Sound Breaks up when loading programs

  Gaz W 22:16 07 Oct 03

When any audio is playing and then a program (anything at all) is loaded the sound breaks up and is choppy. This seems to be the case with any player, including Windows Media Player and RealOne Player. The OS is Windows XP Pro. I don't know all of the specs because it isn't my PC, but it is above the requirements for XP. The sound is onboard (AC97). What I have suggested so far is to install WinAmp and see if it still does it, as well as running as little as possible in the background (most obvious things really). There are no conflicts in Device Manager and the sounds are MP3's on the hard disk. The next thing is probably to try upgrading to a decent SoundBlaster card (Live! 5.1 Player for less than £20), but only if it would solve the problem. Any ideas?

  Simon_P 00:04 08 Oct 03

I suspect that you are right to upgrade to a sound card, as the SB 5.1/Audigy etc have their own sound processor.

As I understand it AC97 works of the CPU therefore when the CPU is busy it has less prosessing power to dedicate to sound.

I have used all three mentioned and have never had a problem with the 2 cards, but found the AC97 to be a little hit and miss

  Gaz W 14:24 08 Oct 03

Thanks for your reply. I think that's what is going to happen. I'm not sure about the speed of the CPU, but it's not exactly slow and is most probably over 1GHz. It looks like the most sensible thing to do.

Do you know if ALL AC97 audio works off the CPU? I have an Abit AT7-Max2 with onboard 5.1 surround sound, which I'm very pleased with, and I've never had any trouble.

  Simon_P 18:34 08 Oct 03

But I would think that later Mobo's will handle it better than older ones, but a good pci card will out perform onboard sound anyway. All said and done if you are happy with your set up, there is no need to change it.

Dont think you will have any probs with sound card if the CPU is 1G plus, and as you say a 5.1 card is only about £20 these days.

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