Will a dedicated sound-card decrease CPU load


Assume the CPU is the bottleneck in my PC's performance (I've a great GPU and tons of RAM), and lets say I'm playing a game that permanently maxes out the CPU load.

My PC has no dedicated sound-card. Now, If I install a dedicated sound-card (something average price, nothing really fancy), will it improve performance on the mentioned scenario?

I'm not asking if the sound card improves audio quality. I'm asking if it will lighten up CPU load by a few percentage points. Given a good graphics card, most of the graphics-processing should be assigned to the GPU, but the processor still has a lot to do, is sound-processing a significant part of that? (edit)

More specifically: does sound-processing consume a significant amount of CPU time in modernd high-end games (assuming there's a good GPU to take the hit from graphics processing)?

Will a dedicated sound-card take care of it?

Does it matter if the headset is USB or audio-jack?

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