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Old October 17, 2011, 08:04 PM
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Default 5.1 via optical on older reciever

Hello,

I recently built a gaming PC. Mobo was 7.1 and had optical out. I assumed that it would at least transmit 5.1 over optical. I was wrong. Only after a Google search did I learn why.

I want to transition away from headsets to speakers. My receiver is a little older, it will only take optical for 5.1 support. It supports Dolby digital.

Would anyone have any suggestions for a modest (~$100) card that would fit my needs? I have never bought a sound card before. Up until this point, onboard has always been "good enough". I would want to maximize the quality I get, but I feel that having the 5.1 working (directional pinpointing) is more important in gaming than sound quality.

I have been actively researching cards, and what all the specs mean, but it is a little overwhelming to be honest. It is all new to me.

Thank you for reading.
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Old October 17, 2011, 08:33 PM
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I could've sworn I had an older card lying around, was going to check if it was only 5.1. Perhaps you can find some old stuff on ebay for $10-$20

Something like this > Rocketfish 5.1-Channel PCI Sound Card RF-51SDCD | eBay
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Old October 17, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMCD View Post
I could've sworn I had an older card lying around, was going to check if it was only 5.1. Perhaps you can find some old stuff on ebay for $10-$20

Something like this > Rocketfish 5.1-Channel PCI Sound Card RF-51SDCD | eBay
The problem I see with that card is that it only has stereo (2.1) over optical, however DVD playback is in 5.1 sound. My motherboard's integrated sound will do just this. From what I am getting from reading around, this is because DVD sound is already encoded in 5.1, whereas the audio in games is dynamic and need to be encoded on the fly.

But I do appreciate the suggestion. I think I would just need something basic, but perhaps I would get more enjoyment out of something a little higher end? When it comes to sound cards, I don't know where the cost vs. performance curve starts to level off.
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Old October 17, 2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilesG View Post
The problem I see with that card is that it only has stereo (2.1) over optical, however DVD playback is in 5.1 sound. My motherboard's integrated sound will do just this. From what I am getting from reading around, this is because DVD sound is already encoded in 5.1, whereas the audio in games is dynamic and need to be encoded on the fly.

But I do appreciate the suggestion. I think I would just need something basic, but perhaps I would get more enjoyment out of something a little higher end? When it comes to sound cards, I don't know where the cost vs. performance curve starts to level off.
If you live near a Canada Computers or something, that would probably be your best bet for finding something like that. My experience is that a $50-$100 card sounds the same as a $200+ card for optical. It really should be the same digital signal here.

What about something like this? It's really hard to find out whether these specify 5.1 analogue, or analogue and digital. Auzentech, Inc. : X-Studio 5.1 Sound Card : World First soundcards for Music, HTPC, and Gaming.

From http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/20...ptical-coaxial


Reply to chunkymonster
choirbass 11-19-2006 at 09:56:11 AM
-0+
yeah, the only sound cards that offer realtime digital 5.1 encoding in either ddl or ddl/dts are:

Turtle Beach Montego DDL - Offers only DD live, and only optical toslink digital connections

HDA Blue Gears X-Mystique - Offers only DD live, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections

HDA Auzentech X-Plosion - Offers both DD live and DTS interactive, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections

HDA Auzentech X-Meridian - Offers both DD live and DTS interactive, offers both coaxial rca and optical toslink digital connections

Creative also offers an external DTS interactive interconnect, called the DTS-610... its certainly not efficient when it comes to cable usage, but it gets around the DRM issues

Last edited by JMCD; October 17, 2011 at 09:10 PM.
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Old October 17, 2011, 09:08 PM
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Any optical output will give 5.1/7.1 support...it's entirely dependent upon your source. Most music, games, etc, are stereo. If you're playing DVD's, make sure you have it set to use SPDIF as the audio output. Also make sure the Digital Output is configured as your default audio device. That should send the 5.1 Dolby Digital signal to the receiver.

By the sounds of it, you want to upmix non-Dolby Digital sources to 5.1. In this case, you need to by a soundcard that has Dolby Digital Live. I'd recommend something like the ASUS Xonar DX or D1.
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Old October 18, 2011, 06:10 AM
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spdif can cary a digital signal like dts or DD but in uncompressed LPCM mode it will only have 2 channels. it is the limitation of the format. The solution is to let the receiver input 2 channel and break it up into 5 channel with dd pro logic or one of its features.
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Old October 20, 2011, 06:56 PM
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Thank you all for the replies. I went with a Asus Xonar DX (same card as D1 except the DX is PCI-E and cheaper too?!). Bought it at a local Canada Computers. The adapter for the optical cable is kinda goofy looking and it takes up the rear mic input, but whatever. TF2 sounds great in 5.1, and Metro 2033 is only 2.1!
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Old October 21, 2011, 06:52 AM
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The source still needs to be 5.1 for it to be transmitted as 5.1 over the optical cable.
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