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Re: K8 Mainboards Linux compatibility list

tomek.fizyk@op.pl wrote:
Użytkownik Jo Shields <jo.shields@comlab.ox.ac.uk> napisał:
tomek.fizyk@op.pl wrote:
Hi. You wrote that you have no problems with your MB with nForce3.
I have 2 questions.
I have also a MB with nForce3 and have some problems with the intel8x0
sound driver. (My MB is AsRock K8Upgrade-NF3).
My chipset's full name is nForce 3 250. The snd_intel8x0 does not see
the MIDI device. I know that the sound chip in the nForce3 250 has the
MIDI support - when I used windows some time ago the MIDI worked and
it was not any MIDI emultion but true MIDI device was detected by the
drivers. So is is because the snd_intel8x0 does not support MIDI (do you
have MIDI in support your system)?
Sorry, but you're wrong here - basic AC97 codecs like the Realtek your board probably uses has no real MIDI support.

Just because it's shown in Windows, doesn't mean it isn't emulated - and emulating MIDI in Linux is a chore (but possible, try reading the FAQ on scummvm.org).

hmm... I guess you're right... My sound chip is Realtek ALC850 and I've
checked and it turned out there is no hardware midi:(

The second problem is related to Debian AMD64 only - the problem was
not present on Debian i386 (do you use the Debian AMD64?).
The sound driver can be used only by one app at a time (for example
when I listen to music with xmms the KDE has no access to the sound
device; or when KDE uses the sound device (through aRts) no other app
has access to the sound device, etc). One of the apps ran in console
printed an error msg saying that there is no /dev/dsp-1 device.

I would like to know if these are general problems or if only I have them.

Again, you're wrong here. When accessing sound cards via OSS (/dev/dsp*), only cards with hardware mixing support can accept multiple sounds at once - regardless of architecture. The exception here is the closed-source "nvsound" driver for use with NForce motherboards, which emulates hardware support. At any rate, with the basic snd-intel8x0 driver, you cannot have multiple calls to /dev/dsp* devices. However, via the newer ALSA devices (which you never address directly, but technically live in /dev/snd/), it is possible to use software mixing support, via a mechanism called "DMIX". On older versions of ALSA (e.g. that included with Debian Stable), you need to configure DMIX by hand.

That's strange... I generaally use ALSA (in xmms, arts, etc.). But maby the
app I ran in the console used OSS (it was skype ran via chroot).
But as I wrote the problem is _only_ when I use Debian AMD64.
I have also Debian i386 installed and the same apps when running under
the i386 Debian they have no problems with sound.

So check to see what drivers are actually being used, how they're configured - and especially whether a daemon like aRts or ESD is getting involved.

snd-intel8x0 cannot & will not do mixing in the absence of a sound daemon, unless "DMIX" is configured.

The "easy" option to sound on Linux is to buy a Creative Labs EMU10K1-based card, such as an Audigy or Live (with a few exceptions). They have hardware MIDI support, and hardware mixing, so you never need to worry about what output mode a given app is using (they all work at the same time).

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