Test results

By Dave Salvator  |  Posted 2004-06-24 Print this article Print

Generally speaking, the Realtek HD Audio solution delivered good but not great signal quality performance and received no boost from running at 96KHz/24-bit. For our signal quality testing, we turned off Intel Audio Studios DSP algorithms, since they change the spectral characteristics of the audio output. RightMark Audio Analyzer Tests
96KHz/24-bit 44KHz/16-bit
Noise level, dB (A): -85.7 -85.5
Dynamic range, dB (A): 80.7 81.8
THD, 0.0065 0.0067
IMD, 0.018 0.019
Stereo crosstalk, dB: -82.4 -85.3
As you can see, Realteks 44KHz/16-bit numbers arent bad, though theyre not the best motherboard-down audio numbers weve seen either. Theyre also nowhere close to approaching theoretical on dynamic range, which would be around -96dB. THD and IMD numbers are quite good, however--on par with decent home stereo gear. Going to 96KHz/24-bit, we got no improvement in performance, which was disappointing. We would have been pleasantly surprised to see the Realtek part break the -100dB barrier, but we were hoping to see it get into at least the mid-90s, but it wasnt to be. Distortion was still nice and low, but its pretty apparent that whatever noise floor is present affects both resolutions equally and also masks whatever improvement 96KHz/24-bit was going to net. Next page: Audio WinBench

Dave came to have his insatiable tech jones by way of music—,and because his parents wouldn't let him run away to join the circus. After a brief and ill-fated career in professional wrestling, Dave now covers audio, HDTV, and 3D graphics technologies at ExtremeTech.

Dave came to ExtremeTech as its first hire from Computer Gaming World, where he was Technical Director and Lead (okay, the only) Saxophonist for five years. While there, he and Loyd Case pioneered the area of testing 3D graphics using PC games. This culminated in 3D GameGauge, a suite of OpenGL and Direct3D game demo loops that CGW and other Ziff-Davis publications, such as PC Magazine, still use.

Dave has also helped guide Ziff-Davis benchmark development over the years, particularly on 3D WinBench and Audio WinBench. Before coming to CGW, Dave worked at ZD Labs for three years (now eTesting Labs) as a project leader, testing a wide variety of products, ranging from sound cards to servers and everything in between. He also developed both subjective and objective multimedia test methodologies, focusing on audio and digital video. Before all that he toured with a blues band for two years, notable gigs included opening for Mitch Ryder and appearing at the Detroit Blues Festival.


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