewhere between Audigy and Audigy2. But you better re-read it yourself, since I always skip remarks about gaming... 

  • tangent
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #2
I would test the game compatibility with NForce2 first, and if it works out fine, sell the Audigy.

  • NumLOCK
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #3
Quote
Hi all,

I'm looking at buying an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard (nVidia nForce2 chipset) which has an on-board Realtek Audio Chip which supports Dolby Digital and 5.1 surround sound. I also have a SB Audigy w/ LiveDrive lying around. My question is, should I stick to the onboard sound of the nForce2 or should I yank in the SB Audigy? Or perhaps some of you already have such an nForce2 board and can share something on the audio quality of it?

Main purpose for me is gaming BTW. I play my MP3s 99% of the time on my Nomad Jukebox.

Thanks!

Deej

Warning, warning, do NOT put your Audigy into the new computer !  I just fried mine (Aud. Platinum eX) last week.  The card is not compatible with ACPI 2.0 
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  • Artemis3
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #4
Ahh, more "Creative" uses for an Audigy, hmm... 
She is waiting in the air

  • deej_1977
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #5
LOL!

Thanks for all the info, guess the Audigy is now heading for eBay . Since I don't have an external Dolby Digital receiver/amp I can take the cons of the nForce2 easily, although this is just worrying me a bit:

Quote
Mediocre analog output
Although the nForce2 provides solid digital out, with the exception of rolled off bass, the analog output isn’t quite as impressive as that from high-end dedicated sound cards.


But this one is the bomb:

Quote
From a purely sound perspective alone, the nForce2 is up there with the best stand alone sound cards, better than the Audigy and not too far from the Audigy 2


Anyway, since on top of that nForce2 will offer everything onboard, I'm gonna sell that old geezer of an Audigy .

I should really look more into the Firingsquad also, they have very useful reviews :-)!
  • Last Edit: 03 March, 2003, 04:27:04 AM by deej_1977
No inspiration

  • RIV@NVX
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #6
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Warning, warning, do NOT put your Audigy into the new computer !  I just fried mine (Aud. Platinum eX) last week.  The card is not compatible with ACPI 2.0 

And what about Audigy2?

  • NumLOCK
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #7
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Warning, warning, do NOT put your Audigy into the new computer !  I just fried mine (Aud. Platinum eX) last week.  The card is not compatible with ACPI 2.0  :(

And what about Audigy2?

I don't know for sure yet, but I'll test an Audigy2 on the same motherboard (ABIT KD7-E) tonight.

From what I've heard, this problem was not yet present on the Live, is present on the Audigy, and has been solved for the Audigy2.

If the Audigy2 does collapse, I'll let you know.

FYI, when an Audigy is "fried" like mine is, no driver from Creative (even hacked Audigy2 ones) can properly use the card again. The only way to use it is (AFAIK) the kX drivers.
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  • NumLOCK
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #8
RIV@NVX, the Audigy2 was installed flawlessly and works fine. We'll see how long it lasts 
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  • Wish
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #9
3DSoundsurge has the most through and in depth review so far.

http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/nForce/

 

  • deej_1977
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #10
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3DSoundsurge has the most through and in depth review so far.

http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/nForce/

 

Great review! Thanks to all for the info.

Conclusion is clear, I'll stick with the nForce2 on-board sound.

Greetz,

Deej
No inspiration

  • dTb
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #11
I can't say from personal experience but I've heard that the quality of the nforce2 can largely depend on the mobo manufacturers implementation. Apparently most manufacturers aren't putting much emphasis on the audio output for fear of driving up prices.
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  • deej_1977
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #12
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I can't say from personal experience but I've heard that the quality of the nforce2 can largely depend on the mobo manufacturers implementation. Apparently most manufacturers aren't putting much emphasis on the audio output for fear of driving up prices.

Could be right, although the Asus is being used in all the reviews so far so I kind of take it like a reference board.

However, maybe someday AOpen will make something like this again with the nForce2...
No inspiration

  • RIV@NVX
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #13
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FYI, when an Audigy is "fried" like mine is, no driver from Creative (even hacked Audigy2 ones) can properly use the card again. The only way to use it is (AFAIK) the kX drivers.

Ah, the EEPROM bug. I heard about it already.
It changes the ID of the card from 0052 to 0040 and it is not recognized by Creative drivers.

  • NumLOCK
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #14
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FYI, when an Audigy is "fried" like mine is, no driver from Creative (even hacked Audigy2 ones) can properly use the card again. The only way to use it is (AFAIK) the kX drivers.

Ah, the EEPROM bug. I heard about it already.
It changes the ID of the card from 0052 to 0040 and it is not recognized by Creative drivers.

Exactly !  I'm pretty sure I have this precise problem, because the ID shows up as 0040 when looking at the PCI config registers using WPCREDIT.

I saw that discussion on the VIA forums, after frying my card last week. The warranty is over, of course.

You seem to know this problem well, do you know if any of those is possible:
- putting the 0052 back into the EEPROM, by software (in dos probably).
- patching the creative drivers to work with corrupted boards, by replacing all XXXX0052 with XXXX0040 everywhere in the binaries. (XXXX = vendor_id)
- install the KX drivers, and still be able to use the Audigy drive
- installing the Audigy1 drive on an Audigy2.

