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Getting 5.1 channel audio from PC to Reciever via optical cable

junehhan
03-07-2010, 02:55 AM
Hey guys, I was hoping someone could give me some insight into this issue. I am currently running a Gigabyte AM3 motherboard's onboard Realtek audio to my reciever via optial SPDIF cable and am unable to play Crysis in surround sound. It only seems to work in 2 channel mode as I am getting nothing from any of my speakers.

Within the sound menu, I have dolby digital live toggled on which is supposed to convert any audio into dolby digital to the reciever which then decodes it. I chose not to carry over my SB X-fi card as it is one of the older ones that do not support surround sound over its optical output. However, my motherboard's onboard audio should support it via dolby digital live. Anyone have any ideas? This is driving me crazy. I'd hate to spend the money to buy a new SB card as the onboard audio is supposed to work.......

railven
03-07-2010, 05:50 AM
Hey guys, I was hoping someone could give me some insight into this issue. I am currently running a Gigabyte AM3 motherboard's onboard Realtek audio to my reciever via optial SPDIF cable and am unable to play Crysis in surround sound. It only seems to work in 2 channel mode as I am getting nothing from any of my speakers.

Within the sound menu, I have dolby digital live toggled on which is supposed to convert any audio into dolby digital to the reciever which then decodes it. I chose not to carry over my SB X-fi card as it is one of the older ones that do not support surround sound over its optical output. However, my motherboard's onboard audio should support it via dolby digital live. Anyone have any ideas? This is driving me crazy. I'd hate to spend the money to buy a new SB card as the onboard audio is supposed to work.......

First, head over to Realtek and download their newest drivers (I'm assuming your motherboard uses Realtek for the audio...does anyone still use VIA? Ewww.)

After installing the newest driver (the CDs have a history of having really old drivers) open up the Realtek menu and head over to the Digital Audio option.

Tinker around there. Secondly, onboard audio doesn't usually have the juice to code before passing, it is usually mean just to carry over. Check if your hardware supports taking the LPCM, compressing to Dolby and then passing through.

My guess is, it might only have the options to pass through a Dolby trak, but if it isn't Dolby it will probably uncompressed it and pass 2 channel LPCM. Why with PCs for games, I prefer straight through (3 mini stereo plugs.)

Good luck. I'll be more helpful with the menus when I get home, as I don't know all the options off the top of my head.

junehhan
03-07-2010, 06:30 AM
First, head over to Realtek and download their newest drivers (I'm assuming your motherboard uses Realtek for the audio...does anyone still use VIA? Ewww.)

After installing the newest driver (the CDs have a history of having really old drivers) open up the Realtek menu and head over to the Digital Audio option.

Tinker around there. Secondly, onboard audio doesn't usually have the juice to code before passing, it is usually mean just to carry over. Check if your hardware supports taking the LPCM, compressing to Dolby and then passing through.

My guess is, it might only have the options to pass through a Dolby trak, but if it isn't Dolby it will probably uncompressed it and pass 2 channel LPCM. Why with PCs for games, I prefer straight through (3 mini stereo plugs.)

Good luck. I'll be more helpful with the menus when I get home, as I don't know all the options off the top of my head.

Hi Rail, thanks for your help. I am currently downloading the new drivers, although my current drivers are fairly recent as they are only 4 months old. The new ones I am currently downloading are from Feb.

According to my motherboard, it has something called Dolby Home Theatre which features dolby digital live. Dolby's website says that DD Live will take typical PC audio and then encodes it into dolby digital format so that you can get full surround sound from the reciever.

Most of the mid and upper end current Sound Blaster X-Fi cards also come with dolby digital live as well. I am tempted to just go and buy a new SB sound card, but am afraid that I will run into the same problem. Despite the compressional losses with using DD, it does simplify things(at least it is supposed to) by letting me use just a single cable.

