GeForce 8200 - 8 Channel LPCM Output Fully Supported!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Support for 8 Channel LPCM over HDMI

AnandTech Gary Key's blog: GeForce 8200 Update - HDMI 1.3a is here...sort of.... (February 7, 2008)

Quote:
NVIDIA GeForce 8200 -

NVIDIA has been discreetly working on the GeForce 8200 for the past several months and introduced it at CES 2008. We have provided preliminary details on new features like HybridPower and Hybrid SLI (GeForce Boost) along with NVIDIA already providing early specifications on their website. The GeForce 8200 is shaping up to be a formidable competitor to the AMD 780G and from all indications an excellent uATX platform for SOHO or HTPC applications.

After posting some early comments about the 780G chipset, we had a flood of requests wondering about the HDMI output capabilities of the GeForce 8200. We will have further details later today but at this time the chipset is HDMI 1.3a "compliant". The mGPU does not support 12-bit or 16-bit deep color but meets the other video specific criteria. Also, 8-channel LPCM output is fully supported but decoding of TrueHD and DTS-HD MA is not available. We are still trying to understand NVIDIA's translation on the lack of TrueHD/DTS-HD MA support.

We do understand the chipset will not decode these audio standards but what is still not confirmed is if TrueHD/DTS-HD MA streams can be passed to PowerDVD 7 Ultra (or other supporting software applications), decoded, and then passed on as multichannel LPCM or out to a supporting A/V receiver to be decoded. We hope to have a final answer later this morning. In the meantime, we have to continue to express our concerns about the lack of multichannel LPCM output over HDMI in the AMD 780G product. Intel has already introduced this feature in the G35 chipset and NVIDIA will be introducing it later this month or in early March.

The specifications and features of the 780G and GeForce 8200 are very similar and most users will probably be satisfied with either solution. However, when it comes HTPC duty, generally the more advanced features the better, and in this case having multichannel LPCM output is an important distinction. We will have to wait to compare the video quality of AMD's UVD technology to the revamped NVIDIA PureVideo HD engine along with Hybrid CrossFire versus Hybrid SLI, but right now it appears NVIDIA is a couple of steps ahead in the audio area.

PureVideo HD

GeForce 8200 also supports full hardware acceleration for all three codecs, MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264.


Reference Motherboard

NVIDIA's GeForce 8200 page is here. Pictures of the reference board:






Power Consumption

The TDP of the chipset is only 14.3W (note that this is a single chipset). The heat output is hence very good. The photos below are a GeForce 8200 mGPU motherboard system at CES 2008. The total system power consumption is less than 60W when playing back Blu-ray Disc contents. I don't know what processor is used. Athon X2 BE-2400 2.3GHz is only 45W TDP and is enough for playing back HD contents.


Hybrid SLI (= GeForce Boost + HybridPower)

Hybrid SLI is a new technology implemented in almost every new NVIDIA chipset (GeForce 8200/8300, nForce 730a/750a SLI/780a SLI/790i). The technology consists of two parts: GeForce Boost and HybridPower. GeForce Boost is similar to the usual NVIDIA SLI; two GPUs (internal and external) work simultaneously to render different frames. HybridPower reduces power consumption (and noise) significantly at idle by swtching off the discrete graphics when 3D performance is not required.


Price and Availability

According to HKEPC Hardware (Chinese),

- nForce 730a (MCP78H): US $60-65 (the same as 8200, but no display outs; IGP is just for Hybrid SLI?)
- nForce 720a (MCP78D): US $50-55 (no graphics)
- GeForce 8200 (MCP78S): US $55-60
- GeForce 8300 (MCP78U): US $70-80 (higher graphics core clock; formerly known as GeForce 9200)

I think $55-60 for 8200 is too cheap. I expect $60-85 (depending on features on each motherboard).

All of them will be released on March 4th, 2008, the first day of CeBIT.

Previews

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post #2 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 02:41 AM
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Thanks for the heads up, it sounds like the reviewer is a bit confused about what this board can do with regards HD Audio. Why would the board decode the Audio formats...? That is currently handled by software anyway.

What I want to know is if it outputs the HD Audio as Bitstream, that is the real upgrade I am looking for at the moment. As mentioned LPCM has been done by Intel already (and sounds good) and I want the lovely DTS-HD MA light on my Receiver glowing sometime soon

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post #3 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 03:44 AM
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Indeed. They are confused about this: "Also, 8-channel LPCM output is fully supported but decoding of TrueHD and DTS-HD MA is not available. "
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post #4 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Maybe Gary Key was expecting hardware decoder for HDMI 1.2 receivers (but AP can decode) ... I don't know.

