Onboard digital (optical or coax) vs. x-fi

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biglilsteve

New Member
#1
Hi all, I recently ordered a set of logitech z-5500's and I'm trying to figure out the best way to get the signal to them.

I already know that the onboard analog sound on my ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe is trash since I am using it for my current Altec Lansing fx6021's, but I was wondering if either the onboard optical or coax outputs might be a viable alternatives to spending the $130+ a high end sound card like Creative's x-fi...
 
u8myufo

u8myufo

New Member
#2
Either will do you, dont get bogged down with tooooo much techy stuff, a half decent coaxial cable will still give you the same result as an optical. I got a £1200 surround amp in my living room and if I use optical or coaxial I cant tell any difference.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#3
thanks!...i figured optical and coaxial would be pretty similar to each other. i was more so asking if the onboard digital audio output on my motherboard would be a viable alternative to purchasing an expensive sound card...
 
u8myufo

u8myufo

New Member
#4
Right no probs. Its worth remembering though that whichever one you use will only carry a digital stereo signal, some people like to hear their music in surround sound, I dont, as stereo is the way its supposed to be. So if you want surround sound then you will have to feed it into a processor so as to feed it to 5.1 channels.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#5
So can anyone speculate the difference in quality between the onboard optical sound from my motherboard and the analog sound from a high end X-Fi card? Common sense tells me that optical should sound better than analog, but since the optical is from onboard integrated sound processor, I'm wondering if it might not sound as good as good...
 
u8myufo

u8myufo

New Member
#6
Ok Biglilsteve its like this. First off your motherboard might have an onboard sound processor but thats as far as it goes,all it does is give you sound, if it was capable of sending out a 5.1 signal then you would also have five outputs to go directly to speakers, as an optical cable does not carry a 5.1 surround signal.Your speakers do not input 5.1 surround signals, they will only process and output to 5.1 channels when playing a DVD that is coded with it. Therefore like I previously mentioned it does not matter if you use a coaxial or optical link to your speakers as they both carry digital signals. Check out this link and scroll down to the optical cable section.
http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/34579/207261.html
Hope this is of some help.
 
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krupted

krupted

New Member
#8
u8myufo said:
if it was capable of sending out a 5.1 signal then you would also have five outputs to go directly to speakers, as an optical cable does not carry a 5.1 surround signal.
i think you misspoke. optical audio cables can carry digital 5.1 im pretty sure...
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#9
krupted said:
onboard sound may be ok enough for some, until they hear what a good pci soundcard can do. i suggest a cmi8788 chipset card and be done with it, it will rival most home theater stereos- and give you true dolby digital output (no creative cards can do that, they use their own proprietary positioning garbage called EAX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829127002
now i really wish i would have gotten this 24 hrs sooner. I just ordered an x-fi fatal1ty fps last night...

but yeah that's what i was assuming about the onboard sound, which is why i went ahead with the x-fi. so you are telling me that creative's cards arent capable of dolby digital?

and thanks for your relevant input krupted
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#10
well for movies you should be ok, the xfi should passthough the dolby digital for your speakers (decode) but certain soundcards can actually encode any audio into dolby digital. creative cards dont support that, as they want you to use EAX. its ok for games i guess, but dolby digital is a technology based on research thats magnitudes higher then creative could have ever done. think of EAX as a home-brew dolby digital format that creative developed so they didnt have to pay the fees for dolby licensing, and on top of that they could charge developers for using EAX.

in any case the xfi you bought should be decent. if you play a lot of games, there are slight advantages to owning a creative card, but imo if you are mainly watching movies or listening to music there are much better alternatives, like the bluegears card. im itching to pick it up myself, i had a card with the old version of that chipset and it was amazing- 6 months later and i can still tell my audigy2zs is not as clear.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#11
krupted said:
i had a card with the old version of that chipset and it was amazing- 6 months later and i can still tell my audigy2zs is not as clear.
do you think it could be due to a difference in the number of transistors? i saw tha the audigy had something like a few million, while the x-fi has 50+ million.
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#12
i think its about creative striving to squeeze every bit of money they can out of willing customers, constantly tweaking their hardware only in steps which in return maximizes profits. where as other companies, like the cmi chipset makers, honestly try to get the most from their hardware at an economical cost. if you compare a creative card that costs $120 and a turtle beach card that costs the same, there would be no doubt to me the creative card has a lot more markup from what it actually cost to make.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#13
i did browse the creative-alternative market shortly...i just decided to stick with creative to make sure games would be compatible. i hear that if a sound card supports an older version of EAX, and the game supports a newer version, then you just cant enable the feature at all.
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#14
but thats the point of dolby digital live. you dont need eax at all, the soundcard can encode the game's audio into dolby digital on-the-fly so any digital surround receiver can use it.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#15
oh my...i was always kinda curious what dolby digital live was. creative...those sons of...
 
u8myufo

u8myufo

New Member
#16
Ok Guys lets try again, the original post was and I quote.
Hi all, I recently ordered a set of logitech z-5500's and I'm trying to figure out the best way to get the signal to them.
I could not have answered it any clearer really, it does not matter, it is argued as like most things in life that a good coax is equal to if not better than an optical cable. Optical cables come in different types. Those with cheap plastic inside, those with glass inside. Yes Krupted you are right in saying they carry 5.1 signals but they are encoded signals, they do not carry 6 seperate audio signals which is why I said it makes no difference.
And as a matter of intrest when you state that a cmi8788 chipset card will rival most home theater stereos, if your talking about a £60 all in one unit from Asda then yeh, if you mean any half decent setup then I think not.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#17
My original question was: would the onboard digital output on my motherboard be at least as good as the analog output on a decent pci card. It wasn't a matter of coax vs. optical...maybe it could have been my wording :confused:.

Nonetheless, its not a huge deal :D.

So which chipset do YOU think would rival that of a good home system, if u don't think krupted's is?...
 
u8myufo

u8myufo

New Member
#18
I really wouldnt know the answer to that question, as far as im concerned you cannot compare a sound card with a decent home theatre,
or HI/FI setup.
 
krupted

krupted

New Member
#19
well of course a home theater has the amplifiers that are necessary to drive speakers, but as far as sound quality goes there are pci soundcards that sound just as good. but theyre two different things anyway, you always need the home theater to recieve the DTS signal so it can split it and amplify it for the speakers. the home theater still needs a good clean signal to start with, and thats something that onboard audio cannot give.
 
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biglilsteve

New Member
#20
thats why i'm really looking forward to receiving the x-fi. i think my onboard sounds just fine so i'm really looking to be wowed by soundblaster.
 

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