What do you mean that you are running miniplugs? I am confused on how you could get it to the reciever. I know that the output on the back of the motherboard features 4 miniplugs for the supposed 8 channels that it supports. If it were possible to split the signal, how would it be able to split it into the separate components? For instance one is left/right, another is centre/sub/ another is rear left/rear right, and another is surround left/surround right. By splitting it, wouldn't it more or less just split a mono signal two ways? Even then, I have no more analogue inputs as my HD-DVD player is currently using those. The reciever is also a very long distance away, which means that i'd have to use about a 10 ft long RCA cable after the signal has been split.

railven
03-07-2010, 07:35 AM
Hi Rail, thanks for your help. I am currently downloading the new drivers, although my current drivers are fairly recent as they are only 4 months old. The new ones I am currently downloading are from Feb.

According to my motherboard, it has something called Dolby Home Theatre which features dolby digital live. Dolby's website says that DD Live will take typical PC audio and then encodes it into dolby digital format so that you can get full surround sound from the reciever.

Most of the mid and upper end current Sound Blaster X-Fi cards also come with dolby digital live as well. I am tempted to just go and buy a new SB sound card, but am afraid that I will run into the same problem. Despite the compressional losses with using DD, it does simplify things(at least it is supposed to) by letting me use just a single cable.

What do you mean that you are running miniplugs? I am confused on how you could get it to the reciever. I know that the output on the back of the motherboard features 4 miniplugs for the supposed 8 channels that it supports. If it were possible to split the signal, how would it be able to split it into the separate components? For instance one is left/right, another is centre/sub/ another is rear left/rear right, and another is surround left/surround right. By splitting it, wouldn't it more or less just split a mono signal two ways? Even then, I have no more analogue inputs as my HD-DVD player is currently using those. The reciever is also a very long distance away, which means that i'd have to use about a 10 ft long RCA cable after the signal has been split.

I'm not a audio buff, and my knowledge of audio tweaking is based on experiments and overall reading the internets haha.

My heads up on the sound drivers is due to Windows 7 being relatively new, some of the Vista stuff didn't work on Windows 7 and Realtek has been doing a great job of updating their drivers. In the course of 4 months I believe they released 4-5 driver packages (if you include the beta) that have addressed a lot of Windows 7 issues.

After you get that all setup, screw around in the Digital Audio tab of the Realtek software (note: I personally hate their software haha, while it offers great options finding them is so much of a hassle.)

Also, check the Windows Audio setup, I know some games base their options on that (Doom 3/Quake 4 quickly come to mind) and if you don't set it to surround/multi-speaker the game won't let you toggle anything beyond 2-channels.

As for the receiver/mini plugs, you can use 8mm stereo (has to be stereo) to composite mono (8mm to red/white) plugs to separate the channels. Remember that the 8mm passes through two channels per plug (3 plugs == 5.1, 4 plugs == 7.1) and of course it is a pain in the ass, but that's just an option. I'd keep tinkering for the SPDIF. I personally use straight through (I don't have a receiver, used PC speakers Logitech Z-5500s so it's easier for me.)

Good luck.

junehhan
03-07-2010, 12:01 PM
Hi, so you are saying that I can separate out the two channels using a sort of splitter type device? I just installed the latest drivers and still the same thing. Now I am starting to remember why I left PC gaming for my Xbox back in 2005.

I'm not a audio buff, and my knowledge of audio tweaking is based on experiments and overall reading the internets haha.

My heads up on the sound drivers is due to Windows 7 being relatively new, some of the Vista stuff didn't work on Windows 7 and Realtek has been doing a great job of updating their drivers. In the course of 4 months I believe they released 4-5 driver packages (if you include the beta) that have addressed a lot of Windows 7 issues.

After you get that all setup, screw around in the Digital Audio tab of the Realtek software (note: I personally hate their software haha, while it offers great options finding them is so much of a hassle.)

Also, check the Windows Audio setup, I know some games base their options on that (Doom 3/Quake 4 quickly come to mind) and if you don't set it to surround/multi-speaker the game won't let you toggle anything beyond 2-channels.

As for the receiver/mini plugs, you can use 8mm stereo (has to be stereo) to composite mono (8mm to red/white) plugs to separate the channels. Remember that the 8mm passes through two channels per plug (3 plugs == 5.1, 4 plugs == 7.1) and of course it is a pain in the ass, but that's just an option. I'd keep tinkering for the SPDIF. I personally use straight through (I don't have a receiver, used PC speakers Logitech Z-5500s so it's easier for me.)

