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Sowk
05-20-08, 01:03 PM
Can you use SPDIF (Optical) out for gaming in 5.1 - on Nforce 680i motherboards?

I can get only channels to work with games.


I have the eVGA 680I A1 motherboard.

CaptNKILL
05-20-08, 01:21 PM
Nope.

Do a forum search... or a google search.

There have been dozens of threads on this.

Digital out is stereo unless you have a Dolby\DTS encoded signal. Some sound chips encode any signal, but most do not, so the only thing that will give you 5.1 is a pre-encoded track, like a DVD.

Redeemed
05-20-08, 01:48 PM
Or... have your computer hooked up to a reciever that can then convert the digital stereo signal into DB ProLogic... not gonna' be any where near as nice as what you hear in the theaters... but it'll give you some form of surround sound anyways. But honestly, at least from my experience, the anologe 5.1 Surround most mobos support is supperior to ProLogic. I'd just go that route if your reciever as multi-channel inputs.

CaptNKILL
05-20-08, 02:37 PM
Or... have your computer hooked up to a reciever that can then convert the digital stereo signal into DB ProLogic... not gonna' be any where near as nice as what you hear in the theaters... but it'll give you some form of surround sound anyways. But honestly, at least from my experience, the anologe 5.1 Surround most mobos support is supperior to ProLogic. I'd just go that route if your reciever as multi-channel inputs.
Yeah, I wouldn't bother with ProLogic. It isn't "real" surround and is bound to have a ton of audible anomalies.

Multi-channel analog inputs is the only way to go without a Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect sound card.

EDIT: I almost forgot, the one time ProLogic would be decent would be if you had a sound chip that could do a matrix-encoded analog surround signal like the old nforce 2 soundstorm chips. You can get sort-of 4.0 surround that way. But that's some VERY old technology there (1970s :lol: ) and I don't think it applies to digital, so chances are you'll never need to do this.

Redeemed
05-20-08, 03:00 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't bother with ProLogic. It isn't "real" surround and is bound to have a ton of audible anomalies.

Multi-channel analog inputs is the only way to go without a Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect sound card.

EDIT: I almost forgot, the one time ProLogic would be decent would be if you had a sound chip that could do a matrix-encoded analog surround signal like the old nforce 2 soundstorm chips. You can get sort-of 4.0 surround that way. But that's some VERY old technology there (1970s :lol: ) and I don't think it applies to digital, so chances are you'll never need to do this.
For gaming I use ProLogic II since my current reciever does not have multi-channel inputs. It does okay for the fronts and center, but seldom do I ever hear anything out of my surround speakers. Kinda' kills it for me. I'm now looking for a new reciever that has 5.1 anolog inputs as that seems to be a far superior form of surround for gaming than ProLogic.

Dazz
05-20-08, 03:16 PM
I use Dolby Digital Live myself with Optical connection.

Sowk
05-21-08, 10:26 AM
I use Dolby Digital Live myself with Optical connection.

Does my motherboard have the capability to output Dolby Digital Live?

eVGA 680i A1 (non-black pearl)

CaptNKILL
05-21-08, 10:49 AM
Does my motherboard have the capability to output Dolby Digital Live?

eVGA 680i A1 (non-black pearl)
I don't think it does.

Very few boards have DDL capable sound chips. Its more common on PCI sound cards. Most of Auzentech's cards can do it. Its really kind of odd just how few people can actually get surround sound in games using a digital connection.

Zapablast05
05-21-08, 12:09 PM
I don't get how it works. Do you need a speaker system with the toslink input to use the whole optical thing? I get surround in my headphones but it's not like, super theater surround.

CaptNKILL
05-21-08, 12:51 PM
I don't get how it works. Do you need a speaker system with the toslink input to use the whole optical thing? I get surround in my headphones but it's not like, super theater surround.
You need a digital output on your soundcard and a digital input on your receiver to use digital sound. There can be coaxial and or SPDIF\toslink optical connections for digital sound.

By default, an un-encoded digital signal is stereo. So with un-encoded real time streams of sound, like games, only the left and right channels can be sent over the digital output. A DVD is pre-encoded though, so you can usually pick the Dolby 5.1 or DTS tracks and have your sound card pass them through to your receiver where the receiver decodes them into surround sound.

With a Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect capable sound card, you can have the sound card encode the real-time streams from games into a Dolby 5.1 or DTS to send over your digital connection. The receiver will decode these just like any other encoded track and you'll get surround sound.

As for your headphones, any surround sound you're hearing is simulated with changes in pitch or phase. 2 speakers cannot physically do surround sound... obviously. Anything that sounds like its behind you is just muffled to simulate what your ears hear when something is behind you in real life. It can work pretty well in a lot of situations, but it'll never be as good as actually having the sound come from behind you.

Dazz
05-21-08, 03:58 PM
All current decent boards can do 5.1 with Dobly Digital live that have the Realtek 880ALC codec onwards has more CPU overhead but is still ok. So yes your board can do it but you will need a decorder for your speakers. I use the one with my Logitech Z5500.

I get 5.1 surround sound in games so long as windows is set for 5.1 so the audio codec can convert it into streams for the decorder to send to the speakers.

CaptNKILL
05-21-08, 05:50 PM
I guess I was wrong. I didn't think most motherboards had DDL support. They never list it in the features or specifications.

crainger
05-21-08, 06:05 PM
I too thought a lot of boards lacked DDL. I know a lot AMD boards have DTS Connect though.

omg_dastard!
05-22-08, 04:06 AM
so.........can I send DTS to my Z-5500 speakers via the 3.5mm jack or do I have to use breakout box?

