Gtx 590 hdmi pcm? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a GTX 590. I am currently getting sound from a sound card with DDL through optical to a Sony receiver which powers my 5 satellite speakers and feeds an amp for the subwoofer. I want to take audio from the output of the graphics card, so two questions:

1. Does the GTX 590 output raw PCM in-game 5.1 (or 7.1) surround sound?

2. If it does, what search terms do I use to Google for a receiver that will do that? A lot of the receivers out there seem to advertise "passthrough" like it's a feature rather than a limitation. What's the word for "not passthrough but takes the audio from an HDMI input and sends it to the speakers while at the same time letting the video be switched"?

3. OK, three questions. Should I use the DVI or the other thing?

4. All right, four. Can I send one output to the monitor and another to the receiver simultaneously?
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 10:20 AM
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That's a lot of questions lol..

You should be able to use hdmi from your card for audio, and yes it will pass PCM in either 5.1 or 7.1 for gaming, and then use DVI straight to your monitor for video only. I've never tried it that way, but it seems to me like it would work.

Does your Sony AVR not do HDMI audio? If you need a new one, the majority of them no do what you need it to do. Don't buy the ones that advertise pass-through, they generally do HDMI video only....
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

The 590 does not have HDMI, it has 3 DVIs and a Mini DisplayPort. I have read among the mass of questionable information on the Internet that the Nvidia cards are lacking in audio.

Right, my Sony is older. I got it cheap a while back for my present setup, but I want to upgrade now to the full magnificence of unadulterated game audio, if only to see if I can tell the difference. I'm hoping to caome away from this thread knowing how to search for a receiver that will do HDMI audio.
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobnobber View Post

1. Does the GTX 590 output raw PCM in-game 5.1 (or 7.1) surround sound?

I've seen reports of people who do just that with the GTX 590 by way of an included DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

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Originally Posted by hobnobber View Post

2. If it does, what search terms do I use to Google for a receiver that will do that? A lot of the receivers out there seem to advertise "passthrough" like it's a feature rather than a limitation. What's the word for "not passthrough but takes the audio from an HDMI input and sends it to the speakers while at the same time letting the video be switched"?

Most modern receivers accept multichannel PCM audio. Receivers that accept and decode DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD should also handle multichannel PCM. There is no standard language to denote compatibility for such, but I think some manufacturers mention the feature on their site.

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3. OK, three questions. Should I use the DVI or the other thing?

There should be a special DVI-to-HDMI adapter that came with your card to allow output of multichannel PCM audio over HDMI along with video.

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Originally Posted by hobnobber View Post

4. All right, four. Can I send one output to the monitor and another to the receiver simultaneously?

Yes, you can clone the video signal sent over two outputs through the Nvidia control panel. This is easy if you are using a 1920x1080 display, but higher resolutions can be problematic (due to AVR input restrictions) and you might then have to resort to a less attractive option. Just make sure the output going to your AVR is set as the default audio device in Windows control panel.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I've seen reports of people who do just that with the GTX 590 by way of an included DVI-to-HDMI adapter.



Most modern receivers accept multichannel PCM audio. Receivers that accept and decode DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD should also handle multichannel PCM. There is no standard language to denote compatibility for such, but I think some manufacturers mention the feature on their site.



There should be a special DVI-to-HDMI adapter that came with your card to allow output of multichannel PCM audio over HDMI along with video.



Yes, you can clone the video signal sent over two outputs through the Nvidia control panel. This is easy if you are using a 1920x1080 display, but higher resolutions can be problematic (due to AVR input restrictions) and you might then have to resort to a less attractive option. Just make sure the output going to your AVR is set as the default audio device in Windows control panel.

1. I hope one of the 590 people shows up here.

2. It isn't the decoding I'm worried about. Many receivers do not process the audio from HDMI at all. When I go to Newegg or someplace and try to pick a receiver, I get a million of that kind, and it's hard to tell even poring over the spec sheets which ones do HDMI audio. I'm looking for a way to make that task easier.

3. Yes, I've been using that adapter for video.

4. I am running at 1920X1200. What are "AVR input restrictions"? That doesn't sound like something I'm going to like.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Let me try rephrasing the question: If I play Crysis on a GTX 590, what format audio is coming out the DVI port?
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobnobber View Post

Let me try rephrasing the question: If I play Crysis on a GTX 590, what format audio is coming out the DVI port?

Uncompressed PCM.

The game's sound samples are decoded and mixed in real-time by the sound software API, and the resulting audio is sent to the graphics card's audio controller for PCM output.

Any current AVR that cannot process (meaning bass management, time alignment, EQ, etc.) raw multichannel PCM signals must be extremely cheap. I have a mid-range AVR from 2006 that can.
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobnobber View Post

4. I am running at 1920X1200. What are "AVR input restrictions"? That doesn't sound like something I'm going to like.

Most receiver EDIDs have been setup to only accept common resolutions like 480p, 720p and 1080p. I would imagine that some of today's AVRs now take 1200p, but you'll have to research that one.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 06:46 PM
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I should add that AVS' receiver section gets a lot of visitors. Try there for questions about specific receivers.

