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Infinity666
03-03-06, 04:43 AM
Well its time to purchase a new soundcard and well... Can anyone recomend me a card under 75$ that has optical out and support for dolby digital in games??

Ive looked at reviews for some cheapo's on newegg and everyone complains that there is no 5.1 in games only while watching movies.

Sorta looking at these...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829117108
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829118106
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829130002

I know they probably suck but... anyone have any ideas (other than go buy an xfi)

jolle
03-03-06, 05:03 AM
anyone have any ideas (other than go buy an xfi)
Not really no. (sig)

nutball
03-03-06, 05:13 AM
Have a squizz at these...

HDA X-Mystique (AKA BlueGears in the US I think)
Terratec Aureon 7.1 PCI
Turtle Beach Montego DDL (or something like that it's called)

...they (apparently) do real-time DDL encoding, a la SoundStorm.

seeker
03-03-06, 06:31 AM
I haven't done any comparisons in years, but if I didn't get an Audigy or X-Fi, I would definitely consider the Turtle Beach, because when I checked in the past, it was rated higher than the Creative cards that it competed with at the time. I'm probably never going to need to buy another sound card, because I have a brand new spare Audigy 2 ZS in the closet.

BrianG
03-03-06, 07:07 AM
Well its time to purchase a new soundcard and well... Can anyone recomend me a card under 75$ that has optical out and support for dolby digital in games??

Ive looked at reviews for some cheapo's on newegg and everyone complains that there is no 5.1 in games only while watching movies.

Sorta looking at these...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829117108
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829118106
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829130002

I know they probably suck but... anyone have any ideas (other than go buy an xfi)
What speakers do you have?

Nutty
03-03-06, 08:31 AM
Ive looked at reviews for some cheapo's on newegg and everyone complains that there is no 5.1 in games only while watching movies.

It should easily be possible to get 5.1 audio. Theres 2 ways this can be done.

1) Encode the audio into a dolby digital stream, and have it decoded on an amp which drives the 5.1 speakers. SoundsStorm did this.

2) Connect your speakers directly to the soundcard via 3 stereo leads, so the sound-card can drive each speaker itself. This is what Creative cards do.


I know they probably suck but... anyone have any ideas (other than go buy an xfi)

None of the Creative range do dolby digital encoding, which considering the price of the X-Fi, is unbelivable! SoundStorm managed it, why cant Creative, if they're the audio leaders?!

My current speaker setup doesn't allow option 2, so unless Creative pull their finger out and start offering DDE, I wont ever touch em again.

superklye
03-03-06, 09:26 AM
None of the Creative range do dolby digital encoding, which considering the price of the X-Fi, is unbelivable! SoundStorm managed it, why cant Creative, if they're the audio leaders?!
Sadly, and I'm definitely a contributor to this, because people will still buy their cards. :o :-\

LTech221
03-03-06, 10:24 AM
Creative has their DTS-610 out but thats an external box which encodes the signal to DTS from a 6 ch soundcard.

Nutty
03-03-06, 02:25 PM
Creative has their DTS-610 out but thats an external box which encodes the signal to DTS from a 6 ch soundcard.
Which means you're going from digital, through RAMDACS, back to digital, through a second set of RAMDACs and then speakers.

ynnek
03-03-06, 04:45 PM
Which means you're going from digital, through RAMDACS, back to digital, through a second set of RAMDACs and then speakers.

yea, thats true.. But can you prove that the other soundcards aren't simply doing that too? It could very well be taking analog out on the board and feeding it to a DDL encoder chip to spit out the Dolby Digital.. I looked around for a bit, and didn't read anything that explicitly pointed one way or another on the Turtle Beach card..

seeker010
03-03-06, 08:11 PM
yea, thats true.. But can you prove that the other soundcards aren't simply doing that too? It could very well be taking analog out on the board and feeding it to a DDL encoder chip to spit out the Dolby Digital.. I looked around for a bit, and didn't read anything that explicitly pointed one way or another on the Turtle Beach card..
I know it wasn't doing it on my soundstorm board. the signal was too good to have gone throug the crappy dacs and adcs.

Nutty
03-03-06, 08:24 PM
I know it wasn't doing it on my soundstorm board. the signal was too good to have gone throug the crappy dacs and adcs.

Yeah thats why I liked it. Using optical output straight from the audio chip bypassed the rubbish dacs that motherboard makers put on.

X-Fi's are alot better admittedly.

Infinity666
03-03-06, 10:00 PM
Thanks for all the advice, Im hooking it up to a 5.1 reciever im gonna have set up in my room (finally get to play all that music I converted to 5.1)

CaptNKILL
03-04-06, 01:31 AM
Thanks for all the advice, Im hooking it up to a 5.1 reciever im gonna have set up in my room (finally get to play all that music I converted to 5.1)
Does the reciever have 5.1 analog inputs? I think they are usually listed as DVD-in or something like that.

Your arent going to find a cheap card that supports DDL, so the only other alternatives would be either stereo sound or connecting 3 sets of RCA to minijack adapters to the analog ins if your reciever has them. If not, you'll need a DDL card if you want surround sound.

The one reviewed on the main nvnews page today looks freaking awesome. If you can spare the extra cash, newegg is selling them for around $130. Probably worth every penny considering how few options there are for people that use surround recievers on their PCs.

nutball
03-04-06, 04:21 AM
Your arent going to find a cheap card that supports DDL

OK, perhaps you can help me out with a misunderstanding then.

- I have one of these cards (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=322306), just 30
- It's connected to my Dolby receiver via optical connect
- The receiver says it's receiving a Dolby D stream (just like it does when I connect to the optical out on my NF2 mobo)
- I hear 3D sounds from games from all speakers, just like with SS

Am I not getting DDL?