The point of this chipset is that it supports not only multichannel LPCM but also full hardware acceleration for all three codecs and Hybrid SLI, in particular HybridPower that is great for gamers (switch off, say GeForce 9800 GX2 > 200W, when 3D performance is unnecessary, reducing power consumption greatly). Intel chipsets (G35/G33/G965) supports multichannel LPCM (still in unprotected audio path, HD Audio Link bus) but no HA for H.264 (and partial HA for VC-1). I doubt if the full HA is implemented in the upcoming G45 chipset. For me NVIDIA MCP7A (the Intel version of GeForce 8200, expected in April) looks more promising than G45.

Yeah, I know you audiophiles are not interested in the rest of the features, but most users will be very interested in them.
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post #5 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 06:10 AM
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This is great news and seems to confirm information in another article published last week at TweakTown (see quote here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13006220). In that article they say the 8200 will indeed support TrueHD and DTS-HD audio, although it isn't clear whether this means LPCM or bitstream. If it is truly HDMI 1.3 compliant on the audio side it should support both.
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post #6 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THXUltra2 View Post

Indeed. They are confused about this: "Also, 8-channel LPCM output is fully supported but decoding of TrueHD and DTS-HD MA is not available. "

If it's HDMI 1.3 you would think the line that it isn't capable of decoding then that should mean it can send bitstream (which is undecoded), otherwise. What sound cards really "decode" through digital outputs anyway? Seems like a redundant line to me. Well maybe not redundant but just unnecessary. Software (like PDVD) can decode to PCM but usually the sound card doesn't do that anyway, so why mention it?

I mean the main point of the paragraph seems to be pointing out HDMI 1.3 compliancy and since PCM is already part of HDMI prior to this, you would have to think if it really is HDMI 1.3 compliant it would be able to do the additional things it can do--i.e. send native TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA.
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post #7 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ES_Revenge View Post

If it's HDMI 1.3 you would think the line that it isn't capable of decoding then that should mean it can send bitstream (which is undecoded), otherwise. What sound cards really "decode" through digital outputs anyway? Seems like a redundant line to me. Well maybe not redundant but just unnecessary. Software (like PDVD) can decode to PCM but usually the sound card doesn't do that anyway, so why mention it?

I mean the main point of the paragraph seems to be pointing out HDMI 1.3 compliancy and since PCM is already part of HDMI prior to this, you would have to think if it really is HDMI 1.3 compliant it would be able to do the additional things it can do--i.e. send native TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA.

This is exactly how I read it. It can't decode TrueHD etc... and send the output out it's analog ports, but can pass the bitstream through the HDMI connector for offboard decoding by a receiver, which is what most of us want anyway.

From my conversations with them at CES, I think nvidia will also be bundling with this board's drivers a purevideo HD optimized codec that will install a directshow filter that will maximally use the hardware for decoding mpeg2, vc-1, and h.264. One should see almost 0 CPU use for all of these formats.

Of course, if Nvidia stays true to their roots, the driver will have a bunch of other problems that will change with every point release. But it's a step in the right direction. They have been hammered on the video issues by OEM's and users alike and are trying to address them.
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post #8 of 2308 Old 02-07-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Maybe Gary Key was expecting hardware decoder for HDMI 1.2 receivers (but AP can decode) ... I don't know.

The point of this chipset is that it supports not only multichannel LPCM but also full hardware acceleration for all three codecs and Hybrid SLI, in particular HybridPower that is great for gamers (switch off, say GeForce 9800 GX2 > 200W, when 3D performance is unnecessary, reducing power consumption greatly). Intel chipsets (G35/G33/G965) supports multichannel LPCM (still in unprotected audio path, HD Audio Link bus) but no HA for H.264 (and partial HA for VC-1). I doubt if the full HA is implemented in the upcoming G45 chipset. For me NVIDIA MCP7A (the Intel version of GeForce 8200, expected in April) looks more promising than G45.

Yeah, I know you audiophiles are not interested in the rest of the features, but most users will be very interested in them.

Looking forward to the Intel version of this board as well. Anyone want to bet that we're going to end up waiting another 6 months for PowerDVD to provide support for this?
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post #9 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
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An updated version of the blog was posted.

AnandTech Gary Key's blog: GeForce 8200 Update - HDMI 1.3a is here...sort of.... (February 8, 2008)

Quote:


NVIDIA GeForce 8200 -

NVIDIA has been discreetly working on the GeForce 8200 for the past several months and introduced it at CES 2008. We have provided preliminary details on new features like HybridPower and Hybrid SLI (GeForce Boost) along with NVIDIA already providing early specifications on their website. The GeForce 8200 is shaping up to be a formidable competitor to the AMD 780G and from all indications an excellent uATX platform for SOHO or HTPC applications.