Good luck.

junehhan
03-07-2010, 12:11 PM
Well wish me luck, i'm heading to the local Radio Shack. I am going to try to purchase a minijack cable to splits into 2 RCA female ends. From there, I will just use a standard RCA audio cable to the analogue inputs on my Pioneer reciever. My reciever doesn't support HDMI audio and is video passthrough only, which is why HDMI isn't an option for me. From there, I will use an extending RCA cable with male ends on both sides. I'm hoping this might work for me, and will try this before I spend another $150 on the latest SB X-Fi card since cables are cheaper. It will get messy, and my poor HD-DVD player is going to have to get the boot and revert back to using optical SPDIF for the audio.

railven
03-07-2010, 12:17 PM
Hi, so you are saying that I can separate out the two channels using a sort of splitter type device? I just installed the latest drivers and still the same thing. Now I am starting to remember why I left PC gaming for my Xbox back in 2005.

Yes, a stereo 8mm plug has two ring connectors (sorry I don't know their exact names) which transfer each channel L/R.

So a 8mm stereo to mono composite (L/R or commonly seen as white/red) would separate the channels individually.

I've had to do this a few times tinkering with shit haha.

Well wish me luck, i'm heading to the local Radio Shack. I am going to try to purchase a minijack cable to splits into 2 RCA female ends. From there, I will just use a standard RCA audio cable to the analogue inputs on my Pioneer reciever. My reciever doesn't support HDMI audio and is video passthrough only, which is why HDMI isn't an option for me. From there, I will use an extending RCA cable with male ends on both sides. I'm hoping this might work for me, and will try this before I spend another $150 on the latest SB X-Fi card since cables are cheaper. It will get messy, and my poor HD-DVD player is going to have to get the boot and revert back to using optical SPDIF for the audio.

Always save your reciepts. As long as you don't mangle the wires, you can always return them for a refund and buy from sites like Monoprice.com where I'm sure the cables would be 1/2 to 1/3 the price of Radioshack or any other retail vendor.

I'll do some digging on this when Iget home, see if I find something but at work most of any thing fun/useful is blocked.

kamspy
03-07-2010, 02:45 PM
Take it back to MicroCenter and have them make it work. If they can't, I'd get a refund and reorder from Newegg (or at least threaten to:p). You paid to have it built and the onus is on them to deliver it to you in a fully working condition.

I just put together an Comp with the same mobo (with an Intel socket and one less PCIe slot) and the optical worked straight away. There are a couple games out there that don't support it and should (rfg), but Crysis certainly isn't one of them.

junehhan
03-07-2010, 04:38 PM
Here is that weirdest thing. When you to to control panel/sound, I have it set to 5.1 channel sound and it plays to all 5.1 channels when you click on the test button. However, Crysis will only run in 2.1 channel mode.

I just got back from radio shack and used a splitter combined with a extender. I set the control panel on analogue multi channel output and the test button plays to all channels. However, the game won't even play to 2.1 channels and only plays to 2 channels.

I thik I am going to wait a few weeks, let me budget recover, and just go buy a Sound Blaster card and get it over with. I had this exact same problem with Far Cry as I could never get surround sound from the onboard audio of my old Asus board with the AC97 codec even when it was hooked up to my former Logitech Z680 system via 6 channel analogues. My solution that finally solved it was that I went and bought a SB X-fi platinum.

BTW, Crysis looks absolutely incredible........I can't believe I have missed out on this game as I never had a system that could have handled it decently. I sold one of my SLI cards before this game came out.

marcallo
03-07-2010, 09:13 PM
I am actually using onboard sound for the first time and I don't like it. I can't get my case jacks to work with the motherboard no matter how I set it up. I'm just gonna get an Xfi pro or something so I have all the cool functions on the front of the computer in a 5.25 drive slot. Will make live easier.

junehhan
03-07-2010, 09:35 PM
I am actually using onboard sound for the first time and I don't like it. I can't get my case jacks to work with the motherboard no matter how I set it up. I'm just gonna get an Xfi pro or something so I have all the cool functions on the front of the computer in a 5.25 drive slot. Will make live easier.

