Sound Cards in PowerMacs?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by James Philp, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #1
    Just wondering how prevalent it is to add a sound card to a powermac?
    following from this thread, I understand that currently the CPU handles all sound-related tasks?

    I was just wondering if there was someone out there who has added a dedicated sound card to a PowerMac, and what kind of results you have got, in terms of Audio Production, Games, etc.

    I would imagine rendering 5.1 surround in a game is CPU heavy, and therefore the addition of a sound card may result in incresed frame rate?
    If this is indeed so, would it not be good to ship Macs with soundcards installed? They are cheap, effective, and allow for proper 5.1 surround.

    For example, Apple offer this on THEIR OWN website! - Kind of admits a problem!
     
  2. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #2
    The dual processors helps the audio rendering as they can render video on one processor and audio on another.

    I think that audio card is mor for people who need other connections than optical.
     
  3. James Philp thread starter macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #3
    Well surely then adding one will free up CPU?

    Oh really? Do G5's have 5.1 as standard? Do not quite a few Pro's master soundtracks on Macs that are in 5.1? Also, powermac g5's have a optical S/PDIF out. does this not allow for optical audio connections?
     
  4. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #4
    Apple offers optical output on the new G5s - this will accomplish playback of Dolby Digital and DTS passthrough, not compression to these formats. When you connect this to a surround sound receiver, the receiver decodes the audio stream.

    The soundcard posted does decode to analog outputs, so if you have a speaker set with six inputs, you use this card for that type of work. This card has no "power" aside from decoding. When you talk about physical Digital Signal Processing, you nead to be in the realm of cards by Digidesign for Pro Tools rigs that actually take strain off the CPU by doing a lot of work on the card instead.

    cpjakes
     
  5. James Philp thread starter macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #5
    Interesting...

    I only posted that card as an example that even apple offer external sound cards. Would the latter kind of card you mentioned take significant strain from the CPU? Enough to bump up frames rates?

    Has anyone installed this kind of card? What have they experienced?
     
  6. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Dress Rosa
    #6
    Well, games don't function too well with a 2nd CPU. If I recall, someone with a G5 got a higher framerate running one processor instead of two in Doom3.
     
  7. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #7

    Yes, but that was just due to bad code.

    UT2004 plays better with dual procs.
     
  8. James Philp thread starter macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #8
    So...

    Has anyone actually installed a sound card in a PowerMac, and noticed an improvement in same speed or anything? Still would be intrigued to know!
     
  9. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #9
    These cards would have no effect on frame rates because they are not gaming cards, they're for audio. They process things like plug-ins and effects for audio workstations. Unless a game was doing real-time effects (which most do not) and the code was written to take advantage of it, these cards won't do anything either.

    A majority of audio in games is either preset (as in the movies during play) or triggered individual audio files. The only processing there might be is the orientation of the sound based on action in the game, and that is not a whole lot of strain on the system.

    cpjakes
     

Share This Page