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What Is The Cheapest nVidia Card With Audio Pass-through?

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by Octavean, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Octavean

    Octavean Maha Guru

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    Like the title says, I’m looking for a cheap nVidia video card that will do audio pass-through so that I can use a single HDMI cable for Blu-Ray, HD DVD and H.264 (AVC) decode.

    I came across an 8500GT for $16.99 after rebate but I don’t think the 8500 series can do the audio pass-through even if it does have robust decode.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Glidefan

    Glidefan Don Booze Staff Member

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    I think the cheapest nvidia with audio pass through is the GTX260 but i'm not that sure. the 9800GTX also supports it i think, but i believe it costs more.
     
  3. daveid

    daveid Ancient Guru

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    my 8600gts does, it has the same cable to connect internally (it even came with two cables, one that connects to your sound card internally, and one that connects to the external SP/DIF of your sound card) as the newer/higher end cards from nvidia do.
     
  4. Octavean

    Octavean Maha Guru

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    Thanks, but what about the 9500GT which can be had as low as $69.99 here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130378

    http://arstechnica.com/journals/har...00gt-9800gt-9800gtx-cards-hit-the-streets?bub
     

  5. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814261001

    Not the cheapest card but EXCELLENT for HD Media center type computers, i currently have it in mine and it does have audo pass through over s/pdif through external (from sound card (typically onboard) s/pdif to the graphics card by a cord outside the case)
    or internal from your motherboard (if it has a s/pdif connector on the motherboard) to the graphics card

    2 DVI slots, 1 HDMI slot, and 1 display port (like HDMI but open source and doesn't cost manufacturers to pay per each one used on devices) that is slowly going into the market

    Like i said, not the cheapest one ever, but excellent performance, will handle any res of movie you throw at it, and has everything you'll ever need
     
  6. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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  7. Octavean

    Octavean Maha Guru

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    Thanks, I’m looking for the cheapest though. Preferably single slot cooling and quiet if not passively cooled. This is for a Vista Media Center PC that will never see any gaming only NTSC, ATSC, QAM, Blu-ray, HD DVD, H.264 (AVC TS files via Hauppauge HD PVR) and so on. I’d like to just use an HDMI cable and get audio to the HDTV along with video. Also I’d like the card to be powered by the PCIe slot only.

    The HDTV only has one HDMI port so I figured I would buy an HDMI four port switcher but in order to do that all devices must carry audio over the HDMI port.

    I can live with 1080i only for now especially for a cheap card if it meets the requirements. I have a Sapphire HD 3470 which is OK but I wanted to try an nVidia card if I can find one cheap enough.

    Naturally I’d like it if it came with all the required adaptors although I think I have an extra ATI DVI to HDMI adaptor. I don’t really want to mix and match like that though.
     
  8. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Well, there's this card

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102753

    Though it's low profile, not sure if your computer is low profile so probably won't work, however if it does, it has HDMI and at the very end i'm 90% sure i see a s/pdif port for audio-pass through

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500049
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125228

    Both come with all the cables, not native HDMI though again and not the cheapest, you could try the 9500 GT you found however that one doesn't come with all the cables, you would need to buy (unless you already have) the s/pdif cable and whatnot

    Other then that really there's not really any of them cheaper that will suite your needs really, without causing too many problems, too many drop backs, and buying a bunch of other things
     
  9. Octavean

    Octavean Maha Guru

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  10. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    That one would work, however as far as i can see it has absolutely no cables, so the cable you would need is a s/pdif cable for inside the computer (not the external cable, they are two different cables), and then, ofcourse, the price.

    The other problem with 8 series cards btw, just so you know, it has purevideo v1 and not v2, which directly affects HD videos and blu-ray, 9 series has purevideo v2, they also help the performance when watching those videos
     

  11. Octavean

    Octavean Maha Guru

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    This MSI card seems to have a S/PDIF cable port on the card surface mount.

    MSI N8400GS-TD256 GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail $32.99

    You can zoom in on it in the pic. But no cable or adaptor is included.

    The 8500 and 8600 series do indeed have Purevideo v2 support but I am unsure of the 8400 series (I think yes). The 8800GTX/GTS G80 only has V1 whereas the 8800GT/GTS G92 have V2. I have a spare 8800GTS 640MB but that’s no good for the task for a number of reasons. I also have an 8800GT 512MB but I don’t want to use that in the system either,…..no audio pass-through either.
     