Yeah, I have owned numerous mobos with onboard audio and am disappointed to see that they are just as temperamental and poor performing as they were a long time ago. Sound Blaster seems to more or less be the standard in PC gaming anyway.

junehhan
03-07-2010, 11:12 PM
Well i'll be........

Out of the games i've tried running on my new rig, only ONE works in 5.1 channel surround sound. The Sims 3 is the only game I have that is working in surround sound. I wonder if that is because it allows you to force 5.1 channel mode inside the audio menu within the game. This is all over optical digital cable too.

marcallo
03-08-2010, 10:58 AM
Heads up June I just got the top level X-fi Fata1ity champion series creative card for 170 bucks from Amazon and a live 12 month card for 30 bucks. I know how to waste money. :D

kamspy
03-08-2010, 02:16 PM
I'd recommend on the ASUS Xonar sound cards.


Also, what do you have your audio settings to junehhan? It should be set to 'very high' for Crysis to output 5.1, and 'enthusiast' for Warhead to output 5.1

junehhan
03-08-2010, 08:17 PM
I'll check again, but I don't think I saw that in the menu for Crysis. I havn't installed Warhead yet, but maybe I should try it out to see if I can get 5.1 working in there.

I'd recommend on the ASUS Xonar sound cards.


Also, what do you have your audio settings to junehhan? It should be set to 'very high' for Crysis to output 5.1, and 'enthusiast' for Warhead to output 5.1

kamspy
03-08-2010, 09:07 PM
It's in the system settings with the video options. Dumb place for it. Just set it to very high and you should get 5.1 over the optical with very little fuss. While you're in there, pump up the MSAA to 16x for Maximum Game.

Shame you can't do super sampling or transparency AA with those 5850s. You could make some older games look really stunning. I play Half Life 2 with 4x4 super sampling and 16x transparency MSAA and it looks sublime.

You can enable "adaptive anti aliasing" in the Catalyst Control Center. It's like 2x1 super sampling at twice the cost, but it should make stuff like Sims 3 look pretty great.

Also, grab RivaTuner man. You gotta have D3DOverrider in your tray. You'll never have to use in-game v-sync again and it's damn near free (in terms of hardware resources, the program itself is free). It also causes a generally smoother frame rate in every game since it forces triple frame buffering.

junehhan
03-08-2010, 09:46 PM
I checked the settings, and they were all at very high, so that isn't it :(

Oh well, i'm just going to wait for my budget to recover and just get a Sound Blaster. Sound Blaster seems to be the standard when it comes to gaming, and should have the least amount of problems. I'll take a look at that Asus card though, as I had no idea that Asus made anything more than motherboards. That is until I noticed that Micro Center had an Asus 5770 alongside the DiamondMM version.

kamspy
03-08-2010, 09:54 PM
Sound Blaster hasn't been the standard for about 3 years now. Creative stopped supporting the drivers and developers followed suit. EAX still get's a little use, but it's almost always buggy.

I cannot recommend the ASUS Xonar cards enough. I've used them in a couple builds for people and they are just a pleasure to work with. Great software and never had a problem. Ever. Very fair price too.

The Xonar DS sound cards also have a very unique feature. You can swap out the op-amp for a powered headphone amplifier so you don't need an external. I'm pretty sure that's a first with sound cards.


The Xonars are really the standard now if there is one. Everyone uses them now. They're great pieces of hardware. I cannot recommend one strongly enough. I urge you june, do some googling at the big pc gaming forums if you won't take my word: Creative is done. Their support is now non-existent. ASUS Xonar is the way to go on the gaming mid-level. They have even better solutions but you don't have the extra PCIe slot that they require.

kamspy
03-08-2010, 09:57 PM
Also, here's a link to RivaTuner

http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner

D3D comes with it. RivaTuner is an overclocking, system monitor and fan controller. If you're interested in overclocking the 5850s, it's pretty hassle free in RivaTuner. Just sliders. My rule of thumb is find the clocks that the main sites get when they review the OC potential of the card, and subtract about 50mhz from their numbers for good measure.

