Home theater + PC +gaming=surround sound questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-14-2005, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I consider myself pretty darn technically savvy, so this issue is pretty darn humbling.

I just recently jumped into PC gaming on my couple month old Panny AE700. I came here and did a search about trying to get surround sound in this situation. I found the X-Mystique as a possible solution (encoding DD on the fly), and also found that some motherboards did this as well.

I bought a Soundblaster Live External 24 so I could simply jack a digital optical connector into my Onkyo receiver. Sounds nice, but isn't true surround (All speakers are sounding off, but it is definitely NOT surround).

Now, onto the stupid part. While doing some research on my motherboard (Intel 915G) to find out max ram, I found..........IT HAS DOLBY DIGITAL LIVE ENCODING!!!. Now I'm totally confused. If I understand correctly this is the same technology the X-Mystique card used to encode DD on the fly. I know the integrated Intel soundcard does not have a standard digital out connection on it, so I guess I'm asking how to utilize this feature. Do I have to use the integrated soundcard? Is my Soundblaster going to be obsolete? Are there settings in the control panel or Soundblaster controls I'm missing? Am I retarded?(don't answer this :D )

Any help would be appreciated, as it's a pretty sad that my Xbox does DD, and my much more expensive pc has me spinning around in circles in Halflife 2 trying to "find the sound".

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-14-2005, 07:03 PM
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hi
it might help if you can specify your mainboard as well as the 915G chipset its running....I'm sure you'll get the help you need with that

cheers
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, having some trouble finding which mainboard it is. The computer itself is a Gateway 504GR, and on their site they state the mainboard is an Intel Augsburg. I couldn't even find this board on Intel's site......strange.

Anyway, still scratching my head about this.....anyone????

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 09:34 AM
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Does the mobo have some type of a DD 5.1 connection built in? If so, remove any other kind of soundcard device, hook it up, and see what happens.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 10:42 AM
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Looking at Intel's page for it

http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets/hdaudio.htm#innov

I don't see any remarks about DD or DTS other than movie pass-thru. I can't find anything that states that this board encodes game audio into a DD or DTS signal for your receiver... which is what you would need for the true surround.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 10:48 AM
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I have a 915G machine that does NOT have HDAudio (even though Intel's website specifically lists it as having it! Not amusing one bit!) It has some junk cheapass onboard other solution. You can either hook up all of the analog cables if your receiver can do it or go with something like the X-mystique. If I could figure out where to buy one I would, the onboard is TERRIBLE. I never have said that any other onboard sound setup I've had was bad....but this one is TERRIBLE.
System is a Shuttle SB83G5 with some lowend C-media something or other. No HD Audio :(
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by chris5977
Does the mobo have some type of a DD 5.1 connection built in? If so, remove any other kind of soundcard device, hook it up, and see what happens.


It has no digital coax or optical connection on the soundcard itself.



Scasmflop, upon re-reading that page (I swear I did) it appears as though I could have possibly imagined some of it's specs :confused: , as on this read-through it seems not to be anything special. Hmph.

I guess it's back to twirling around to see where the shots are coming from:D . God damn poisonous head crabs!

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Troubleshooter
I have a 915G machine that does NOT have HDAudio (even though Intel's website specifically lists it as having it! Not amusing one bit!) It has some junk cheapass onboard other solution. You can either hook up all of the analog cables if your receiver can do it or go with something like the X-mystique. If I could figure out where to buy one I would, the onboard is TERRIBLE. I never have said that any other onboard sound setup I've had was bad....but this one is TERRIBLE.
System is a Shuttle SB83G5 with some lowend C-media something or other. No HD Audio :(
-Trouble
Mine definitely has it http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/3724/4365sp3.shtml

But I'm now thinking (as per discussion above) that it won't do what I thought it would. I can't remember if my Onkyo allows analog inputs (older model), but would prefer a digital connection anyway. As I stated, I do have a Soundblaster Live 24bit external, which gives me a digital connection, but no surround capabilities with said connection. I've become so used to using surround to pinpoint exact locations of shots and creatures that it's really starting to bother me. Even the PS2's PLII is sufficient enough in Socom II for it to be a legitimate game-helping aid. The graphical jump from consoles to my pc (with extra ram and an X800XL) has been mind-blowing, but I found the lack of DD encoding in games to be a massive letdown.

It looks like I may just have to pony up the cash for the X-Mystique.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 11:40 AM
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With some advice from those here I went for an Asus P5GD2 premium last year. Its onboard DD live encoding for games is great in the home theater. Nothing like hearing the baddies sneaking up behind you in Half-Life 2 or Doom3!

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-15-2005, 02:54 PM
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Just get a proper creative card and listen to games the way they were intended. Sucks I know it, but that just the way it is when you wanna game, least it can do Dvd-Audio as well and real gaming audio. Via 5.1 inputs not digital, but my dvd player was the same way. I just moved over to HTPC to hear gaming audio properly as well as improve picture quality on dvd playback.

I was blown away by the difference in made in gaming. I've had a high end pc for 5 yrs, yeah I've upgraded along the way keeping up , but I never had a real sound card till now. Just crazy what I've been missing all this time. Specialy when hooked up to studio 100's 570 center etc etc paradigms. Ugh what was I thinking waiting 5 yrs lol.

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post #11 of 12 Old 04-16-2005, 08:57 PM
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I was very satisfied with my nforce motherboard sound. I've had two boards with that chip set Asus (A7NX8) and Abit (A7). The nforce gave pretty decent sound and the Abit board has an optical pass through so when I play movies I pass the decoding to my receiver.

However, I picked up a soundblaster audigy 2 card and was blown away by the gaming sound. The gaming sound is incredible, but I cant get it working that well for movie sound, I'm not sure why. Plus the pass through for that card is only 2 channel! I won't pass dolby digital. I have to tinker with it a bit I guess. I just enable the onboard sound for movies and pass through the optical out on the motherboard to my reciever and let it do the decoding which is perfect for movie sound.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-16-2005, 09:33 PM
 
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the sound blasters are great for gaming but resample sound for DVD and music, making them less than acceptable for other usage
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