5.1 real time?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Chad Ferguson, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    I've been told that right now only the nforce 2 motherboards can do a real time 5.1 sound encode. What I want to do is hook up my computer to my home theater and have it play in 5.1 sound. I was originaly going ot buy a Audigy 2 board to do this but then I was told my Receiver would not play it in anything other than stereo sound. Should I just do sound through the motherboard? Although I hear that can cause some overheating problems. If I was to buy an Audigy 2, could or will a driver fix this problem so it will encode the sound stream to Dolby Digital?
    Thank you
    P.S. My reciever is a Denon 3300 is that matters, thank you.
     
  2. Demetri K

    Demetri K Stunt Coordinator

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    it all depends. If you want your reciever to do the encoding then buy whatever. I dont have a Nforce but I get 5.1 DD and DTS through my reciever from my comp.
     
  3. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Movie 5.1 is not encoded in real-time, you need specific hardware for true gaming 5.1. You can either do it via the nForce boards or through 6 cables comoing from your sound card to a receiver that features 5.1 analog inputs. In this department I'd recommend the M-Audio Revolution 7.1 over the Audigy, it has better DACs and much less drivers to install.
     
  4. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    I'm sorry but I do not seem to understand. If I was too buy the Audigy 2 PLatinum and hook up my sound through an optical cable to my receiver. How will my receiver know type of signal it's getting? I'll be a little more desciptive here. If I was to do that, and I told my Audigy that I had a 5.1 set up, then it will send it out to my receiver and play it in 5.1? Also to clarify, I'm talking about gaming, not watching movies. Another that is bothering me is that the Nforce boards are supposed to do something right now that nothing else can with sound. Was it not real time 5.1 or something to that effect?
    Also, I thank you for the other sound card recommendation but the only I'm sticking to the Audigy 2 is that it's supposed to be the best sounding and the best for a gaming computer. Am I wrong?
    If anyone could tell me their Computer Home Theatre expirences that would be great as well. Curious if it's even worth compared to getting a 4.1 computer speaker set up for 50 bucks.
    THank you
     
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Creative is the most well-known and the Audigy 2 comes with more bells & whistles, I've toyed with my friend's the Platinum edition. Too many drivers to install I'd rather not fool with it (not to mention it's been a nightmare for him causing random reboots but I won't get into that). As far as quality goes M-Audio always produces better cards for the same price Creative offers, it's a fact M-Audio offers better DACs than the Audigy's. The Revo 7.1 is a popular one here at HTF.

    There is a big detail concerning 5.1 output from PC to receiver. The *only* way to get a Dolgy Digital signal from your PC from gaming is to get an nForce2 motherboard as it encodes to DD5.1 in real-time.

    Another option to get multichannel (but not DD) sound is get a soundcard wih 5.1 analog outputs which requires a seperate cable for each channel to run to your receiver. So you could go with the nForce2 and have 1 digital cable to your receiver, or have 6 RCA cables coming out of the Audigy/Revolution to your receiver. The prime advantage here is that the audio is uncompressed and isn't limited to the specs of Dolby Digital (44khz sampling rate, 640kb/sec transfer max).

    No consumer sound card can currently encode Dolby Digital on the fly. They will only pass it from a DVD, the rest of the time the digital out is stereo PCM.

    Confused yet? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    The main thing that has me confused now is why only a motherboard can do this? Also, how many games now actually have a Dolby Surround option?
    About the 7.1 sound card, do you know what the average CPU it would take up during gaming when using something like EAX 2?
    Thank you for the reply's.
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Chad that's a good question. I'm sure there's a big market for people who'd like to get gaming DD 5.1 from their PC wthout having to switch motherboards, but my only guess is it's expensive for that kind of hardware (or at least hard to get a license for). The Xbox has some monstrous audio hardware and outputs 640k DD 5.1 without a hitch...

    For surround, just about all games use EAX. If it does feature Dolby Surround it would just be Pro-Logic or even Surround (no center), but not 5.1.

    Hmmm I don't think the CPU takes any hit on performance when the sound card does its thing. I've never experienced EAX yet so I can't tell you firsthand.
     
  8. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Well after some more research it seems like the nforce 2 board(deluxe) is easily enough for everything. Now if I choose to go for a little better quality music I would pick up that m-audio card for a decent price(100). THank you for that recommendation.
    http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardwa...ion_7.1_review
    That's a review I read on that card, very nice expect it just doesn't sound like the exact gaming card I want. The only that is pushing me towards an audigy 2 right now is the platinum edition with the front panel and optical outs. Either way, thank you all, I do still wish to hear more opinions about this stuff.
    Thank you
     

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