After posting some early comments about the 780G chipset, we had a flood of requests wondering about the HDMI output capabilities of the GeForce 8200. We will have further details later today but at this time the chipset is HDMI 1.3a "compliant". The mGPU does not support 12-bit or 16-bit deep color but meets the other video specific criteria. Also, 8-channel LPCM output is fully supported but transporting a TrueHD or DTS-HD (MA) audio stream is not available.

Update - NVIDIA will not be support transporting a TrueHD or DTS-HD (MA) audio stream across HDMI as we thought.

In the meantime, we have to continue to express our concerns about the lack of multichannel LPCM output over HDMI in the AMD 780G product. Intel has already introduced this feature in the G35 chipset and NVIDIA will be introducing it later this month or in early March.

The specifications and features of the 780G and GeForce 8200 are very similar and most users will probably be satisfied with either solution. However, when it comes HTPC duty, generally the more advanced features the better, and in this case having multichannel LPCM output is an important distinction. We will have to wait to compare the video quality of AMD's UVD technology to the revamped NVIDIA PureVideo HD engine along with Hybrid CrossFire versus Hybrid SLI, but right now it appears NVIDIA is a couple of steps ahead in the audio area.

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post #10 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

An updated version of the blog was posted.

AnandTech Gary Key's blog: GeForce 8200 Update - HDMI 1.3a is here...sort of.... (February 8, 2008)

So no bitstream then... great
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post #11 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 01:59 AM
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when we get devices capable of passing bitsream, we can then move on to the main thing stopping passing the bitstream, flags on the the discs themselves.
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post #12 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:01 AM
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Quote:


the chipset is HDMI 1.3a "compliant". The mGPU does not support 12-bit or 16-bit deep color but meets the other video specific criteria. Also, 8-channel LPCM output is fully supported but transporting a TrueHD or DTS-HD (MA) audio stream is not available.

If it does not support Deep Color nor TrueHD/DTS-HDMA bitstreaming, why is it still HDMI 1.3a compliant?????
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post #13 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THXUltra2 View Post

If it does not support Deep Color nor TrueHD/DTS-HDMA bitstreaming, why is it still HDMI 1.3a compliant?????

AFAIK HDMI 1.3a just means it can support these features, not that it does.

Natt,

Most hardware players allow you to disable menu sounds etc and pass the bitstream out regardless of what the disk says. I can't see this being much of an issue unless you like some of the PIP extras or audio overlays features. If you want to watch the extras switch to LPCM output...
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post #14 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Nevertheless GeForce 8200 mGPU will be the best overall chipset for HTPC. Then follows MCP7A ...
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post #15 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Nevertheless GeForce 8200 mGPU will be the best chipset for HTPC. Then follows MCP7A ...

Because of HW accell? As it doesn't seem to do a lot else the G35 already does...
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post #16 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelEyes View Post

Because of HW accell? As it doesn't seem to do a lot else the G35 already does...

That's your viewpoint. Full HA matters for many users and HybidPower for HTPC gamers ...
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post #17 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

That's your viewpoint. Full HA matters for many users and HybidPower for HTPC gamers ...

I am just thinking from an upgrade perspective, I already have a decent CPU (because I had to for the G35) so there is nothing here to sway me. If it was a new system purchase I would probably agree with you

However until we get a bitstream solution I am very happy enjoying HD audio with my G35.
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post #18 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelEyes View Post

I am just thinking from an upgrade perspective, I already have a decent CPU (because I had to for the G35) so there is nothing here to sway me. If it was a new system purchase I would probably agree with you

However until we get a bitstream solution I am very happy enjoying HD audio with my G35.

If you already have P5E-VM HDMI and Core 2 Duo/Quad, you hardly need to "upgrade" to GeForce 8200. HA is a nice feature but is not necessary. "Best" is meant for a new buyer.
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post #19 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:37 AM
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We will probably get a new chipset every 6 months with 1 new extra feature added......
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post #20 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
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GeForce 6150 (Fall 2005) was the first NVIDIA chipset with IGP (since nForce 2, 2002). The next GeForce 7050 (Spring 2007) was merely the AM2 version of GeForce 6150. The upcoming GeForce 8200 is a completely new chipset. Graphics is based on G80, hardware decoder is integrated in the die for the first time, and 'southbridge' is much enhanced. Hybrid SLI is a new innovation. I hardly see it as "1 new extra feature added".

