I decided to split the performance tests of the new sound card in two parts. First we will find out how greatly the overall system performance drops when the system is running with the sound on and off. We resorted to the Comanche 4 Demo test and ran it with the screen resolution set to 1024x768. The results are given on the diagram below:
For a more illustrative comparison we carried out the same measurements on the identical system but with the integrated sound enabled. I don’t think the system configuration matters in this case, because all we need is the results difference – the delta indicating the performance drop.
The performance difference when we consider 3DMark03 results is much more noticeable, especially when we process 60 sound streams. We cannot run this test for the integrated sound subsystem (it is not supported) that is why we only provide the data for our sound card.
So far we can conclude that the use of an individual stand alone sound card for gaming needs is absolutely justified, because it allows to significantly improve the system performance in resource-hungry applications.