Can my audio be any better sent from my GPU via HDMI?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ross, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    Hello fellow audio guru, I'm a novice with inputs / outputs on sound cards and devices. I need advice on an idea I have... :stewpid:

    I currently have an ASUS 23.6'' LCD (VH242H I think) that has HDMI input, S/PDIF out, line in, and a green out audio port.

    (Assume that I have hooked the optical S/PDIF cable from my GTX 260 to the pins on my motherboard - I haven't done this yet, but I know where the pins are and have a cable)

    With that assumption in mind, my question is this - If I run a DVI to HDMI cable to the ASUS LCD from my GTX 260 and hook my existing Altec Lansing speakers to the line out on the ASUS VH242H LCD, will my audio be better than just plugging the Altec's 3.5mm audio cable into my mobo's green out port?

    Phew, sorry I'm not good at explaining my question well. (I've been studying too much today I'm fried).

    Something tells me my audio would not be any better, or possibly worse with the above configuration. I used to have my PS3 audio pass through HDMI to this ASUS LCD, and I ran my Altec speakers off the line out audio port on the LCD. I think my PS3 sounded better running the audio through the HDMI... but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I should just try?

    Any info or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. deltatux

    deltatux Ancient Guru

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    Last check NVIDIA cards must route its should by plugging in an SPDIF cable from the soundcard/chip to the video card. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

    deltatux
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Yes just plain S/Pdif standards over a HDMI cable...not real HDMI based audio.

    Usually you would require a receiver to accept audio from an HDMI cable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  4. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I think I failed at getting my question across though.

    I currently have my Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers plugged into my mobo's green audio out port.

    Would my audio be better if I ran my audio to the ASUS LCD by doing DVI to HDMI from my GTX 260??? (I would have the optical S/PDIF cable from my GTX 260 plugged into the correct pins on my mobo of course).

    Basically, my UD3P's Realtek ALC889A would send the audio through the GTX 260 to my ASUS LCD's HDMI input. I could then plug my Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers into my ASUS LCD's green audio out port and grab the audio that is going to the HDMI port. The big question is - Will this be better than just plugging my Altec Lansing 2.1's into my mobo's 3.5mm green audio out port?

    Thank you ROBSCIX, I understand that this is not going to be "HDMI audio". I'm really curious as to whether it would provide better audio compared to the way I have my speakers plugged in right now.
     

  5. dcx_badass

    dcx_badass Ancient Guru

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    It won't make a difference as ultimately you are converting to 3.5mm analogue anyway. If anything it will be worse as the PC sound card will be better at doing it (converting to analogue) than the TVs audio hardware.
     
  6. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    HDMI has both audio and video in on the cable. You would usually connect this to a receiver and take process the audio that way.
    You are going to send the A/V to the LCD and connect the speaker to the LCDs audio output port.
    It would depend on how the audio is handled on the LCD monitor.
    If you connect the speakers to the LCD it MAY provide better sound over the onboard. There is really no way to know without testing it out. You have the DAC built in the onboard and the DAC in your LCD so which is the higher qulaity of of them is what you need to know. I would just try them both out, but you may notice no difference at all.

    I would suggest you get yourself a good soundcard...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  7. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    ROBSCIX, thanks for the reply.

    I went ahead and tried my audio to the ASUS LCD by doing DVI to HDMI from my GTX 260. I wasn't able to hear a significant difference in quality. My ASUS LCD didn't allow the Altec 2.1's to get near as loud for some reason too (even @ 100% volume in ASUS OSD). I've gone ahead and switched back to just plugging my Altec Lansing 2.1's into my mobo's green audio out port.

    ROBSCIX, I've been looking at audio cards for the past couple of days now. I listen to music a lot on this PC and I'd like to hear my current music collection at its best. I'm also guilty of gaming quite a bit. I'd like to be able to hear new sounds in games and not miss out on extra sound detail because I don't have a good sound card.

    Now, the bad news - Don't laugh too hard. I'm currently use this speaker setup -

    Altec Lansing BXR1121 - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E16836113014

    When I game I use my Plantronics Gamecom 1 Headset -
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106069

    I usually listen to my music using my headset in the wee hours (don't want to awaken roomate / neighbors).

    Would it be worth it to snag a used X-FI Xtreme Music for $40 despite currently having the bargain speakers I have? Or... should I put that $40 towards new speakers?