I'd really want to fix (or workaround) the problem..  and one of the 2 first solutions would be better for me, because that pc is mostly used for playing games.

Thanks in advance !
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  • Patsoe
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #15
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I can't say from personal experience but I've heard that the quality of the nforce2 can largely depend on the mobo manufacturers implementation. Apparently most manufacturers aren't putting much emphasis on the audio output for fear of driving up prices.

You're right. From the 3dsoundsurge review: "...As discussed earlier there are a variety of CODECs that can be used on nForce motherboards.  That?s more than likely why NVIDIA publishes no baseline quality results for the nForce..."

  • RIV@NVX
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #16
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Exactly !  I'm pretty sure I have this precise problem, because the ID shows up as 0040 when looking at the PCI config registers using WPCREDIT.

I saw that discussion on the VIA forums, after frying my card last week. The warranty is over, of course.

You seem to know this problem well, do you know if any of those is possible:
- putting the 0052 back into the EEPROM, by software (in dos probably).
- patching the creative drivers to work with corrupted boards, by replacing all XXXX0052 with XXXX0040 everywhere in the binaries. (XXXX = vendor_id)
- install the KX drivers, and still be able to use the Audigy drive
- installing the Audigy1 drive on an Audigy2.

I'd really want to fix (or workaround) the problem..  and one of the 2 first solutions would be better for me, because that pc is mostly used for playing games.

Thanks in advance !

There is a new revision of Audigy which doesn't have this bug - it is indicated by the "missing cap resistor".
More easily - if the 10k2 chip shows 19xxxx or higher, it is most likely free of this bug.

It is possible to reflash a card (I am pretty sure that there is a way using some network card, but can't remember right now).
Patching CL drivers - no, because there are some 0052 strings that arent Subsys ID. Possibly manually.
Install kX drivers and work - YES, because your Audigy isn't defective except device ID.
Audigy1 drive DOESN'T work on Audigy2 (greed, greed).

  • deej_1977
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #17
I still haven't bought my new mobo and cpu (saving is going slower then expected) but now, to make matters worse, Intel complicates things by putting the 200Mhz PIV's at about the same price as the Athlons... So of course the next obvious question is: anyone heard a AD1985 sound controller on the 875 mobo's in action yet? And how does that compare to the nForce2? Life can be complicated ...
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  • johnsonlam
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #18
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anyone heard a AD1985 sound controller on the 875 mobo's in action yet? And how does that compare to the nForce2? Life can be complicated ...

Life can be easy 

I've removed my SBLive and installed a M-Audio Revolution 7.1. Immediately effect is the sound much clearer, more powerful and quality better, and then the sound control panel in tray area can let me change the surround sound anytime with a few click!

Most imortant is I kick away the sucky SBLive driver that cause me many trouble, maybe the CPU usage is lower (I didn't compare with exact number).

Spend your $ wise!
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  • RIV@NVX
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #19
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Intel complicates things by putting the 200Mhz PIV's at about the same price as the Athlons...

Are they really that much faster than previous P4s? I doubt. I would still go for Athlon w/nForce2.

  • Moguta
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #20
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Quote
anyone heard a AD1985 sound controller on the 875 mobo's in action yet? And how does that compare to the nForce2? Life can be complicated ...

Life can be easy 

I've removed my SBLive and installed a M-Audio Revolution 7.1. Immediately effect is the sound much clearer, more powerful and quality better, and then the sound control panel in tray area can let me change the surround sound anytime with a few click!

Most imortant is I kick away the sucky SBLive driver that cause me many trouble, maybe the CPU usage is lower (I didn't compare with exact number).

Spend your $ wise!

While the Revolution is good for listening, and for not having buggy drivers like Creative, it isn't fast with games & doesn't support as much game effects as the Audigy/Audigy2.

And, uh, yeah, notice that we're talking about the Audigies & game performance, not the Live and music-listening quality.
Thank you.

  • deej_1977
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #21
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Intel complicates things by putting the 200Mhz PIV's at about the same price as the Athlons...

Are they really that much faster than previous P4s? I doubt. I would still go for Athlon w/nForce2.

well both sharkyextreme and tom's hardware are very enthousiastic about it... check out these reviews:
http://www17.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030513/index.html
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/cpu/...cle.php/2205861

it would appear that with the 2.8Ghz CPU you get lots of power for a "reasonable" amount.

but you're right if you mean nForce2 audio is great, especially for movie effects etc...
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  • RIV@NVX
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #22
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but you're right if you mean nForce2 audio is great, especially for movie effects etc...

nForce2 is overally good chipset, it's not like chipsets for AMD some time ago (*cough*VIA*cough*).
Audio counts too

  • Wood
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #23
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However, maybe someday AOpen will make something like this again with the nForce2...

Your wish has been granted... AOpen nForce2 mobo with built-in tube amp:

AOpen AK79G Review

  • atici
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On-board audio of nForce2 boards
Reply #24
 This built-in tube-amp mobo sounds really cool. I suppose it's one damn cheap tube amp though 
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