You can probably get a good 20% linear gain with an OC. From what I hear the coolers on the 5850s are really good too. You got the HAF case, so you should use it's natural awesome cooling for some OC-ing.


Overclocking your vRAM clock with get you the easiest gain since it increases your memory bandwidth exponentially with small increases.

junehhan
03-09-2010, 12:32 AM
I havn't really been in the PC scene for 5 years until now, but I find that surprising about Creative Labs. It breaks my heart to hear considering that I remember their very original 8bit sound card very fondly........

I will look elsewhere then. What do you think about Auzentech? I noticed that a few people like to run those. I'm looking at Micro Center right now, but they don't appear to carry many of the Asus sound cards. Luckily, I do have one spare PCIx 1x slot free as the other PCIx 1x slot is underneath the cooling fan for one of my 5850's.

Sound Blaster hasn't been the standard for about 3 years now. Creative stopped supporting the drivers and developers followed suit. EAX still get's a little use, but it's almost always buggy.

I cannot recommend the ASUS Xonar cards enough. I've used them in a couple builds for people and they are just a pleasure to work with. Great software and never had a problem. Ever. Very fair price too.

The Xonar DS sound cards also have a very unique feature. You can swap out the op-amp for a powered headphone amplifier so you don't need an external. I'm pretty sure that's a first with sound cards.


The Xonars are really the standard now if there is one. Everyone uses them now. They're great pieces of hardware. I cannot recommend one strongly enough. I urge you june, do some googling at the big pc gaming forums if you won't take my word: Creative is done. Their support is now non-existent. ASUS Xonar is the way to go on the gaming mid-level. They have even better solutions but you don't have the extra PCIe slot that they require.

Pinoy
03-09-2010, 02:13 AM
My buddies (two audiophiles) absolutely *swear* by these cards/manufacturer:

http://www.auzentech.com/site/index.php

Which cards they're using, what to do with them, which one you want, etc I can't help you with because I'm an audio know nothing.

marcallo
03-09-2010, 05:22 PM
I'm currently downloading the 300mb Win7 software for the Champ1on card. I'll let you know how it sounds. It should be perfect for my uses assuming I can get it to function properly. It went in easily enough. Waste of a perfectly good PCI-E slot, but I guess they need the bandwidth for some reason, and my mobo has 3.

The front panel 5.25 portion is really slick looking and they got rid of the ribbon cable that plagued the old audigy pro in favor of skinny black lines that were a TAD short, but not so short as to be a problem.

marcallo
03-09-2010, 07:30 PM
Three word review

PIECE OF SHIT

Wouldn't install under windows 7, zero support. Going to order something better for sure. Creative is officially in my fuck off book. I got sound to come out of it no problem. But the I/O wouldn't light up and when I tried to launch creative software it told me. "Device not detected closing software"... A suggestion was to reinstall windows 7. A lot of people said they tried and it didn't work.

I just printed a return receipt for Amazon. DONE

junehhan
03-09-2010, 08:19 PM
Three word review

PIECE OF SHIT

Wouldn't install under windows 7, zero support. Going to order something better for sure. Creative is officially in my fuck off book. I got sound to come out of it no problem. But the I/O wouldn't light up and when I tried to launch creative software it told me. "Device not detected closing software"... A suggestion was to reinstall windows 7. A lot of people said they tried and it didn't work.

I just printed a return receipt for Amazon. DONE

Thank you for your review. After your experience and what Kam had to say, it sounds like Creative has seriously lost their way. It saddens me considering the history that company has with PC audio.

It will now fall between Auzentech and Asus for me. The problem though is that Micro Center doesn't carry many of these as they seem to carry a lot of Sound Blaster stuff in their peripherals department. Both feature Dolby Digital Live which is what I need, although having DTS Connect would be a plus as DTS is going to make games sound better.

marcallo
03-09-2010, 08:30 PM
Azuntech is based on X-Fi though right? So aren't you still using creative drivers?

kamspy
03-10-2010, 12:00 AM
Azuntech is based on X-Fi though right? So aren't you still using creative drivers?

