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teffmyster

Best Soundcard!

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I don't understand why you're routing the sound from the PC to external whatever, via your monitor.

 

No I want to use the same set of speakers for my foxtel as with my pc. So i need my speakers to go into my monitor and my soundboard so i can just switch between them (which i already have with my stereo speakers). But when i get surround i can only do optical.

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So flicking the video input toggle on your monitor also switches sound?

 

If you're getting an amplifier, surely you can use that to switch audio, if not video?

 

I'm a little unsure how things work with HDMI cables these days, but in my head, the setup would be something like:

 

Computer sound -> external amplifier

computer video -> monitor

 

foxtel sound -> external amplifier

foxtel video -> monitor

 

amplifier -> speakers

 

 

If the amplifier does video switching too, and it can handle what a PC sends out, then you'd have both video signals going into that, too. If you want to see/listen to stuff on the PC, you press whatever button/channel your PC is plugged into; if you want to see/listen to stuff from foxtel, you press the button/channel you have that plugged into.

 

Another option, of course, is to get a tv card, and have foxtel running into that so you can either watch it fullscreen from your computer, or watch it in a window and also do other stuff at the same time.

 

 

Assuming, of course, that I understand what it is you want to do.

Edited by Nich...

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hmmm where would the optical cables go... and back to the original topic, what would be the best sound card for that..

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You'd have the optical cable go from your soundcard to the amplifier.

 

The whole point of digital out, whether it be optical or not, is to not use the cheap DACs on the soundcard - or the motherboard. You send the digital signal to the amplifier and let it's DACs (which will hopefully be of better quality than the ones on most soundcards) do the conversion.

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Get the D2X as there's no real reason to limit yourself with the DX2.

 

But you really should do the legwork yourself to figure out if that's what you want.

 

Rob.

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teffmyster, can you please stop with all this BEST of the BEST of the BESTEST BESTIVE rubbish.

 

Do your OWN research as to what card suits your purpose best; THEN if you run into trouble, ask questions.

 

Do not throw entire data sheets at as and say EXPLAN PLZ!

 

Its just coming across as a bit ignorant as it seems like you aren't paying attention to a lot of our posts.

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Just to confuse matters even more teffmyster, or perhaps it will make your decision a little easier, if you want a sound card that will output an encoded digital bitstream then all this swappable oamp / you can stick your wang in that politics is about as useful to you as a shot gun to the face. These features are specifically designed for analogue output, if what you want is digital output then the quality of the sound card is far less important simply because the majority of cost in a sound card is providing digital to analogue conversion. What you need for digital output:

-Real time dd/dts encoding, that is the sound card will produce digital bitstreams on the fly so you can get 5.1 out of games/music as well as dvd's

-Excellent driver support and stability, basically you just want it to work with out blue screens, etc

-Any extra sound processing features like eax etc

 

That's about it because everything stays digital from processing to output, you don't need to worry about all the other issues that go along with analogue output. So much so if your motherboard has the ability to encode dd/dts in real time then it will provide you with as close to the digital output of the $200-300 cards being recommended thus far, though you'll probably miss out on eax with the onboard option. Having had a look at your motherboard I see it has dts connect which does real time dts encoding = forget about the sound card, put the money you were going to spend on it towards buying yourself a new amp + speakers or logitech z5500's which ever route takes your fancy.

 

There is however a few issues that you need to keep in mind going down this path:

-Should you upgrade your system at some point in the future, you'll have to either buy a motherboard with dd/dts encoding again or you'll need to buy a sound card with the functionality [$100].

-The digital to analogue conversion whilst not occurring on the sound card does have to happen at some point, in this configuration it would happen in the speaker system [z5500's] or receiver [home theatre system]. Therefore i'd probably avoid the z5500's and go with a good quality reciever instead, but it depends on how much your prepared to spend.

Edited by m0zes

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Just to confuse matters even more teffmyster, or perhaps it will make your decision a little easier, if you want a sound card that will output an encoded digital bitstream then all this swappable oamp / you can stick your wang in that politics is about as useful to you as a shot gun to the face. These features are specifically designed for analogue output, if what you want is digital output then the quality of the sound card is far less important simply because the majority of cost in a sound card is providing digital to analogue conversion. What you need for digital output:

-Real time dd/dts encoding, that is the sound card will produce digital bitstreams on the fly so you can get 5.1 out of games/music as well as dvd's

-Excellent driver support and stability, basically you just want it to work with out blue screens, etc

-Any extra sound processing features like eax etc

 

That's about it because everything stays digital from processing to output, you don't need to worry about all the other issues that go along with analogue output. So much so if your motherboard has the ability to encode dd/dts in real time then it will provide you with as close to the digital output of the $200-300 cards being recommended thus far, though you'll probably miss out on eax with the onboard option. Having had a look at your motherboard I see it has dts connect which does real time dts encoding = forget about the sound card, put the money you were going to spend on it towards buying yourself a new amp + speakers or logitech z5500's which ever route takes your fancy.

 

There is however a few issues that you need to keep in mind going down this path:

-Should you upgrade your system at some point in the future, you'll have to either buy a motherboard with dd/dts encoding again or you'll need to buy a sound card with the functionality [$100].

-The digital to analogue conversion whilst not occurring on the sound card does have to happen at some point, in this configuration it would happen in the speaker system [z5500's] or receiver [home theatre system]. Therefore i'd probably avoid the z5500's and go with a good quality reciever instead, but it depends on how much your prepared to spend.

Thnx for that reply, yes it is slightly confusing lol but now that i see how complicated it is to get digital, is it really worth it?