G35 is merely a "1 new extra feature added" version of G965. However G45 will be a major revision (if it succeeds).

But if you see a new chipset from your own viewpoint, it may look just "1 new extra feature added".
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THXUltra2 View Post

If it does not support Deep Color nor TrueHD/DTS-HDMA bitstreaming, why is it still HDMI 1.3a compliant?????

Marketing buzzwords that OEMs like to be able to use to sell products. Never mind the fact that it doesn't sound like it will actually implement any of the 1.3a features.

I still believe the only options are going to be the Azuentech HDMI add-on and hopefully the ATI R700 video chip.
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post #22 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojoxl View Post

I still believe the only options are going to be the Azuentech HDMI add-on and hopefully the ATI R700 video chip.

This has been confirmed as not supporting Bitstream hasn't it?
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post #23 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 07:38 AM
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I think the problem is that the Azalia (Intel HD audio) spec does not support TrueHD and DTS-HD MA yet.
The Silicon Image HDMI 1.3 transmitter chips I have seen so far uses 4x I2S inputs and not HD audio link.
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post #24 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 09:09 AM
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So the question is.. If you plug a videocard into this motherboard, can you still use the motherboard HDMI output for audio? How exactly does that work?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

So the question is.. If you plug a videocard into this motherboard, can you still use the motherboard HDMI output for audio? How exactly does that work?

HDMI needs video data to carry the audio data. So if you insert a video card and extend the desktop from the video card to the integrated video, you should be able to play a movie from the card while streaming HDMI audio from the integrated video.

The problem is that multiple display adapters are supported in XP, but they really are not supported very well in Vista, as discussed here. After it loads, Vista just shuts down the display adapters that were not used to boot.

If you want to use two display adapters in Vista, there are really only two options: force the installation of XP drivers in Vista, or use display adapters that use the same driver. For example, you could use two ATI 2600 pro cards under Vista.

With the Intel G35, it's impossible because you need the Intel driver and you need either an ATI or nVidia driver. With the GeForce 8200, it is possible that the 8200 could use the same driver as another nVidia card. On the other hand, the nVidia driver package might install different drivers for the 8200 and the nVidia card.

The Auzentech solution will be much better if you want to have HDMI audio with a high-end graphics card. Of course, I think most people would be pretty happy if ATI could just expand the HDMI audio in the 2XXX and 3XXX cards to carry 8-channel 24/96 LPCM.

I am using HDMI audio now with a G35 board. I upgraded from a computer which was only connected to my AVR by SPDIF, so I can't comment on the difference between HDMI audio and good analog connections. However, the difference between 6 or 8 channel LPCM 24/96 LPCM and SPDIF is very noticeable.

-Dave
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post #26 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 12:20 PM
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I guess what I was hoping was that some form of SLI similar to the hybrid crossfire setup would work, where both the onboard video and the videocard are used for acceleration, and then you could just use the HDMI output on the card to go to the receiver or monitor.

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What is the downside of it not doing TrueHD/DTS-HDMA bitstreaming?
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post #28 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I guess what I was hoping was that some form of SLI similar to the hybrid crossfire setup would work, where both the onboard video and the videocard are used for acceleration, and then you could just use the HDMI output on the card to go to the receiver or monitor.

That's exactly what this chipset should do - it's called hybrid SLI. Though if you use a REALLY fast discrete card, it probably makes sense not to bother with SLI.
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post #29 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

So the question is.. If you plug a videocard into this motherboard, can you still use the motherboard HDMI output for audio? How exactly does that work?

I did a quick test and it seems that there is no problem as long as you use a NVIDIA graphics card.

- Motherboard: eVGA GeForce 7150 (equipped with HDMI with audio controller)
- Graphics card: XFX GeForce 8500 GT
- OS: Vista 32-bit

Just enable the onboard video in BIOS, but you don't need to connect a display to it (of course you can connect a display if you like), and select NVIDIA HDMI Audio Device. In the display Settings in the figure below, dislay 1 & 2 are for GeForce 8500 GT and display 3 & 4 are for GeForce 7150. As only one display (1) is physically connected, the other three are grayed out. HDMI audio is working fine.


LL
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post #30 of 2308 Old 02-08-2008, 02:56 PM
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renethx,

Did you actually test the combination of on-board HDMI output for audio and a video card for video ?

I asked about it a while ago and answered that it isn't possible so I'm a little confused.

Is this motherboard capable of sending 7.1 LPCM through its HDMI port ?

Cheers,
Jonathan Patya.
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