The one reviewed on the main nvnews page today looks freaking awesome. If you can spare the extra cash, newegg is selling them for around $130. Probably worth every penny considering how few options there are for people that use surround recievers on their PCs

That's the bigger brother of the HDA Mystique I mentioned above, which was about 35 over here I think.

john19055
03-04-06, 06:19 AM
I would go with the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS ,it has the EAX 4 support and games sound great with it and it has a Dolby Digital out so you can hook up a set of digital speakers,and the price is $75 at newegg

Nvidiot222
03-04-06, 07:37 AM
I have kinda the same question.

I have Logitech X-530 speakers, and am I looking for a sound card, that will allow me to hook my mic, and have better sound.

$50 range.
Audigy 1 maybe ?

BrianG
03-04-06, 09:32 AM
OK, perhaps you can help me out with a misunderstanding then.

- I have one of these cards (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=322306), just 30
- It's connected to my Dolby receiver via optical connect
- The receiver says it's receiving a Dolby D stream (just like it does when I connect to the optical out on my NF2 mobo)
- I hear 3D sounds from games from all speakers, just like with SS

Am I not getting DDL?



That's the bigger brother of the HDA Mystique I mentioned above, which was about 35 over here I think.
No you are not getting DDL. It is a PCM audio 2Ch output that your receiver is decoding into Dolby Pro-Logic. You get rear surround fill by interpretation of the 2Ch output.

There are a few other cards besides the X-Mystique and X-Plosion that offer DDL encoding, just make sure it has the right chipset from C-Media. Also, some Intel mobos with HD-Audio include DDL encoding. The X-Plosion is the best add-in card at the moment for encoding as it adds DTS. Read my review of the X-Mystique here at nV News or stay tuned for my review of the X-Plosion at another site...

BrianG
03-04-06, 09:36 AM
Nvidiot222 and John19055,

YOU DO NOT GET GAMES IN 5.1 FROM THE SPDIF OUTPUT OF ANY CREATIVE CARD!!!

It will be a 2CH output. The SPDIF is there for DVD SPDIF pass-through, otherwise it is 2CH PCM Audio out. Unless a sound card support "Dolby Digital Live" or DTS Connect", the coax or optical link will only present 5.1 when given encoded material from a DVD pass-through.

Nvidiot222
03-04-06, 10:20 AM
Recomend me one man :D

BrianG
03-04-06, 10:23 AM
Recomend me one man :D
X-Mystique or X-Plosion. I prefer the X-Plosion as it is a more polished product. Neither is perfect, but you can't say that of the Creative products...

ynnek
03-04-06, 10:51 AM
I was worried, but by X-Fi card works great.. and the latest EAX effects are awesome...

Optical DDL encoding is realy really neat, and I wish Creative put it on the X-Fi... but since Creative has cornered the market on gaming with EAX, I still recommend the X-Fi, for gaming..

I guess theoretically, if more games use OpenAL instead, and if more soundcard manufacturers implement it, things may become interesting?

BTW, isn't OpenAL designed by Creative?

nutball
03-04-06, 11:07 AM
No you are not getting DDL. It is a PCM audio 2Ch output that your receiver is decoding into Dolby Pro-Logic. You get rear surround fill by interpretation of the 2Ch output.

Ah OK that might explain a few things then. The PCM option is turned off in the control panel of the sound-card, but that panel does say that Dolby 5.1 is only available in 2-speaker mode, so I guess that chimes with what you're saying. My receiver insists it's Dolby D rather than Dolby PL, but what the hell does it know!

There are a few other cards besides the X-Mystique and X-Plosion that offer DDL encoding, just make sure it has the right chipset from C-Media. Also, some Intel mobos with HD-Audio include DDL encoding. The X-Plosion is the best add-in card at the moment for encoding as it adds DTS. Read my review of the X-Mystique here at nV News or stay tuned for my review of the X-Plosion at another site...

Interesting looking at the chipset pictured in the review here of the X-Plosion (the 8770) doesn't appear on the C-Media website. Here's a photo of what's on my card:

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/340/chip0rx.png

I guess this one is off to e-Bay and I wait for the X-Mystique/X-Plosion to become available again here :D

EDIT: Heh, it seems that that's the same chipset as used on the X-Mystique (http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/x-mystique/). Go figure!

BrianG
03-04-06, 11:42 AM
I was worried, but by X-Fi card works great.. and the latest EAX effects are awesome...

Optical DDL encoding is realy really neat, and I wish Creative put it on the X-Fi... but since Creative has cornered the market on gaming with EAX, I still recommend the X-Fi, for gaming..

I guess theoretically, if more games use OpenAL instead, and if more soundcard manufacturers implement it, things may become interesting?

BTW, isn't OpenAL designed by Creative?
But if your speaker system does not have 5.1 analog inputs, what good is EAX's surround features. None.

OpenAL is an open standard, just like its graphics counterpart, with industry contributions to development.

BrianG
03-04-06, 11:44 AM
Ah OK that might explain a few things then. The PCM option is turned off in the control panel of the sound-card, but that panel does say that Dolby 5.1 is only available in 2-speaker mode, so I guess that chimes with what you're saying. My receiver insists it's Dolby D rather than Dolby PL, but what the hell does it know!



Interesting looking at the chipset pictured in the review here of the X-Plosion (the 8770) doesn't appear on the C-Media website. Here's a photo of what's on my card:

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/340/chip0rx.png

I guess this one is off to e-Bay and I wait for the X-Mystique/X-Plosion to become available again here :D

EDIT: Heh, it seems that that's the same chipset as used on the X-Mystique (http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/x-mystique/). Go figure!
Is that a picture of your soundcard? I know there are other 8768s that do not have DDL capability. Have you tried installing the X-Mystique's drivers?