Sound Card question

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by JRCATES, May 20, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Posts:
    1,203
    Location:
    USA
    I just installed a SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit sound card.....and now I have a question.

    Through WinPatrol, listed as a "Startup Program", I see SoundMXPnP (smax4pnp.exe) listed as a startup program. This is the info given by WinPatrol for this device:

    SMAX4PNP.EXE is part of the SoundMAX software by Analog Devices. It comes installed on many motherboards that have integrated audio including computers by Dell, Hewlett Packard, Fujitsu-Siemens, IBM, Intel, Legend, ASUS, MSI, NEC, Sony, and Toshiba. You'll probably find this file in C:\Program Files\Analog Devices\SoundMax\SMax4PNP.exe.

    SoundMAX enables computers to support today's hottest features such as 5.1 channel surround sound output, advanced game audio effects, digital S/PDIF output, and stereo array microphone input.


    I believe this refers to the onboard sound card that came pre-installed on my Dell PC, but what I'm not sure of is if I should leave it as "enabled", or if it should be "disabled". Would disabling it cause any problems? Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.....
     
  2. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Posts:
    23,873
    Location:
    SW. Oklahoma
    when you install a sound card the onboard sound should be turned off or deleted. I just installed the same sound card in my stepdaughters comp. She had AC97 audio as default so I just deleted it from add/remove. you can always reinstall the drivers if need be from the internet.
     
  3. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Posts:
    1,203
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks Big C.

    I did "disable" the old sound card during installation (actually, someone I know who works on computers did - he helped me with the installation).....but I was just surprised to see it still remaining as a "startup program" through WinPatrol. I used to see it as an active process through Windows Task Manager, but after installing the new SoundBlaster sound card, I haven't seen it as an active process since. I'm not sure if it was listed in the Windows "Add-Remove Programs" list or not before, but it's not there now.....so I guess that was just a slight oversite by WinPatrol not to remove it from the "enabled" list.

    By the way, Big C.....did you use the CD for installation when installing it for your stepdaughter? I did, and I'm curious which "functions" of the sound card you've enabled/disabled, etc. I notice that there are 3 processes which now appear at bootup through Task Manager.....along with the Creative Media Source desktop icon. I'm curious which ones you see as necessary, and which ones can be disabled.

    Thanks
     
  4. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Posts:
    23,873
    Location:
    SW. Oklahoma
    I just installed enough to make it work. She and her son just needed sound and the onboard had quit on a new moboard and it was quicker just to install the sound card than to dissamble the comp just to take the mobo back. So it was a basic install.
     
  5. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Posts:
    1,976
    Location:
    Eastern PA, USA
    There's no function in WinPatrol that would have done that without you telling it to. There is no uninstall functionality in WinPatrol, thus there was no oversight on its part.
     
  6. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Posts:
    7,927
    Location:
    The land of no identity :D
    You can leave the SoundMAX file as disabled, it will not hurt your PC. But you should check if the onboard sound is disabled through the BIOS and then you need to remove all traces of the SoundMAX drivers using Add/Remove Programs.

    To be honest, I've used a SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit and it does not sound better in any way compared to my onboard SoundMAX AD1980 sound CODEC. The only reason anyone would want to upgrade to SBLive! 24-bit from SoundMAX is

    a)If you want to have EAX 3.0 effects in games
    b)You want to play DVDs with DTS 24-bit digital sound (but most DVDs come encoded with 16-bit Dolby Digital 5.1 anyway)
    c)You want to play music with 24-bit encoded content

    Unfortunately, for me none of these were needed, and my SoundMAX is at least as good as (if not better) than the SBLive! 24-bit at almost everything. :)
     
  7. JRCATES

    JRCATES Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Posts:
    1,203
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks Firecat,

    Yeah, to be totally honest....in just the basic setting, I didn't notice much of a difference after installing it either. I guess I expected it to be a pretty noticeable difference, but it was actually pretty subtle. It is improved somewhat, though, IMHO....but not by leaps and bounds. The difference comes in with all the options the SoundBlaster sound card has....Equalizer, "Bass Boost", EAX console (audio effects) additional volume control, setting options, etc., and when enabled those make a pretty substantial difference.

    I've disabled the SoundMXPnP through WinPatrol, but I think that was just a formality. Apparently everything had been done properly during the install, but as crofttk suggested, it just wasn't listed as disabled by WinPatrol, and I was under the assumption that it would have been.

    Anyway, someone I know who works on computers did the install for me, and I believe he did everything correctly. I was just uncertain as to what I should be seeing and what the consequences were if I disabled SoundMXPnP through WinPatrol (when it was actually already disabled). But there is no listing for the old driver through Windows "Add-Remove Programs" list.....not sure if there was one before, or if there should be now, though.
     
  8. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Posts:
    7,927
    Location:
    The land of no identity :D
    Well, for me, even with the equalizer and everything else with the SBLive!, my SoundMAX sounds the same most of the time. I figure this is probably because:

    a)The AD1980/1985 is the best SoundMAX AC'97 audio CODEC
    b)SoundMAX drivers vary from vendor to vendor. I already have EAX effects, Ear model-based sound production (Child ear model or Adult ear model), Bass boost and the like (except the equalizer) even with SoundMAX.

    So its well and good that you are enjoying the sound, but personally, I think SoundMAX is a very good onboard audio solution.

    One thing in credit of the SBLive! is that while playing music, the background drums and music was more audible (louder) than on the SoundMAX in various Instrumental songs. :)
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.