Irq Assignments

My Audiophile currently has an IRQ to itself and so I'm not touching it. In my BIOS, it's not immediately clear how to specify which IRQ is for which slot, since it only allows me to set each IRQ to 'PCI Slot' or 'Reserve'.

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If a particular expansion slot shares an internal interrupt with another device, this cannot be changed — it will share regardless of what you change in the BIOS or in Windows.

However, remember that the majority of modern expansion card devices will be quite happy to share an IRQ, and if this is the case there's normally only a tiny performance hit if your soundcard (or, in this case, your Powercore card) ends up sharing with something else.

When we do this, we discover that: Even though you may have one or more 'spare' IRQs not allocated to anything, it's the hard-wiring of the slots that determines what shares with what, and you can't avoid this.

The two USB ports provided by each USB Host Controller always share an IRQ, and the notes beneath the table suggest that this is shared with PCI slot 4, but, since slots 3 and 4 share, this isn't borne out by your Audiophile in slot 3 getting its own unique IRQ.

So, for instance, the Audigy 2 soundcard uses A for its main audio/MIDI portion, and B for its IEEE 1394 Host Controller.

However, since the majority of cards only require one interrupt, in nearly all cases Int A is the only one to look for in the table.If anyone wants to explain what to do I'd really appreciate it.SOS Forum post PC music specialist Martin Walker replies: I'm not surprised that you're confused, since, as I explained in the PC Musician article you refer to, what determines how the various slots and other PCI devices share their interrupt resources is down to the motherboard manufacturer, and here we enter a mysterious world where each model of motherboard can be different.Windows Vista and 7 lets you prioritize one or more IRQs (which translate to one or more hardware devices), potentially improving the performance of those devices.Below are basic registry editing tips that you can use to set IRQ priorities. Start by opening the System Information utility (msinfo32.exe), and navigating to System Summary\Hardware Resources\IRQs to view the IRQs in use on your system, and the devices using them.The reason for that is that the PCI hardware itself and its driver are not affecting the IRQ assignment at all (if the hardware follows the PCI 2.1 specifications as the DSP24 series of cards).The IRQ is assigned by the Plug and Play section of the BIOS on your mainboard.If you still can't get a unique IRQ for your Powercore card, try setting your 'PNP OS Installed' BIOS parameter to 'No', so the BIOS will allocate IRQs, and then force the appropriate PIRQ to use your choice with the four 'PIRQ_X Use IRQ No' settings mentioned earlier. This however means that conflicts with other busmaster devices and PCI cards need to be avoided or you may get drop-outs when you record or playback audio signals with low latency.While the card usually works with a shared IRQ it still could affect the performance. if you are using a mainboard based on a VIA chipset), we strongly recommend to install the card with an unshared IRQ.In some PCs, it is not that simple to assign a unique IRQ to a certain PCI card.


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