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Multichannel audio on PC games - Worth the trouble?  

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm going to get a new PC (current one is a Pentium II @ 350MHz). The PC is in an alcove room adjacent to the living room. If I want to connect the PC to my HT, I have to use a long digital optical cable to the front panel of the receiver.

I know typical digital outputs only output 5.1 with DVDs, not games. If I want 5.1 gaming, I can get: (a) A special sound card (Mystique), (b) an Intel 915p or 925p motherboard (though I wanted AMD at first).

The question is:

Is it worth it? Is the multichannel audio on PC games really interesting? Or, to put it another way: Does the gaming experience in current PC games suffer if you only have stereo into the receiver (which would be processed nicely by the Yamaha RX-V2500)?
post #2 of 15
IMO, multichannel gaming really adds to most games.

Is running analog out of the question?

Ozy
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Ozy666
Is running analog out of the question?
It is, for two reasons:

-The analog inputs of my receiver are already taken up by my Pioneer 59AVi for SACD and DVD-Audio

-I don't want to have six 25' cables across the living room :eek: not to mention connecting and disconnecting them for every viewing session
post #4 of 15
I'm trying to get a picture of what your describing.
Is your PC also hooked to your HT display?
post #5 of 15
I'll save you a lot of trouble and put it this way:

Anybody that has gone through the trouble of getting surround sound from PC will highly recommend it and argue endlessly with people that think it's not necessary.

Anybody that hasn't done it will tell you that you don't need it to enjoy games.

I personally think this is a question you can only answer for yourself. This is best done by comparing how passionate you are about surround sound DVDs. Were you an early adopter or did you get around to it just recently. It's very similar for games, the beats, the atmosphere, the flow...

In the end I suspect that if you're used to going through the trouble of getting games working on PC, you'll end up doing it eventually. Enjoy.
post #6 of 15
Dont want to interupt the thread, butI have a problem with multichannel audio getting it hooked up.

I have a gaming computer beside my screen, i have a home theatre so its a wall unit with shelves on the side and a screen in the middle.

I have a problem though, I have this wired from my M-audio revolution 7.1, and from there running in the baseboard, threw up to the back of my home theatre wall unit to a receiver Yamaha 5790? The problem stems from the fact that I dont know which cable goes into which input.

Theres 3 cables there 3.5mm from my audio to rca's left and right audio, so I am looking for a program or music or something to help me detect which cables goes into which input so I can tell if sound is coming from the correct place? I was hoping someone has a file in 5.1 or something so I can listen to make sure each sound is coming out the correct speaker.
post #7 of 15
grubert, it sounds like your pc isnt in the sweet spot,
if your 5.1 speakers aren't properly oriented you
would be better off with headphones, sennheiser preferably.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Villanman
I'm trying to get a picture of what your describing.
Is your PC also hooked to your HT display?
No, not yet. Maybe with a drawing it'll be more clear (sorry about the crappy Paint job!)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...bert/medrm.jpg

Actually, the PC is in a 'cubicle' which opens on the living room, but for simplicity's sake we can disregard that.

Indeed, although the PC is not in the sweet spot, my couch is. :) Of course, I'd also need a wireless keyboard, but that's another story.

roy1979, you have a point there. I did go for surround sound as soon as I could.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by Murilo
Dont want to interupt the thread, butI have a problem with multichannel audio getting it hooked up.

I have a gaming computer beside my screen, i have a home theatre so its a wall unit with shelves on the side and a screen in the middle.

I have a problem though, I have this wired from my M-audio revolution 7.1, and from there running in the baseboard, threw up to the back of my home theatre wall unit to a receiver Yamaha 5790? The problem stems from the fact that I dont know which cable goes into which input.

Theres 3 cables there 3.5mm from my audio to rca's left and right audio, so I am looking for a program or music or something to help me detect which cables goes into which input so I can tell if sound is coming from the correct place? I was hoping someone has a file in 5.1 or something so I can listen to make sure each sound is coming out the correct speaker.
Most sound cards have an application that cycles the sound from speaker to speaker for testing ("This is the front left.....This is the front right....etc...)

Ozy
post #10 of 15
I would definitely recommend surround sound for PC games. It is very much like the leap from stereo to 5.1 for movies in that it adds to the experience.
post #11 of 15
Nothing like playing Doom 3 when you hear a demon whisper into your ear from the surrounds. Good luck sleeping after that.
post #12 of 15
Grubert, your center channel isn't centered and your two fronts are at different distances from the wall... nice to see someone has the same art skills that I do. ;)
post #13 of 15
If you want an AMD CPU, I beleive that the nforce motherboards all have an audio chip that will convert multi-channel audio to a Dolby Digital bitstream as well.
post #14 of 15
the old nforce2 motherboards has Dolby Digital encoding
the new intel 915 and 925 motherboards offer Dolby Digital Live (encoding in software)
as well as the X mystique sound card
(you can find on Ebay and should be in the US soon)
without the Dolby encoding
you will get stereo over spdif output or have to use analogue outputs
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
kny3twalker,

Yes, that's the situation. But I think I had summarised it already on the first post of the thread. ;)
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