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Old 09-20-2003, 07:19 AM   #1
=X=
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asus a7n8x onboard audio can only play 1 sound at a time


I've just bought a new computer, and copied a tgz version of my old linux system (arch linux) to this new box, changed some things like grub/fstab/kernel and it worked perfectly.

However there's one thing not working properly: the onboard sound. It's an asus a7n8x deluxe (nforce2) with:

Realtek ALC650 6CH w/built in HP amplifier
Integrated APU(Audio Processor Unit) SoundStorm?/ Dolby Digital (AC-3) Encoder

according to the docs. I've compiled my kernel with this in mind (i810 for example) and my sound is working, but only 1 application can talk to the sound device. So I can't listen to xmms and receive a sound notion from gaim that someone just got online for example. Also every minute or so my cpu is busy for 99% for a couple of seconds - caused by xmms (the app that is using my sound device).

On my old system I didn't have these 2 problems (using the emu10k1 kernel module)

Loading esd at boot time doesn't help, and artsd can't even be started, it just takes up all my cpu and xmms etc can't play any sound.

I've also tried installing the nvidia nforce2 drivers but they tell me that my i810 is already patched (I'm using the normal 2.4.22 so I guess they've incorporated the patch in this version?)

Any ideas how to get out of this mess? Maybe some other things I have to compile into my kernel? Maybe an alsa-driven solution (preferably not, and according to their site they don't even support this chipset)?

Last edited by =X=; 09-20-2003 at 07:21 AM.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 07:59 AM   #2
crashmeister
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Alsa works with the i810 driver.Won't help a bit with that though.If you got a soundstorm board you could try the nvidia driver but I think that doesn't do it either.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 11:39 AM   #3
Scruff
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No, it doesn't. I have the same problem (hardware in sig) but haven't got around to fixing it. I'm kinda new to Slackware so Im going through one issue at a time till its solved properly. Working on the hard drive now.

For my curiousity, what kind of disk read speed are you getting? Type:

$ hdparm -t /dev/hda
 
Old 09-20-2003, 12:21 PM   #4
crashmeister
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For buffer-cache reads it's about 850 to 900 MB/sec depending on the kernel I use.
For disk reads between 40 and 45 MB/sec with a 40 gig 5200 rpm drive.
I searched all over the place but it seems that nforce2 boards can't handle two apps at a time accessing the sound.I hope somebody is going to tell me that I am wrong.

Last edited by crashmeister; 09-20-2003 at 12:24 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 12:30 PM   #5
Scruff
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Wow. Are you using the nForce2 as well? I get 6mb/s reads on a 7200rpm drive at boot. Then I issue : hdparm -X70 -d1 -u1 -m16 -c2 -k1 /dev/hda to enable UDMA and other settings my drive supports and can get around 23mb/s. I have put the command into a boot script and I see it happen during the boot sequence, but it never holds. Even after I issue it from a console, seconds later its changed back. Really aggravating. Took awhile to tweak it well enough to get 23mb/s. At 6, it is really crawling. What do you do?

How about you =X= ? curoius to see other nForce users speed. I will do more checking into audio today and will share whatever I find. As for whether or not is is possible to use it for sound with 2 seperate apps at the same time, it does look grim at the moment. I will scour the web though, because I love this board. If nothing can be done, I'll have reason to justify the purchase of an Audigy to my wife

Last edited by Scruff; 09-20-2003 at 12:37 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 01:59 PM   #6
=X=
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[root@a2500 xirus]# hdparm -tT /dev/discs/disc0/disc

/dev/discs/disc0/disc:
Timing buffer-cache reads: 1636 MB in 2.00 seconds = 818.00 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 162 MB in 3.06 seconds = 52.94 MB/sec

That's on a system that's been up for hours and without a special hdparm command... Maxtor 120gig 8mb cache 7200rpm

Do you really think this board can't have more apps speaking to the audio??? On windows this problem doesn't exist so it must be fixable
 
Old 09-20-2003, 02:09 PM   #7
Scruff
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Quote:
Originally posted by =X=
Do you really think this board can't have more apps speaking to the audio??? On windows this problem doesn't exist so it must be fixable [/B]
I'm sure it's fixable, question is how? I have searched around and not seen any answers, just questions. It has to be driver related since as you said, it works in Windows. Seems like nVidia could do a little more of a complete job on their linux drivers for such a huge product. Their driver package is all but useless. Only good it did me was getting my nforce eth0 recognized. Probably someone in the linux community has discovered a workaround. Hopefully we can find it

I should be getting at least 30mb/s with my drive then. I only get around 420mb/s cache, but mine is only 2mb's so that sounds reasonable. What config files of yours would be useful for me to look at to try and get mine set up properly? Arch Linux must do a better job of auto-config for hard drives than Slack does. What kernel are you running?

Last edited by Scruff; 09-20-2003 at 02:11 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 03:28 PM   #8
=X=
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I think the problem can be found elsewhere: how old is your HD? Since it's a 40gb, it must be old? A 3 year old HD of me also gets numers like yours. The newer the disk, the faster they are.

I never did anything to configure my HD, neither did arch
I'm running a custom 2.4.22 as my original post said
 
Old 09-20-2003, 04:08 PM   #9
crashmeister
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You should get more with your drives mine is a maxtor with 5200 spindle speed.Check with your kernel something must be wrong there because i get about 850 buffer reads and also only got 2mb cache.No hdparm tricks applied - only the 'use dma by default' option compiled into the kernel.For the sound - I really don't think so.Nvidia probably would need to put a driver out or make the spec's available.They can do it for the graphic cards but it seems not for the motherboards.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 04:30 PM   #10
=X=
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If I'd known that in advance

Does 2.6 solve this?
So nobody with this mobo has decent sound?? That's almost impossible, someone must have been complaining about this?? If this can't be solved I'll have to buy an ancient sblive or something :/ -> cheap and better than what I have now
 
Old 09-20-2003, 04:35 PM   #11
Scruff
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My drives are like a year old. ATA133. Theres nothing slow about em in Windows, or Mandrake.

I am getting ready to compile 2.4.22 to see how that does. I already recompiled 2.4.20 to use DMA and it doesn't work properly. Could be something I missed.

I think crashmeister is right about nVidia being the only real fix, and they don't appear to be very interested. At least, thats how it appears after pouring over 1000's of posts related to this issue. I'll prob just order the Audigy. I am an audiophile and knew the nForce wouldn't provide the same quality as the Audigy. I just couldn't justify spending the money when the nForce did such a good job. But the problems related to using it in Linux are just too much.

I'll defintely research others experiance with Linux/Audigy before I decide for sure though!

Last edited by Scruff; 09-20-2003 at 04:39 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2003, 04:36 PM   #12
crashmeister
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Thats about what I think.Had a cheapass sis motherboard before that could play about a hundred sounds at the same time.
2.6 won't do anything about this - only drivers from nvidia or alsa can.Next chance I get I'll jump the AMD/nvidia train.
 
Old 09-21-2003, 12:56 AM   #13
Scruff
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http://attila.stevens-tech.edu/~dkopko/a7n8x.txt
That is a link to the most info I have seen on the nforce2/linux problems with some great sound info. He's got detailed info on how to properly get most of the nforce stuff to work, but it's a little redhat specific.
I'd get into it, but I can't seem to connect to the net through Linux anymore...
I solved the hard drive trouble by compiling 2.4.22. Now I get 50mb/s reads. But, now I cant connect to DSL. I compiled the same stuff I always do, and went through the same dsl config stuff.
I started a thread in Networking if you have any advice.

Good luck! Post if you find some sound solutions
 
  


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