Irq Assignments

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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.

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.

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.Unfortunately some Abit tables have subsequently proved to have printing errors (the AT7-MAX for instance), but let's assume yours is correct.The PIRQ signals in the left-hand column are those from the VIA VT8233 chip set on your motherboard — only four unique interrupts are available to PCI slots (PIRQ 0 to 3), but as explained elsewhere in your motherboard manual, you can if you wish assign whatever IRQ number you like to each one using the four 'PIRQ_X Use IRQ No' settings in your BIOS.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.The fact that you've found that this ends up sharing with AGP and Slot 1 might be due to another factor — elsewhere in the manual it states that your motherboard has an APIC (Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller) so do make sure this is set to 'Enabled' in the Advanced BIOS Features page — in the 'Disabled' mode only six IRQs will be available for all motherboard devices.Remember also that you can disable unwanted motherboard devices such as serial and parallel ports to release their IRQ allocations to the pool.


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