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There's nothing particularly complicated about digital, in many ways it's actually easier than analogue. The big difference lies in where you need to spend money to get high quality output:

Digital - spend more on receiver/headphone amp as they will be doing the digital to analogue conversion

Analogue - spend more on a sound card as it will be doing the digital to analogue conversion

 

Forget about wanting to run your foxtel box for the time being as it's only confusing you, stick with the basics which is your pc, in which case it's a question of should i go with an analogue or digital output system? The answer there depends on many factors, like budget, listening preferences, games/music etc. The main issue for you will be the desire to have 5.1, in terms of getting the best quality audio output from games in 5.1 analogue is still the best option, why? Digital bistreams are compressed and analogue isn't, think of it as the difference between running a 128kb mp3 and running the audio straight from the cd or other lossless storage format. You can still use digital, just keep in mind that you'll be loosing out in terms of audio play back quality. Okay so try this on for size, give us a list of everything you want to do audio wise with this pc, ie music/dvd/blu-ray/games etc give each a % weighting of what's more important to you/what you'll be using the system for more ie games 70%, music 20%, dvd's 10% and then we can make some suggestions as to the options you have available.

Edited by m0zes

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There's nothing particularly complicated about digital, in many ways it's actually easier than analogue. The big difference lies in where you need to spend money to get high quality output:

Digital - spend more on receiver/headphone amp as they will be doing the digital to analogue conversion

Analogue - spend more on a sound card as it will be doing the digital to analogue conversion

 

Forget about wanting to run your foxtel box for the time being as it's only confusing you, stick with the basics which is your pc, in which case it's a question of should i go with an analogue or digital output system? The answer there depends on many factors, like budget, listening preferences, games/music etc. The main issue for you will be the desire to have 5.1, in terms of getting the best quality audio output from games in 5.1 analogue is still the best option, why? Digital bistreams are compressed and analogue isn't, think of it as the difference between running a 128kb mp3 and running the audio straight from the cd or other lossless storage format. You can still use digital, just keep in mind that you'll be loosing out in terms of audio play back quality. Okay so try this on for size, give us a list of everything you want to do audio wise with this pc, ie music/dvd/blu-ray/games etc give each a % weighting of what's more important to you/what you'll be using the system for more ie games 70%, music 20%, dvd's 10% and then we can make some suggestions as to the options you have available.

KK thnx. And btw to everyone who is getting annoyed at my about my sometimes stupid questions, i did say bare with me because i know nothing about audio.

 

 

Anyway heres the list

 

 

60% Games

20% Movies (probs blu-ray in the future)

20% Music

 

This is without thinking about my foxtel.

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Can I make a real suggestion that will save you money in the long run and overall lead you to better sound?

 

Get a speaker setup that has OPTICAL or DIGITAL input.

 

most soundcards (even most motherboards these days) have some form of DIGITAL OUT.

 

digital signals dont suffer from 'quality' like analogue does. the digital signal is either present and makes sound or not, and if a couple of bits drop here and there, usually the sound processor can either fix it, or it wont be noticible.

 

remember that every hop\modification\format change is a huge quality loss.

 

Digital Sound File -> Analogue (soundcard) -> Amp (soundcard) -> Amp speakes (over an alalogue cable, likely unshielded) -> ears.

 

vs

 

Digital Sound File -> Speakers decoder\amp (via digital\optical cable, so no quality loss) -> ears

 

 

If you want something that will 'last you' get some decent optical speakers.

 

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/speakers...24&cl=au,en

 

(iGNORE THAT PRICE, ONLY $399 @ MSY.com.au)

 

They're not the best, but damn are they good for their price point. this way, any PC in the future can run them at max quality without needing a 'sound card' and you can also run them for a home cinema setup if you ever decide to get new PC speakers.

 

They're expensive, yes, but this is the smart choice. check your motherboard had optical or digital out, then grab some speakers.

 

If you dont currently have a digital out sound card, get the cheapest you can. this is digital, a $20 sound card is just as good as a $999 sound card when it comes to sending s tream of 1's and 0's for the speakers decoder to read. they send the same thing.

 

Please be sensible about this dude.

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KK thnx. And btw to everyone who is getting annoyed at my about my sometimes stupid questions, i did say bare with me because i know nothing about audio.

We're happy to bear with you, but the problem is that you seem to be expecting us to tell you the answer without attempting to put on the "problem solving" hat yourself.

 

Rob.

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So you guys are basically saying there is no use of a soundcard if your motherboard has digital out..

Yep thats exactly what im saying.

 

Think of it like writing vs typing.

 

if i was to send you a printed page of "01010101" and a handwritten page of the same (obviously handwritten is messier, less quality) you can still then read it and say "zero one zero one" out loud.

 

digital is the same, it doesnt care what quality the signal is, as long as the signal reaches the processor, in this case, built into the speakers.

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I think it comes down to what you expect.

 

If you're mostly playing games, and only occasionally listening to music or movies, you probably don't need 'the best soundcard'.

 

It also depends on if you can even hear what spending lots of money on audio is going to give you. A lot of people can't, and just end up wasting money because they have to have the best no matter what.

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The thing my sound card is dead but my motherboard still has a digital out so i dont need to get a new soundcard then. I just need to focus on the amp and speakers (I need an amp so i can switch from pc to foxtel).

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You don't need an amp to switch signals.

 

If you went for some kin of integrated amp/speaker combo, similar to what a lot of PC speakers these days do, you could easily insert a switch in the chain, and flick that back an forth to select PC or foxtel input.

 

We have (including foxtel, a VCR and a DVD player) around 6 set-top boxes in the lounge. We have a mechanical switch sitting among them all so they don't have to be daisy-chained through each other, and we can watch one thing while taping another.

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