Im TOTALLY lost in regards the X-fi/z-5500. (Ive got one of the original ones from 06 :( Xtrememusic I think ( the one with heatsink and gold backplate))

Revs
05-22-08, 04:42 AM
I've just found this out recently myself. You can output Stereo, DTS or DD from your mobos optical/coaxial out, but you need a DDLive sound card to encode the 5.1 sound from a game in to a signal that can be sent down spdif, optical or coaxial.

Does the Z5500 have 3.5mm analogue inputs too? If so you can use them for games and the optical input for movies. That's what i'll be doing cos I don't wanna shell out on a sound card that I don't really need.

CaptNKILL
05-22-08, 01:09 PM
so.........can I send DTS to my Z-5500 speakers via the 3.5mm jack or do I have to use breakout box?

Im TOTALLY lost in regards the X-fi/z-5500. (Ive got one of the original ones from 06 :( Xtrememusic I think ( the one with heatsink and gold backplate))
The X-Fi cannot give you 5.1 surround in games over a digital connection.

If you want surround sound with an X-Fi in games, you'll have to use the analog 3.5mm jacks.

Since the Z-5500 is a PC speaker system, this is easy.

You don't need digital audio. DTS\Dolby DVD audio can be decoded by your PC and sent over the analog connections to your speakers for surround sound in movies.

If you really wanted to complicate things and use digital audio just for DVDs, you could hook your digital out from your soundcard to your Z-5500... but you'd have to switch input sources on your Z-5500 control pod every time you wanted to watch a DVD. Not a big deal, but considering the price of toslink cables it seems like a bit of a waste for no significant difference in sound quality.

EDIT: Nevermind, they are cheaper than I thought:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229&style=
Still, it'd overcomplicate things.

Sowk
05-22-08, 01:50 PM
All current decent boards can do 5.1 with Dobly Digital live that have the Realtek 880ALC codec onwards has more CPU overhead but is still ok. So yes your board can do it but you will need a decorder for your speakers. I use the one with my Logitech Z5500.

I get 5.1 surround sound in games so long as windows is set for 5.1 so the audio codec can convert it into streams for the decorder to send to the speakers.

So do I need to get a sound card that can encode to DD live like Revs said 4 post below yours?

Or Just setup MB audio to:

5.1 in Windows Sound Devices
5.1 in Realtek Drivers (Control Panel)
&
Optical output to 44.1Khtz / 48Khtz?



Do I need to download DD live Encoding drivers or anything?

crainger
05-22-08, 04:52 PM
I've just found this out recently myself. You can output Stereo, DTS or DD from your mobos optical/coaxial out, but you need a DDLive sound card to encode the 5.1 sound from a game in to a signal that can be sent down spdif, optical or coaxial.

Does the Z5500 have 3.5mm analogue inputs too? If so you can use them for games and the optical input for movies. That's what i'll be doing cos I don't wanna shell out on a sound card that I don't really need.

Yeppers you sure can. I use analogue for games and co-ax digital for DVDs and other media with an DD/DTS soundtrack.

If you are using Vista to HAVE to use both, as in Vista Creative broke DD and DTS decoding over analogue.

Dazz
05-22-08, 05:02 PM
So do I need to get a sound card that can encode to DD live like Revs said 4 post below yours?

Or Just setup MB audio to:

5.1 in Windows Sound Devices
5.1 in Realtek Drivers (Control Panel)
&
Optical output to 44.1Khtz / 48Khtz?



Do I need to download DD live Encoding drivers or anything?
Yes thats pretty much what you need to do, but yes the XFI does not support 5.1 with Digital it was the main reason why i sold it off. Thinking of these new XFi sound cards which can do it. Also there are some hacked drivers which 'appranetly' can enable dolby digital live input.

CaptNKILL
05-22-08, 11:05 PM
Yeppers you sure can. I use analogue for games and co-ax digital for DVDs and other media with an DD/DTS soundtrack.

If you are using Vista to HAVE to use both, as in Vista Creative broke DD and DTS decoding over analogue.
You can still use ACFilter though right? I don't remember having any problems with 5.1 DVDs in Vista.

crainger
05-22-08, 11:11 PM
I guess you could use a 3rd party solution...

Smarty pants.

CaptNKILL
05-23-08, 01:59 AM
I don't think I've ever been able to even hear a DVD at all without installing AC3Filter first. Even in XP.

At least not since I used NVDVD way back in the day. I've been using Media Player Classic for 4 or 5 years.

omg_dastard!
05-23-08, 07:47 AM
The X-Fi cannot give you 5.1 surround in games over a digital connection.

If you want surround sound with an X-Fi in games, you'll have to use the analog 3.5mm jacks.

Since the Z-5500 is a PC speaker system, this is easy.

You don't need digital audio. DTS\Dolby DVD audio can be decoded by your PC and sent over the analog connections to your speakers for surround sound in movies.

If you really wanted to complicate things and use digital audio just for DVDs, you could hook your digital out from your soundcard to your Z-5500... but you'd have to switch input sources on your Z-5500 control pod every time you wanted to watch a DVD. Not a big deal, but considering the price of toslink cables it seems like a bit of a waste for no significant difference in sound quality.

EDIT: Nevermind, they are cheaper than I thought:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229&style=
Still, it'd overcomplicate things.

But if I connect up via digital will I be able to get DTS sound, something i cannot do with 3.5mm analogue.
cheers

CaptNKILL
05-23-08, 07:55 AM
But if I connect up via digital will I be able to get DTS sound, something i cannot do with 3.5mm analogue.
cheers
DTS for what purpose? Movies or Games?

omg_dastard!
05-23-08, 08:18 AM
moviez :D


Can games do DTS?


Would I see a large difference with DTS? Ive always been curious because loads of my DVDS have got DTS on them.