Originally Posted by jhoff80
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.