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Old 12-04-02, 02:02 AM   #1
Cotita
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Default nforce 2 misinformation

It seems history is repeating itself with the nforce 2

When the nforce 1 came out, several review sites never made clear wether the motherboard they were reviewing, had onboard 5.1 channel sound or only AC97 audio.

Something similar is happening nowadays.

Several reviews don't make clear if the nforce mobo they are reviewing, supports soundstorm or only 6 channel AC97 audio.

It becomes even more confusing, because some motherboards have the MCP-T chipset but do not support Dolby Digital encoding. Case in point, the Asus A7N8X, which only supports 6 channels AC97 audio but not dolby digital encoding. Only the A7N8X Deluxe has soundstorm support.

To add to the confusion, some reviewers state that the nforce MCP-T has an integrated dolby digital DECODER (again since the nforce 1), which is COMPLETELY FALSE. The MCP-T only ENCODES to dolby digital and then its decoded by an external Dolby Digital decoder.

I think that unless you have or plan tu buy 5.1 speakers with an external decoder like the midiland s4-8200, it makes no difference if you have either the MCP or the MCP-T
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Last edited by Cotita; 12-04-02 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 12-04-02, 09:46 AM   #2
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Your right about the confusion...

Check out this review if you havent already. Answered some of my questions anyway.

http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/...e2-dec2k2.html
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Old 12-04-02, 10:47 AM   #3
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Actually this is one of the most confusing.

I really don't know if its really a A7N8X or the Deluxe version,

"The following controllers are integrated:

audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio inputs/outputs and for SPDIF;
2 network controllers based on the chipset's capabilities and supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX each;
Serial ATA controller based on the Silicon Image Sil3112ACT144 chip supporting 2 devices"

The normal version doesn't have 2 network controllers, and on the other hand, the review doesn't clarify if the motherboard supports soundstorm.

looking at the box is seems as its the normal version, but I'm still confused.

One more thing. The pictures in asus site of both the normal and deluxe versions are identical. Contributing even more to the confusion.

Update:
Looking at the features comparison in the nforce roundup, it seems the asus board is indeed the deluxe version. Still don't know for sure.
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Old 12-04-02, 10:52 AM   #4
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I would have to say that is the deluze model because of the SATA, 2 network controllers, and the front audio inputs/outputs and for SPDIF...

The "vanilla" model has none of these features.....

But you are certainly right...nobody seems to be clear about the sound ( let-alone test it ).....You might see something a bit clearer on nV News in the future....


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Old 12-04-02, 12:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: nforce 2 misinformation

Great info...thanks.

Can you list other good 5.1 sets with decoders built in?
If a set has AC3 decoder built in, does it mean that it has DTS decoder too?

And is DTS encoding also included with Soundstormed Nforce2s?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cotita
It seems history is repeating itself with the nforce 2

When the nforce 1 came out, several review sites never made clear wether the motherboard they were reviewing, had onboard 5.1 channel sound or only AC97 audio.

Something similar is happening nowadays.

Several reviews don't make clear if the nforce mobo they are reviewing, supports soundstorm or only 6 channel AC97 audio.

It becomes even more confusing, because some motherboards have the MCP-T chipset but do not support Dolby Digital encoding. Case in point, the Asus A7N8X, which only supports 6 channels AC97 audio but not dolby digital encoding. Only the A7N8X Deluxe has soundstorm support.

To add to the confusion, some reviewers state that the nforce MCP-T has an integrated dolby digital DECODER (again since the nforce 1), which is COMPLETELY FALSE. The MCP-T only ENCODES to dolby digital and then its decoded by an external Dolby Digital decoder.

I think that unless you have or plan tu buy 5.1 speakers with an external decoder like the midiland s4-8200, it makes no difference if you have either the MCP or the MCP-T
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Old 12-04-02, 07:12 PM   #6
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Any motherboard with integrated 6 channel sound (even ac97 6ch audio) is able to play Dolby digital or DTS sound using powerDVDXP or WinDVD.

The Dolby Digital or DTS stream is decoded in software and in my experience sounds every bit as good as an external decoder.

As far as I know only the audigy2 can decode dolby digital EX in hardware, every other 5.1 or greater soundcard decodes Dolby digital or DTS streams by their drivers (soundblaster live 5.1 for example) which very much means its done by the cpu.

If you want 5.1 sound for gaming, then your best bet is getting either a nforce2 board with soundstorm support or an Audigy1/2
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Old 12-04-02, 11:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cotita
Any motherboard with integrated 6 channel sound (even ac97 6ch audio) is able to play Dolby digital or DTS sound using powerDVDXP or WinDVD.

The Dolby Digital or DTS stream is decoded in software and in my experience sounds every bit as good as an external decoder.

As far as I know only the audigy2 can decode dolby digital EX in hardware, every other 5.1 or greater soundcard decodes Dolby digital or DTS streams by their drivers (soundblaster live 5.1 for example) which very much means its done by the cpu.

If you want 5.1 sound for gaming, then your best bet is getting either a nforce2 board with soundstorm support or an Audigy1/2
I'll go back to my ISA SB compatible sound card before I buy another Creative crap.

Since only dolby digital encoding is done on the nForce2 motherboards, I guess the decoding is going to be done externally, right? I don't want to invest in another home theater system for my room(already have one in the living room)...so what would you suggest for PC speakers with AC3 decoder built in - apart from the ones you already mentioned.

Links are helpful - ofcourse if its not much trouble.
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Old 12-05-02, 02:47 AM   #8
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If you want to watch DVDs, nothing beats a dedicated home theater. No pc speakers can match the quality of a good home theather.

If gaming is your thing, then you don't really need an external decoder. The AC97 6channel audio of the nforce2 meets or beats any dedicated 5.1+ soundcard.

Toms hardware and extretech recently made 5.1 speakers comparisons.

Also check 3dsoundsurge for news and reviews on soundcards and speakers.

There are a lot of options to choose from, starting with midiland, skipping creative (you don't seem to like them, although my brother has the inspire 5300 and they sound ok) logitech and last but certainly not least klipsch.
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Old 12-05-02, 05:35 AM   #9
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Deja Vu all over again. And yes, Caveat Emptor. When I got my nForce board last February, I was very careful to get an Asus A7N266-E and not an Asus A7N266. If it doesn't explicitely specify...one might get stuck with something other then one expects

BTW, there can be times one might prefer watching a DVD on the computer (and yes I do have a 32" TV vs a 19" monitor). Basically when watching something in a foreign language with subtitles. It can be easier to read the subtitles while watching from in front of the computer screen (and not very far away from it) I've found, then when sitting back watching TV. Also with some things, the sub-titles are off rather fast (necessitating navigating back on occassion) especially if the speaker tends to speak faster then English is normally spoken.

Last edited by Feanor; 12-05-02 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 12-05-02, 05:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Feanor
BTW, there can be times one might prefer watching a DVD on the computer (and yes I do have a 32" TV vs a 19" monitor). Basically when watching something in a foreign language with subtitles. It can be easier to read the subtitles while watching from in front of the computer screen (and not very far away from it) I've found, then when sitting back watching TV. Also with some things, the sub-titles are off rather fast (necessitating navigating back on occassion) especially if the speaker tends to speak faster then English is normally spoken.
that seems like more of an issue of the quality of the subtitling job than anything else.
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