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 One more tweak on getting analog XP audio to work 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post One more tweak on getting analog XP audio to work
I am doing this from the z510 version, which is now almost completely debugged from an audio standpoint in XP. The final trick was to go to the Settings ->Control Panel->Sounds and Audio Devices->Speaker Settings->Advanced->Performance, and press "Restore Defaults", followed by "Apply". Pressing "Apply" appears to have the effect of editing the registry with the correct audio properties.

You remember that, several restarts back, I had unzipped both the Windows 7 audio for fit-pc2i and the Windows XP audio for fit-pc2i. Next, I installed audio using the the XP version and restarted. But no startup sound. So, I copied audio_patch.exe from the Windows 7 audio->Vista (not Vista64) folder into 'c:\program files\realtek\...\WDM. You may have to get Windows to unveil these folders as you go about the copying process. You then _run_ audio_patch.exe from the installed WDM folder. audio_patch.exe complains about not being able to set the correct registry keys, but goes to completion. When you restart the system yet once again, the Windows logon sound is played, at full volume. The volume control refuses to work correctly, and may appear in multiple layers.

At this point, you can demonstrate streaming flash video using the latest Internet Explorer for Windows XP and its flash plugin. And, you can control volume using the flash volume control. And this demonstrates that Internet Explorer using even the most recent flash is doing amazing things in video acceleration, because, e. g., Amazon.com streaming video is nearly flawless, even at full screen and with the sending station chopping up the DSL signal. I mean, here you have a depracated, yet bargain priced, "value" system that suddenly shows amazing promise when you get the sound and the video right.

OK, the final step in tweaking the audio is to figure out how to get the correct things stored into the system registry. And, the steps listed above, ending in pushing the sounds "default settings" button does that final trick, resulting in a working volume control and amazing surround sound on the analog output. Of course, you could have supplied a correct audio_patch.exe program in your XP driver in the first place, and someday I really would like to hear your reasons.

You must have only a few more left to sell before you end production or something. And, I have a rare museum piece: A gma500, z510 system living up to its full potential.


Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:44 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: One more tweak on getting analog XP audio to work
I did yet one more re-install of Windows XP on the z510, using experience gained until now for "improving" the experience. I. e., I have an Intel ssd hard drive using the Intel ssd toolkit to trim it and optimize its use under Windows XP. Microsoft has recently been supplying the Windows Defender to Windows XP users, out of deference to people who insist on still using Windows XP because it works in limited ram.

Sound is actually more simple than the previous post: Use the Windows XP fit pc realtek driver, then unplug the analog speaker plug and re-plug it until you get a dialog box asking you exactly what you have been unplugging and plugging back in. You check off the appropriate analog sound sink, and the realtek XP sound driver starts to work, including half-muted volume controls and thunderous bass.

I am puzzling over the gma500 driver, which the dxdiag program states does not have an agp texture capability. It does however spin the cubes for directX 8 and 9 video acceleration, and it does give surprisingly good full-screen, nearly full motion video from streaming flash sources like youtube, but not from amazon.com streaming video (the North American distributor of the fit-pc2). What I am saying is that you get thunderous movie-theatre sound from the movie trailers on youtube, but the video shows software decoding and software rendering. Clearly, the gma500 driver figures in somewhere to make this full-screen, nearly full speed rendering possible, but does not get any credit for doing it.

There is an old trick for speeding up the video in Windows XP, involving using 16-bit, not 32-bit color, but it appears to interfere with streaming flash performance. Altogether, the fit-pc2 still appears to be a computer waiting to happen.

Something clearly is missing in the audio synchronization area. I think it is a software problem that noone has mentioned, or that is patched somehow in OEM versions of the fit-pc2 z510 that came with Windows XP pre-installed. If synchronization ever gets fixed in do-it-yourself installations with no scratchy sound introduced, the z510 might be said to have come of age.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:10 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: One more tweak on getting analog XP audio to work
OK, one strategy that seems to work: Turn off acceleration. That is, streaming flash in low quality together with hardware sound acceleration turned off completely and lowest audio quality seems to yield a semblance of lipsync, even at full screen.

Adjusting sound quality means going to the control panel, selecting sounds and audio devices, speaker-settings advanced, Advanced audio properties, Performance. When you reach this rarefied and rarely visited place, turn sound to "emulation only, use this setting if you have problems with all other acceleration levels" and set Sample rate conversion quality to "Good".


Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:46 am
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: One more tweak on getting analog XP audio to work
P. S. With the advanced sound settings set to "emulation" in the latest Windows XP and streaming flash video quality set to "low", amazon streaming videos can be coaxed to run, with some level of remaining lipsync reluctance.


Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:14 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:54 pm
Posts: 229
Post Re: One more tweak on getting analog XP audio to work
OK, glad everyone tried out all these sound strategies: I finally managed to discover that basic sound quality is what determines success in XP. I did this by using a USB sound device, which is still my first candidate for minimum loading of the cpu. The secondary candidate is the xp sound driver from the fit-pc2 downloads, set to the same sound quality as the USB sound device (low, CD-quality), which is almost as fast. From testing in Windows 7 and Windows 8, I prefer the gma500 driver set to 1440x900, lower than the "recommended" setting.

Taken together, that lets you play full-screen, full motion streaming Silverlight video from the North American distributor and from other Silverlight sources. This is an experimental installation that does not install streaming flash so as to force Silverlight and uses the secondary browser as the designated primary browser.

Enclosed is a full-screen capture jpeg.


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Wed May 08, 2013 9:12 pm
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