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Tip: Don't bother with onboard audio


drdaz
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Just a tip for anybody who's building a Hack... After a couple years faffing around with the onboard HDA audio for my machine (including producing the AppleHDADisabler kext some people here undoubtedly use) I've finally got a native solution that I really like. I've bought 2 Griffin iMic USB audio adapters (1 for headphones, one for speakers), and they really are just plug and play... They even work plugged into my aluminium Apple Keyboard's USB hub (very little power supplied).

 

While the main draw of these things for me is the native driver support, as a bonus the sound quality is orders of magnitude better. While onboard audio was full of electrostatic noise, these output a very clean signal. They are only stereo, but I don't need more on my Hack at present... I'm almost certain there are supported USB audio cards with surround goodness.

 

Having literally spent weeks hacking at getting onboard audio support to an 'Apple-like' level, I can honestly say that these audio adapters are a godsend, and cheap at that (~£15 from amazon.co.uk). I do wish I'd looked at this type of solution much earlier.

 

YMMV of course, and I know some onboard audio (ALC889a for example) is easy enough to get native support for with a little injection... But depending on what price you put on your time, and whether you feel getting onboard audio support is really a worthwhile project, you might want to consider the alternative ways of getting your pride and joy to produce sounds :unsure: .

 

/drdaz

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I have onboard audio (ALC888) that worked.

 

Of course, the premade ALC888 kexts on the DVD I had (iPC 10.5.6, now updated to 10.5.8 via Software Update) would not work, but I installed AppleHDAPatcher. So I went to Ubuntu 10.10 (11.x sucks), booted the Live CD, clicked "Try Ubuntu", went to terminal and made a codec dump by doing this command:

 

cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#1 > ~/Desktop/codec_dump.txt

(found this out on Ubuntu forums.)

(If you want to do this, codec#1 may not work - start with codec#0 and increment the number by 1 when it doesn't work, so do codec#0, codec#1, codec#2, so forth.)

 

I moved the codec_dump.txt to my external hard drive (you can use USB flash drive if you want, doesn't matter really.) and booted into OS X. I dragged my codec_dump.txt to the AppleHDAPatcher icon and it patched the kext fine. Restarted, then worked. I patched it again after updating to 10.5.8, I won't go through Intel GMA here though.

 

The advantage of patching your AppleHDA.kext using said application is that all of your ports work as they would on a Linux distro (live CD/DVD or installed). I used a premade AppleHDA.kext for the ALC888 that only gave me few choices.

 

Just letting you know about my onboard audio experience. :(

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Amen, OP.

 

I could not agree more.

 

If you want to fool around just for fun with trying to get it to work, go ahead. But if you want a stable solution, USB audio is your only choice.

 

Onboard graphics (*cough* Intel GMA) is even worse. Maybe not in terms of setup, but it sucks overall.

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