  12. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    That card would do alright, however no native HDMI support (1080i), and i forgot that cards 8800 GS and lower have purevideo 2 lol woops, one major thing i will say about the 8400 GS though is that it really sucks in performance, i know that you're only going to be playing videos and whatnot but 1080p does take a little bit of performance for the graphics card (or 1080i), so i'm not sure how well that one would do with it, it might do fine, i'm not sure
     
  13. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Alright i knew i wasn't wrong about purevideo lol, i mean i was wrong but i wasn't wrong in my thinking

    most 8 series cards have purevideo 1, 8800 GS and lower have purevideo 2, however, this is where my thinking came in

    9500 GT, 9600 GT, 9800 GTX+ and possibly the 9800 GT, aswell as GTX 260 and 280, have purevideo 3, not a huge difference in it though so

     
  14. Octavean

    Octavean Maha Guru

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    PureVideo V3 sounds good to me even if it isn’t much better then V2. I’m expecting to do more H.264 AVC decode then anything else but every little bit helps. The Sapphire HD 3470 actually does a great job of providing stutter free decode even on a relatively low powered system but there are little oddities I find annoying here and there that’s unrelated to decode. The Sapphire only cost me ~$45.99 though.

    Yeah, really don’t care about gaming on this particular system though because it is an old dedicated Media Center PC that does nothing but entertain via a remote on a HDTV. The system specs are as follows:

    HP m1070n
    Intel 520 2.8GHz P4 HTT (original hardware)
    1GB PC3200 DDR (upgraded from 512MB about to upgrade to 2GB)
    ASUS PTGD1-LA (original hardware)
    Sapphire HD 3470 (upgraded from free X1650 Pro, upgraded from free X1300 Pro upgraded from original X300SE)
    ASUS Blackbird NTSC tuner (original hardware)
    HDTV Wonder (added but about to remove)
    HDHomeRun (great piece of hardware QAM mode 68 channel map limit though currently get 140 QAM channels)
    NEC ND-3500 DVD+/-R/RW (upgraded from ND-2600)
    320GB HDD (about to upgrade to Seagate SATA 720GB HDD)
    HP Media Smart Case
    Media Center Edition 2005 (originally a MCE 2004 PC which was eligible for a free upgrade to MCE 2005 on DVD, will upgrade to Vista Home Premium, have spare license on the shelf)

    Also have:
    Xbox 360 extender
    Xbox 360 HD DVD USB Drive
    LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray/HD DVD SATA Drive with External Enclosure SATA to USB
    Hauppauge HD PVR (capable of recording HDTV via component output of almost any device such as cable set to box or satellite set top box)
    And a few other knickknacks.

    I’m actually surprised at how well this old hardware is able to keep up but its all due to the video cards robust decode prowess. My other systems are self built and have better specs.

    You know what, I think I’ll just go with a 9500GT that I know has an S/PDIF output and worry about getting the cable and the DVI to HDMI adaptor later.

    I think this one looks good:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130378

    I like eVGA in part due to their excellent support and 90 day step up program. My eVGA 8800GT 512MB SC card died and they replaced it with a new shrink-wrapped card. Shrink-wrapped !!! With new cooler and new BIOS.

    I have heard a few reports from actual users that the 8400GS is sufficient for Blu-ray decode but I think I’ll shoot a little higher.
     
  15. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Sounds good, sounds like the best bet :)
     

  16. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    You know, i was thinking, there's another possibility that you may not have thought about, you could just get a new motherboard with HDMI on it, not sure what you currently have in your computer (like if it's regular DDR or DDR2 etc.) but here

    For AMD

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128328
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186141

    For Intel

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138096
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500004

    Not sure if that helps you at all :)
     
  17. *Rogue*

    *Rogue* Master Guru

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    My 96GT Sonic has 2 standard 2 DVI ports, HDMI port, a SPDIF port for audio. And a DisplayPort too if thats any help
    Pics at bottom of page here
     
  18. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah. i already recommended that to him, i have one in my HD media center for my tv right now too and completely love it, but it's too much money for him he says
     
  19. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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