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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 3rd November, 2006, 07:57 PM
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PCI-E Sound Cards

I was wondering if there was any PCI-E 16X sound cards out there for non-pro users? Anybody know anything about this?
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Good god man! Why on EARTH would you need a PCIe x16 sound card?!?!?!

A PCIe x1 channel is MORE than capable of handling the bandwidth demands for even high quality audio.

BTW, welcome to the forums!
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:24 PM
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I have an XFi ExtremeMusic and as many of you (or may no) know that there are alot of problems with these cards. My card produces some very bad sounds when I play damanding games (both demanding on audio and video performance). Creative said that the crackling sound is caused when the sound card is left out of the PCI bus for an X amout of time. I've tried everything I can think of to fix this problem including raising the PCI latency to max. Its still not enough latency for the card.

Graghics cards, over the years, have become very demanding on the PCI bus so as a solution they now use PCI-E which has a dedicated bus to the CPU. That is to say, it doesn't have to share the bus with other divices in the system and wait for its turn to control the bus. Sound cards are also becoming increasingly demanding on the bus. I think its time that sound cards went PCI-E.
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:36 PM
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I agree. I would like to see some PCIe x1 Sound cards. Heck, I'd like to see some more PCIe x1 devices full stop.
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:38 PM
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When PCI can do the job and probably costs less to develop for, and is included on more motherboards than PCI-E 1x, why would any company make the effort?
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:49 PM
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Well the XFi series was developed because game developers were complaining that 64 voices was not enough to make environments feel immersive and so you see the shift to more demanding hardware (XFi) which is capable of 128 voices at once. This new hardware demands too much from the PCI bus.
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Favu
When PCI can do the job and probably costs less to develop for, and is included on more motherboards than PCI-E 1x, why would any company make the effort?
  1. PCI is going away, simple as that. It will be around for a while longer, but in ever decreasing availability, just as happened with ISA.
  2. PCIe looks just like PCI from a driver development standpoint (indeed, that was one of the goals in the creation of PCIe).
  3. A PCIe x1 card is BY DEFINITION compatible with ANY PCIe slot (x2, x4, x8, x16). The PCIe spec REQUIRES ALL PCIe slots to support PCIe x1. An x16 slot may or may not support x2, x4, or x8 modes, but it MUST support PCIe x1.

In short, it looks to me like there are a lot of reasons for companies to start building x1 cards. Given that x1 slots are capable of 250 MiB/S transfer rates, all but the most bandwidth hungry devices should be capable of being run in x1 slots, and certainly ANYTHING that runs on a regular 33 MHz 32-bit PCI bus now can be, and most things that run on a 33 MHz 64-bit PCI bus should be able to as well.
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:54 PM
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The effort to do this probably isn't there yet. But before a change can occur the need / problem must first be recognized. Don't you think?
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stirlmc
Well the XFi series was developed because game developers were complaining that 64 voices was not enough to make environments feel immersive and so you see the shift to more demanding hardware (XFi) which is capable of 128 voices at once. This new hardware demands too much from the PCI bus.
They should be buffering most of that on the card, I would think. If they are shuttling that kind of data around, they are going to run into memory contention issues as well.

Last edited by Gizmo; 3rd November, 2006 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 09:03 PM
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I found a few sound cards out there that use the PCI-E 1X but there strictly usedin professional settings such as radio and television broacast. Surely these industries require the most reliable sound cards that use the PCI-E 1X. Do not gamers too demand reliable hardware?
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Old 3rd November, 2006, 09:12 PM
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Graphics cards have their own slot/bus now, so maybe sound cards should have their own as well.
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