AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a bit of a noobish question that I brought up a battlefield thread. I have gathered that it is not very easy to get 5.1 sound with my onboard realtek optical output from my PC games. I guess I assumed incorrectly that the PC could handle it, since the xbox can (as it is technically inferior to a PC)? I know I can spend more money on a sound card, but that seems a little silly considering I have the hardware sitting here to handle digital sound.


/rant over
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,387 Posts
I have a limited understanding but I've seen this discussed before and also have an optical out from Realtek onboard and an ATI component dongle so I paid a bit of attention even though I have yet to every cart my PC downstairs to the television. If I get things a bit wrong, hopefully someone will clarify but the jist will be okay.


Anyway, the PC doesn't pass through the 5.1 it decodes it from the game. So now to get it back out you need to re-encode it. I believe the Nforce2 chipsets were known for handling this well but the original Nforce3's weren't going to include it. Don't know why but it created a bit of a fuss for a few people. Obviously the onboard Realtek solution won't do it. This is actually one of the last remaining real hurdles to PCs on the television (others being overscan and proper video output).


Hope that helps until a guru can come by and lay it out better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
With a dedicated sound processor like the Audigy or X-Fi, you will notice a good increase in framerate and sound quality. I don't know what it is as of late, but I have been trying to explain to many PC gamers that digital sound doesn't automatically mean the best. Your Realtek doesn't pass EAX 2.0 into encoded DD Live like the nforce 2's soundstorm. This is the best for non-Creative cards so your setup is worse. In your case, there would be a big increase in audio quality moving from the Realtek to an EAX 3.0, 4.0, or 5.0 card. Trust me, it is well-merited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hmmm....we as my set up is now, it is passing the sound to my two front speakers, and not to my other three. oh well - guess i'll just wait for the 360.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
What do you have for a speaker setup; I could recommend some inexpensive alternatives. It's a shame to have a good gaming system hindered only by audio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i have a NHT 5.1 system - its pretty decent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
That's a good speaker system, more reason why you shouldn't skimp on a sound card. For a cheap 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 analog solution with EAX 4.0 HD, the $45 Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value OEM is a great card. If you need to pass it digitally, Creative is releasing a DTS Interactive encoder next month that converts all analog signals to 5.1 DTS with little loss and full EAX effects intact if using EAX, and is less lossy in the conversion than DD Live.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Salvation is at hand: http://www.bluegears.com/


Haven't had a chance to test it out yet, my HT is only partially complete (no surrounds up yet) but it definitely seems to work in Half Life 2. If I turn my back to someon talking, I can't hear them anymore. So the sound card is for sure passing a 5.1 signal to my receiver from the game.


No other sound card on the market will do that, not without having 5 separate RCA connections to your receive. I have a single optical running from the computer to the receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I have the ABIT Fatal1ty AN8SLI motherboard and with the onboard sound I can only get 5.1 sound out of the 3.5mm jacks and not the digital jack.


MSmith would I benefit using the card you suggested? I don't really have any problems with my setup but if going to a sound card would help ease the load on my system I will consider it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by raz0469
Salvation is at hand: http://www.bluegears.com/


Haven't had a chance to test it out yet, my HT is only partially complete (no surrounds up yet) but it definitely seems to work in Half Life 2. If I turn my back to someon talking, I can't hear them anymore. So the sound card is for sure passing a 5.1 signal to my receiver from the game.


No other sound card on the market will do that, not without having 5 separate RCA connections to your receive. I have a single optical running from the computer to the receiver.
Yes, but be warned that this card lacks EAX 3.0 and 4.0. Therefore, you will get less in-game voices and lose enhanced reverb effects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by tazzmann
I have the ABIT Fatal1ty AN8SLI motherboard and with the onboard sound I can only get 5.1 sound out of the 3.5mm jacks and not the digital jack.


MSmith would I benefit using the card you suggested? I don't really have any problems with my setup but if going to a sound card would help ease the load on my system I will consider it.
From what I understand, that board supports EAX 2.0 and DD Live, so the digital jack should output 5.1 as well. As to whether you should buy a card with 3.0 and 4.0 when you already have 2.0, it's a tough call. If you really value gaming audio and can easily afford a new card, then I say definitely get another card. However, your sound chip is already of good quality, but you would definitely notice a difference in audio quality transitioning to EAX 4.0. The performance increase from 2.0 to 4.0 shouldn't increase nearly as dramatically as moving from a Realtek to any EAX version within a dedicated sound processor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Great. A $100 sound card. People pay that much for a used Xbox, and it does 5.1 sound out of the box, without any setup hassles. It's no wonder that people are shifting over to console gaming in droves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
amen. it seems like "buy buy buy" with PC gaming. i wish i could use a KBM with the 360.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmine
amen. it seems like "buy buy buy" with PC gaming. i wish i could use a KBM with the 360.
That is so true. That is precisely why I have so much respect for console systems. At least you get quality out of the box without upgrades hanging over your head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,387 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy179
Great. A $100 sound card. People pay that much for a used Xbox, and it does 5.1 sound out of the box, without any setup hassles. It's no wonder that people are shifting over to console gaming in droves.
The main issue is that up until very recently PCs were strictly desktop machines. People or professionals with special needs paid up and got the equipment to meet their needs. The idea of having a PC connected to an entertainment center and relying on standard consumer audio and displays is relatively new for PCs. For consoles, this is the expectation out of the box and has been for 25 years or more. Essentially, this is convergence for PCs and we just aren't quite there yet where everything is standard to where cheap onboard sound is going to provide 100% home theater functionality. This is why modded Xboxes are so popular and functional for getting media to the home theater - 1080i/720p out of the box, handles upscaling of sources to HD, DD 5.1, smooth networking. The only issues you run into is dealing with native HD videos above 720p and of course the learning curve in modding a box and obtaining/setting up the software. Otherwise you are good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
we should start using Google talk instead of xfire - xfire is the ugliest (sp) program ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83
From what I understand, that board supports EAX 2.0 and DD Live, so the digital jack should output 5.1 as well. As to whether you should buy a card with 3.0 and 4.0 when you already have 2.0, it's a tough call. If you really value gaming audio and can easily afford a new card, then I say definitely get another card. However, your sound chip is already of good quality, but you would definitely notice a difference in audio quality transitioning to EAX 4.0. The performance increase from 2.0 to 4.0 shouldn't increase nearly as dramatically as moving from a Realtek to any EAX version within a dedicated sound processor.
Thanks for the info MSmith. I think I will stick with what I have since it probably won't make much of a performance difference and I am happy with the sound I have now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
kinda of off - topic, but does anyone use a 5.1 headset?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well i have a leftover Chaintech AV-710. would this be better then my onboard Realtek?
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top