Yes. It is the flagship for Creative software, but that isn't very good software anymore.

Just be done with it and get a nice Xonar. Plug and play at it's finest. I know this should go without saying, but make sure your receiver accepts regular DTS over optical. The Xonar's convert everything into 5.1 DTS (cheaper license than Dolby).

I've worked with a couple and they impress me from packaging, to build quality, to finally hooking it up and hearing it work on the first shot.

Drivers are bare bones and they should be, and the software isn't intrusive whatsoever. It leaves a very small footprint on your system.

junehhan
03-10-2010, 12:17 AM
I suppose I should just get it over with, although I may have to hit up an online store since Micro Center doesn't have much of a selection for the Asus sound cards. My reciever does accept DTS over optical. I just have just forked over the extra few hundred dollars at the time and gotten a fully HDMI capable reciever though........

Yes. It is the flagship for Creative software, but that isn't very good software anymore.

Just be done with it and get a nice Xonar. Plug and play at it's finest. I know this should go without saying, but make sure your receiver accepts regular DTS over optical. The Xonar's convert everything into 5.1 DTS (cheaper license than Dolby).

I've worked with a couple and they impress me from packaging, to build quality, to finally hooking it up and hearing it work on the first shot.

Drivers are bare bones and they should be, and the software isn't intrusive whatsoever. It leaves a very small footprint on your system.

kamspy
03-10-2010, 12:45 AM
MicroCenter does definitely NOT have the Xonar's.

Newegg caries the entire line at a good price though.

Pinoy
03-10-2010, 01:53 AM
Yes. It is the flagship for Creative software, but that isn't very good software anymore.

Just be done with it and get a nice Xonar. Plug and play at it's finest. I know this should go without saying, but make sure your receiver accepts regular DTS over optical. The Xonar's convert everything into 5.1 DTS (cheaper license than Dolby).

I've worked with a couple and they impress me from packaging, to build quality, to finally hooking it up and hearing it work on the first shot.

Drivers are bare bones and they should be, and the software isn't intrusive whatsoever. It leaves a very small footprint on your system.

Eh, like I said I'm nowhere near knowledgeable in audio. All I can say is my buddies swear by Auzentech cards, and I can tell you from hearing it myself that they kick ass.

I cannot say anything about setup, ease of use, drivers... anything like that since I have used them myself. I *can* say however that my next audio card purchase will be an Auzentech card.

Just my $.02, take anything I say with a grain of salt or so...

junehhan
03-10-2010, 04:05 PM
Ok, I decided to get the Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1 channel sound card. Bottom line is this


OMG

These are the best sound cards I have EVER had in my life. The sound quality over DTS Connect is incredible. The positional audio is the best i've ever frickin heard before from a computer. I cannot praise this sound card enough.

However here is the bad news. I don't know what is up with it, but this sound card seems to be just like the Sound Blasters from Creative Labs. The chip appears to be the same, and it even comes with the same 64mb of X-RAM memory as the Sound Blaster does. The drivers are also Creative Lab drivers.

The drivers were also fairly buggy as I had to play around with them a LOT. However, the reward is worth it as I can't believe how good everything sounds.

junehhan
03-10-2010, 04:20 PM
Eh, like I said I'm nowhere near knowledgeable in audio. All I can say is my buddies swear by Auzentech cards, and I can tell you from hearing it myself that they kick ass.

I cannot say anything about setup, ease of use, drivers... anything like that since I have used them myself. I *can* say however that my next audio card purchase will be an Auzentech card.

Just my $.02, take anything I say with a grain of salt or so...

Setup of the drivers was a total bitch, but let me tell you that I think I can now swear by these Auzentech cards as well. Unbelievable sound.

Pinoy
03-10-2010, 04:31 PM
Setup of the drivers was a total bitch, but let me tell you that I think I can now swear by these Auzentech cards as well. Unbelievable sound.