As for the comment in your second post about people saying that Nvidia 500-series cards are lacking on the audio front, they are referring to DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD bit-stream audio for Blu-ray discs. Some 500-series cards do bit-stream those losslessly compressed formats, some don't. But, they all support uncompressed multichannel PCM output for sources like games.

Look here and here for good info on the 590 specifically.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Uncompressed PCM.

The game's sound samples are decoded and mixed in real-time by the sound software API, and the resulting audio is sent to the graphics card's audio controller for PCM output.

Any current AVR that cannot process (meaning bass management, time alignment, EQ, etc.) raw multichannel PCM signals must be extremely cheap. I have a mid-range AVR from 2006 that can.

That's my worry---the graphics card's audio controller. I haven't been able to find any plain-language declaration by Nvidia or a manufacturer what the controller in a GTX 590 does with what the API hands it. I have been going on the assumption that the reason for the information hole is that they're hiding a deficiency, but I'm beginning to think that that's a jaundiced view and the truth is that hardly anybody in marketing understands PC audio even a little bit.

The problem with many AVRs, as I understand it, is that they do nothing at all with an HDMI audio input, merely passing it through to the TV. I've seen many receivers in Internet retailers that do that, what they call "passthrough".
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Most receiver EDIDs have been setup to only accept common resolutions like 480p, 720p and 1080p. I would imagine that some of today's AVRs now take 1200p, but you'll have to research that one.

Ah. I see. Thanks. I guess I'll try sending the video straight to the monitor.
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post #12 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I should add that AVS' receiver section gets a lot of visitors. Try there for questions about specific receivers.

As for the comment in your second post about people saying that Nvidia 500-series cards are lacking on the audio front, they are referring to DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD bit-stream audio for Blu-ray discs. Some 500-series cards do bit-stream those losslessly compressed formats, some don't. But, they all support uncompressed multichannel PCM output for sources like games.

Look here and here for good info on the 590 specifically.

I like what the Jedi said, even though he misquoted EVGA inasmuch as they only said audio, not what kind. And reference design isn't implementation. I'm still leery. I've been burned by marketers too many times. I do think you must be right, though, about the game PCM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 02-25-2012, 07:37 PM
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And reference design isn't implementation. I'm still leery. I've been burned by marketers too many times.

All 590s that were produced (they are now end-of-life) are reference designs. Partners do sometimes go beyond the reference design, but not with the 590. EVGA did slap a waterblock on one of its models, but that's where it ends.
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post #14 of 16 Old 02-26-2012, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

All 590s that were produced (they are now end-of-life) are reference designs. Partners do sometimes go beyond the reference design, but not with the 590. EVGA did slap a waterblock on one of its models, but that's where it ends.

Cool. If I could pick one more region of your brain, do you happen to know what a 590 does when it gets DTSHDMA and DTHD?
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post #15 of 16 Old 02-26-2012, 09:58 AM
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Cool. If I could pick one more region of your brain, do you happen to know what a 590 does when it gets DTSHDMA and DTHD?

With those codecs selected, a player will send a card like the 590 (which does not support the bit-stream of lossless compressed codecs) a lossy core of regular DTS audio (in the case of DTS-HD MA) and regular lossy Dolby Digital (in the case of Dolby TrueHD).

Keep in mind that neither codec has anything to do with games. Nothing is bit-streamed from the games themselves, but it's rather various sound samples (that are usually encoded in lossy MP3, OGG Vorbis and the like) mixed into a PCM stream. Some sound cards can take that resulting stream and encode it into Dolby Digital or DTS for those who do not have HDMI but want multichannel digital audio for their games. A solution with HDMI, like a modern graphics card, neglects that extra step and outputs the audio as PCM.
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-26-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

With those codecs selected, a player will send a card like the 590 (which does not support the bit-stream of lossless compressed codecs) a lossy core of regular DTS audio (in the case of DTS-HD MA) and regular lossy Dolby Digital (in the case of Dolby TrueHD).

Keep in mind that neither codec has anything to do with games. Nothing is bit-streamed from the games themselves, but it's rather various sound samples (that are usually encoded in lossy MP3, OGG Vorbis and the like) mixed into a PCM stream. Some sound cards can take that resulting stream and encode it into Dolby Digital or DTS for those who do not have HDMI but want multichannel digital audio for their games. A solution with HDMI, like a modern graphics card, neglects that extra step and outputs the audio as PCM.

Wow. I understood that. I always take that as a sign that the other guy knows what he's talking about. So, the 590 never even sees the lossless Blu-ray formats---the player falls back on the default digital formats on the disc when negotiations fail, just as it would with a receiver that didn't have the requisite decoder. That completes the picture I was looking for. Thanks a million.
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