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Thread: Sound card advice

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    Sound card advice

    I am currently using onboard sound, which is not a problem because i'm mainly using for movies and with AC3 using the optical out and the amp does the processing.
    I have a pretty good home cinema system (onkyo 505 and Tannoy FX5.1), and so the onboard sound was doing minimal work and everything sounds good in surround sound.

    Now i want to use for games every now and again also, so optical will not do for surround sound and onboard analogue sound is a bit cack.
    I'm not willing to spend too much cos I'm not a massive PC gamer which is why the Xtreme audio PCI-E caught my eye.

    Question is I know its processing isn't as good as the Xtreme music/Gamer, so will it still let me send an optical signal out and let the amp do the processing for movies?

    And if it does do i have to keep switching back and forth between analogue and digital or is a signal given out on both constantly?

    Finally is there an alternative thats good for games and movies. Not fussed at all about music.

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    Re: Sound card advice

    While I am generally a proponent of the Creative X-Fi series for movies and games, it may not be ideal for your setup as the optical out on the models I am aware of are all stereo. It may be worth looking into the Azuentech Prelude though, I seem to remember reading that it support 5.1 via the optical out (I've not really looked into it as I am using analogue surround and only need the optical out if I one day decide to get a headphone DAC for music - stereo - listening).

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    Re: Sound card advice

    the Prelude is WAAAY too expensive.

    Isn't digital generally just a passthrough. as in no processing takes place? why would the sound card reduce the original 5.1 to stereo?

    It seems the onboard sound is the only affordable card that has the functions i want, I just have to compromise the quality on the games I suppose.

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    Re: Sound card advice

    I just read this on creatives website-

    "A. Connecting to AV Receiver

    It is strongly recommended that you connect your Sound Blaster to the analog multi-channel inputs instead of digital input if your AV receiver has both digital input as well as analog multi-channel inputs.

    The analog input jacks on some AV receivers may be labeled as DVD input or DVD Multi-channel.

    Mutli-channel input

    To connect a Sound Blaster card to a multi-channel AV receiver, use a cable similar to the Creative Home Theater cable.

    If you are going to connect from the Digital Out on your Sound Blaster to the Digital Input on your receiver, you will only receive multi channel audio when your are playing DVD games, or DVD movies, or standalone AC3 files. You will only hear stereo (front left and right channels) when playing MP3, MID, AVI, WAC, or WMA "


    That means that DVD's mkv's and AC3 should come out in surround sound as it will work as a pass through right?

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