;)

Yep. After hearing my buddies (two different setups) running those cards I'm not buying anything else. Even scarier is one of my friends actually modified his with aftermarket DAC's... I was actually fearful for my eardrums when he turned it up, but it sounded sooooo good.

marcallo
03-10-2010, 04:44 PM
I actually ended up scrubbing every driver off my system and getting the XFI to work. Sounds great. Probably not as good as the azuntech with their aftermarket crap added to it, but good enough for me and I have my front panel stuff working like I wanted. Pain in the ass but now that it's working I'm happy.

kamspy
03-10-2010, 05:39 PM
You guys understand that if you're bitstreaming the audio to an AVR, the soundcard is only acting as a medium with no effect on the signal transferred right?

junehhan
03-10-2010, 06:20 PM
You guys understand that if you're bitstreaming the audio to an AVR, the soundcard is only acting as a medium with no effect on the signal transferred right?

I have tried it both ways, but there isn't as big of a difference in audio quality as I thought there would be. I have the Auzentech set to encode all PC audio into a DTS bitstream as it simplifies things a lot from a cable standpoint since my reciever is a good distance away. I did try it using the splitters and extenders that I bought from Radio Shack on Sunday in order to run it into the analogue inputs on my reciever, but it wasn't that much better. A little better separation in the channels along with slightly better sound is all I could make out.

Overall, i'm so happy now as I can finally play Crysis. I just didn't want to insult myself by playing Crysis until I could get it in surround sound.

junehhan
03-11-2010, 12:01 AM
Hey guys, I was hoping someone could give me some insight into this issue. I am currently running a Gigabyte AM3 motherboard's onboard Realtek audio to my reciever via optial SPDIF cable and am unable to play Crysis in surround sound. It only seems to work in 2 channel mode as I am getting nothing from any of my speakers.

Within the sound menu, I have dolby digital live toggled on which is supposed to convert any audio into dolby digital to the reciever which then decodes it. I chose not to carry over my SB X-fi card as it is one of the older ones that do not support surround sound over its optical output. However, my motherboard's onboard audio should support it via dolby digital live. Anyone have any ideas? This is driving me crazy. I'd hate to spend the money to buy a new SB card as the onboard audio is supposed to work.......


In case anyone is still interested, I just got a reply back from Gigabyte's technical support as to why I couldn't get surround sound using the onboard audio. Their reply was that the software for the onboard audio only supports surround sound in Windows Vista.

railven
03-11-2010, 07:56 AM
In case anyone is still interested, I just got a reply back from Gigabyte's technical support as to why I couldn't get surround sound using the onboard audio. Their reply was that the software for the onboard audio only supports surround sound in Windows Vista.

D'oh! Unless Gigabyte did something different to the reference Realtek chip, any of the HD chips can output surround sound analog on Windows 7. I can testify that my MSI onboard soundcard can output 5.1 in Windows 7, again over analog.

Have you tried contacting Realtek, if it is a chip issue, maybe they got some beta drivers, or they can probably say something like "Giga fudged the reference spec."

That totally sucks dude.

junehhan
03-11-2010, 12:23 PM
D'oh! Unless Gigabyte did something different to the reference Realtek chip, any of the HD chips can output surround sound analog on Windows 7. I can testify that my MSI onboard soundcard can output 5.1 in Windows 7, again over analog.

Have you tried contacting Realtek, if it is a chip issue, maybe they got some beta drivers, or they can probably say something like "Giga fudged the reference spec."

That totally sucks dude.

I went ahead and forked over the money for my Auzentech X-Fi Forte card, so i'm going to just let it go as I will have no more need for onboard audio. Onboard audio still sounds nowhere near as good as an actual sound card anyway, not to mention that onboard audio relies on a lot of cpu cycles to do the processing. I remember a lot time ago back when the Sound Blaster X-Fi first came out that there were some benchmarks showing that frame rates can take a hit when using onboard audio.

Can't remember, but it was one of the sites like HardOCP or Tom or something that saw frame rate hits of 7fps less in Doom 3.

Damn, anyone know how to get Doom 3 to work in Windows 7 64? I can get it to load, but the patcher software won't work, and thus I can't run it in widescreen mode. That game was awesome.