    I'm in no way set on an X-FI Xtreme Music. I'm vendor neutral when it comes to things, but I do like the best I can get for my money while satisfying my needs.

    If its worth getting an audio card with my current setup, are there any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!

    /edit
    I should probably note, I have used a dedicated sound card before. Back when I had my Abit NF7 I made the choice of a SB Live! 5.1 using the kX audio drivers over my onboard NVIDIA soundstorm. I was able to tell a difference between the onboard and using the SB Live! 5.1 card.

    I wonder what my SB Live! 5.1 card sounds like compared to this ALC889A Realtek chip.... hehe
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  8. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The card for $40 would make more noticeable upgrade then putting it towards speakers.
     
  9. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    ROBSCIX, thanks for the input.

    I'm trying to decide between 3 sound cards right now.

    1. AuzenTech X-Raider 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
    2. ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Audio Card - Retail
    3. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

    Considering my current audio setup and needs, which card will be best all around? I'm assuming the X-Fi XtremeMusic will be best for gaming. Is the Auzen better than the ASUS for gaming?

    I'm leaning towards the Auzen at the moment - I've never replaced Op Amps before but that would be awesome to do down the road. I know someone that could do it for me (I'm not skillful enough at soldering :pipe:) Is replacing Op Amps a cheaper alternative to buying a better sound card? [/edit - Just read your sticky ROBSCIX - "Have another do it... Modding is a great way to improve the sound quality of your card without actually buying another card." - I think that answers my question. ;-]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  10. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    If gaming is your main concern go for the X-Music. It has a hardware DSP and full support for EAX 1,2,3,4,5 and OpenAL.
     

  11. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    ROBSCIX, thank you for your input. I really do value your suggestions.

    I just bought an X-Fi Xtreme Music SB0460 off of eBay for $42. I'm really anxious to hear the difference between it and my ALC889A.

    I'm sorry to bombard you with stupid questions, but these are my last few.

    My current Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers - Altec Lansing BXR1121 - Is it a bad idea to plug my Plantronics headset into the headphone jack on the Altec's? When I get the X-Fi card, will I lose quality on my sound doing this?

    Should I run a front panel audio connector to the X-Fi card when I receive it? Then, instead of plugging the headset into my Altec 2.1's just plug it into the front panel headphone jack?

    I have a Scythe KST01-BK-3.5 "Kaze Station 3.5" Multi Function Panel in one of my Lian-Li PC-K62 5 1/4'' bays (I used a 3.5'' to 5 1/4'' cage). Anyways, I was stupid and didn't think I would ever use the front panel audio on it and gave the audio cable connector to a good friend (I thought it would throw off my clean cable management :cool:). It turns out my friend's dog chewed up the audio cable that I now could use :bang:

    Last stupid question - Is there a way to get an HD audio cable connector like the one that is included with the Scythe KST01-BK-3.5 "Kaze Station 3.5" Multi Function Panel?

    I'm thinking maybe I could use the HD audio cable that is included with my LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62. Think it is possible to unplug the HD audio cable from the header on top of the Lian Li PC-K62 ???
     
  12. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    I just read through a recent thread made here, and it looks like I'll need an X-Tap cable to do front panel audio with the X-Fi. The X-Tap cables are expensive! I paid only $42 for the X-Fi, and I can't rationalize paying almost the same amount for a front panel audio connector.

    http://www.x-tap.com/
     
  13. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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    No you won't, wouldn't be any different than using an extension cable for the headphones.

    Another way to get a cable with that connector on it is if you have access (or can find) an old Dell that came with a Creative card in it. That is the main reason that connector is on Creative's cards, so they could be connected to the front panel on OEM computers (when was the last time you saw a Dell or such that didn't have working front panel jacks regardless of what it used for a sound card).

    I managed to get one myself that way from a tossed out Dell, only problem is my case is one of those that has static when using the front panel connectors (works perfectly when connected to the card's jack(s)).
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  14. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    Ahhhh! This is great news. I didn't want to have to pay almost as much as I did on the X-Fi Xtreme Music just for a proprietary front panel audio cable.

    So, plugging my headset into the Altec Lansing 2.1's won't affect features being used like CMSS on the X-Fi Xtreme Music card?
     
  15. stormy

    stormy Ancient Guru

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    Not that I've ever noticed when I plug my headphones into the jack on my X-530's.
     

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