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Old 12-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
tygeezy
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Default a question about cpu usage

So I have this auzentech prelude pci soundcard. I have been pretty happy with it over the years.

One thing that has always bothered me about it though is it causes hardware interrupts.

It uses up roughly 4-10 % cpu usage just being idle.

I have noticed that most games don't use anything near 100% cpu usage. In fact the most I have seen is gta 4 at about 43%. That being the case would hardware interrupts not be a performance degrader as long as it isn't above 60%.

I have tried running some benchmarks like arkham city and gta 4 but the results are too inconsistent in those two tools to come to any type of conclusion.

I'm also not sure if its calculating usage based on just one of the threads or all 8 on my i7 860.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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No sound card should be using 4-10% (about 1/3 of a CPU) just idle, that isn't right. At most sound these days is a few percentage points of CPU time regardless of what is going on. What is calculating this usage?
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightCandle View Post
No sound card should be using 4-10% (about 1/3 of a CPU) just idle, that isn't right. At most sound these days is a few percentage points of CPU time regardless of what is going on. What is calculating this usage?
I'm
Using windows built in task manager. Windows explorer shows it as as a hardware interrupt. Also my logitech keyboard monitors cpu and ram usage.

This is a common issue with my sound card. There are a lot of posts online regarding this.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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that is truly an incredible amount usage at idle, should be 0-1%. I think practically its unlikely to cause much performance difference because so few games even utilise 3 cores let alone all 4 or more but its going to increase your power bill as your CPU wont properly sleep.

Time for an upgrade perhaps?
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tygeezy View Post
I'm
Using windows built in task manager. Windows explorer shows it as as a hardware interrupt. Also my logitech keyboard monitors cpu and ram usage.

This is a common issue with my sound card. There are a lot of posts online regarding this.
Hmm i was going to suggest this may be common with PCI sound cards but this guy says he had an original x-fi card to begin with and had no problems until he installed an auzentech:

http://www.computing.net/answers/har...ive/56572.html

All the original x-fis were PCI so it looks like its simply because of auzentechs implementation.

Seems like there are two choices, just forget about it as it or buy a new card and sell the old one. Pretty sure the prelude has a very good reputation and would still fetch a decent price.

If it uses 4-10% on idle its 4-10% of the entire cpu. It may be constrained to 1 core though, only way to know is have a look at task manager.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:23 AM   #6
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Yep, like I said it seems to be an issue with all preludes. Not sure if all auzentech products are like this but the prelude does have a great rep. Funny it was marketed as a gaming card because of its xi-fi processor. It seems to be anything but gamer friendly slurping up cpu time idle.

I'll have a look when I get home to check out if it is only using one or multiple cores.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #7
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Get a Xonar and use the low DPC latency drivers
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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Is there an issue with xonars drivers from asus? I would rather not get a new soundcard if I'm not suffering from performance issues.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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The Asus drivers are OK but the unified low latency drivers are better, lighter and produce better surround sound. I think there are some features disabled in the Asus driver as well, all in all the cmedia driver is better.

But like you say you don't really have a problem so no need to change. Its just really weird that it uses that much CPU.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
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I couldn't get these to embed from flikr, but here are some screenshots I took of my prelude enabled vs disabled.

http://flic.kr/p/dGZYCv
http://flic.kr/p/dH6pDY
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tygeezy View Post
I couldn't get these to embed from flikr, but here are some screenshots I took of my prelude enabled vs disabled.

http://flic.kr/p/dGZYCv
http://flic.kr/p/dH6pDY
Wow you weren't kidding. That is quite amazing. I wasn't that far from buying on those cards when they first came out, really glad I didn't now. Well up to you what you do, I doubt 6% of usage will cause any real problems in games, but conversely that is a lot of additional power consumption for a sound card to use. Modern sound cards are actually quite expensive really so its not a simple thing to switch, especially since the SNR is so good on the Prelude.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #12
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We need more detail than just "4-10% of a cpu". After you've been running for many hours, post your cpu times. Tell us which process is chewing up cpu time. Note: you may need to enable cpu time in the task manager options.

I been running an auzentech X-Mystique for years and I dont see much cpu usage from it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm625 View Post
We need more detail than just "4-10% of a cpu". After you've been running for many hours, post your cpu times. Tell us which process is chewing up cpu time. Note: you may need to enable cpu time in the task manager options.

I been running an auzentech X-Mystique for years and I dont see much cpu usage from it.
It is the same no matter if I just booted up or have been using it for hours. When I used a program called process explorer, it registered the usage as a hardware interrupt. As soon as I disable the device in the control panel it goes away. People were just curious how the cpu graph looked with my prelude, so I posted that for everybody. It appears to be drawing on only one of the cores instead of balancing it out.

I was just wondering if I am seeing performance degradation because of the high idle cpu usage. My benchmark results have always been very inconsistent with the programs I have.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tygeezy View Post
It is the same no matter if I just booted up or have been using it for hours. When I used a program called process explorer, it registered the usage as a hardware interrupt. As soon as I disable the device in the control panel it goes away. People were just curious how the cpu graph looked with my prelude, so I posted that for everybody. It appears to be drawing on only one of the cores instead of balancing it out.
That is just Windows making sure the other cores can sleep. If it already has one awake then it will use it for a while before it switches. It improves performance as the cache gets better utilised and decreases power consumption as it awakes less cores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tygeezy View Post
I was just wondering if I am seeing performance degradation because of the high idle cpu usage. My benchmark results have always been very inconsistent with the programs I have.
How about you post some benchmarks, just some basics like sandra, 3d mark etc and a game frame time trace (incase its causing jitter) on a game that TechReport tested. That will at least allow peeps to check it and validate my basic idea that performance in games at least is likely unaffected.

But I would expect a 6% drop in sandra.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:27 PM   #15
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Do you have any audio inputs plugged in?

My Creative Xi-fi Titanium has optical in plugged-in and that makes my CPU usage rise to 4-5% ... when it's disabled 0%
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:44 PM   #16
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No, it will do this even with nothing plugged in. In fact it will do it even without drivers installed for it. I did notice that extra cpu power is used if I use digital outputs with dts or dolby digital mode.
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