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View Full Version : Where are all the good digital soundcards?


H-street
02-24-05, 12:21 PM
After having gotten the A8N-SLI board and the sevier disappointment in the onboard sound's digital capabilities i'm left wondering.. are there any actual digital sound cards?

currently i am using an audigy2 with 6channel analog output to the receiver and being the year 2005 i would have hoped that the soundcards would have finally gone for some sort of actual digital ecoding (DD or DTS) where we don't have to live in the dark ages of analog..

so my question is, are there any addin sound-cards that are actual true digital? That when i plug the optical (or coax) into the receiver i get a true DD 5.1 signal for games and music and not just through a passthrough for pre-encoded media? (the A8N-SLI is even worse than the audigy2 at stereo only over the optical)...

Doing a search for reviews or such doesn't really yield much along these lines so i am hoping someone has the low down on the soundcard scene..

Smokey
02-24-05, 01:54 PM
The only thing that exists that you descibe is Sound Storm, which may be continued in the future, but no one is really sure yet.

H-street
02-24-05, 03:10 PM
Ok after digging and digging this is what i found..

there is 1 PCI addon card that currently does the Dolby Digital Live Encoding

its a korean base company the card is the

HiTec HDA Digital X Mystique 7.1 Gold


This was a quote i got of the Hard forums


bought one off ebay, came in Thursday, just installed it yesterday.

It indeed does exactly what it claims. I played the T2-Extreme WMV-HD version and it encoded it on the fly to DD5.1 with the correct speaker placement.

All PC sounds were encoded to DD5.1.

I tried 3 games: Doom 3, HL2, and Far Cry.

Doom 3 and HL2 were encoded to DD5.1 with correct speaker placement (sounds great!).

Far Cry was only encoded to stereo even though I tried various configurations in the in-game settings (and it lit up DD5.1 on my receiver, though on the mains were active). I believe it is an EAX-issue, even though the card is supposed to be EAX 2.0 compatible.

My framerates in the games were identical to before, so the card is consuming barely any CPU cycles.

ASIO support is coming soon.

Card works like a dream, two thumbs up from me....

btw....They shipped the card from Korea on Monday and I received it Thursday...That's pretty fast international shipping!


so although i haven't found the card at local (or even online stores in the US) it is supposidly going to be more widely available sometime in march (from what i can gather)..

if the above little review/blurb is any indication hopefully we'll have some good quality DDL encoding soundcards soon..

any one else had any experience with the above card / directly or indirectly

*added*

http://search.ebay.com/Mystique-HDA these are the ones i was able to find on ebay..they are coming for South Korea so who knows..

probably worth waiting for them to get into the US distro channels..

ynnek
02-24-05, 03:16 PM
beat me too it..

although for music and movies, I rather just do digital passthrough and let my reciever with the better DAC's do the decoding.. especially for DTS material.. I haven't played around too much with the WMV-HD format though.. WMV-HD doesn't keep seperate DD, DTS tracks for passthrough?

EDIT: Answered my own question:
http://msmvps.com/chrisl/articles/11452.aspx

argh thats kinda annoying..