Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by WilHarris, 24 Sep 2004.
Welcome Bindi to our reviewing massiv!
WOOT! Cheers Haz
ABOUT FREEKN TIME!!
I have been waiting to build a new box based on pcix, cant wait.
This is great news. I've been waiting to buy a new rig because I wanted PCIE, but I want an A64 too. I can't wait til this hits the market.
As nVidia totally cocked up their nforce4 with leaving out SoundStorm (2), I was wondering if some one here had any info if other upcomming chipsets are supposed to be able to encode to DD?
I've been doing lots of reading on the new Via VT8251 southbridge and some sources say it would be able to hw-encode. Can anyone cinfirm?
What about ATI's upcoming release?
C-Media's chip(s) being used by anyone on the AMD side? Asus has a socket 775 board with one on it.
Nforce 4 MCP still up-mixes to 6,7,8 channel though, even if it isnt AC3. But it doesnt support high definition i dont think because the chipset on the reference board is the ALC850, not 880.
To quote the inq
It would be simply too expensive and unmarketable. It also makes the silicon larger = more costs.
The '51 southbridge supports "VIA vinyl audio" which can then be used with a 3rd party codec to support 6, 8, or HD sound. Nothing in it says it will AC3 encode.
All the 3rd party codecs (cmedia, realtek etc) i know of dont use dolby technology, they are merely DAC's.
EDIT: Ive just been playing with the Asus P5GD2 and the Dolby Digital Live S/PDIF AC3 output works on it. Itll upmix a stereo source (mp3, CD etc) into 5,6,7,8 channel
Oh, I see.
That kinda clears it up a bit, maybe...
So which part in an Asus P5AD2 Premium actually does the DD-encoding? I know it uses the C-Media CMI9880 Azalia Audio Codec, but my trail ends there. What about Intel's HD Audio specs, don't they call for DD-encoding?
Actually I just hope that one of the top MB-manufacturers out there are brave enough to make a motheboard for Athlon 64 capable of "Dolby Digital Live". Number 1 feature I'm lookinf for for my next board, was really looking forward to nForce4 up to 4 days ago
Sorry, i edited my post just as you posted!
The Asus boards have the best audio software ive used (apart from nforce 4s, but that's not dolby or high definition unfortunatly, although itll still upmix into multichannel). The problem is microsofts UAA for HD sound isnt made for WinXP (its been hacked from longhorn) and so sometimes isnt implemented by mobo manuf. But the Asus 915 (and 925 boards although i havent used one) does have DD live AC3 encoding (im playing an audio cd into 5.1 ac3 right now ).
Afaik, only via's '51 southbridge supports high definition sound (its penciled in on their tech sheets, but ive not yet got a board to play with with one on, will let you know when i get one), but only intels Azalia has spec'd out support for dolby digital live.
Im just checking what part exactly does the ac3 encoding, but i have a feeling its the ICH6 rather than DAC by Cmedia. Will get back to you.
EDIT: It appears its the Cmedia codec that does SOFTWARE AC3 encoding. Im supprised - i wonder how much it costs for them to lisence it?? I would have thought Intel would absorb the cost of a dolby lisence more..??
The first one is the PCI card version, the 2nd is the Azalia. Both support Dolby Live, so you can get an Nforce 4 and a soundcard with the CMI8768 chip on it and still have Dolby Live AC3 software encoding on it. Even with it being software it's only using ~2% CPU useage playing and upmixing this CD. Imo, if you still want an AMD with Dolby Live - source one of those CMI chipped PCI cards.
EDIT2: Forgot to mention, the PCI card doesnt do true HD sound - its only 96Khz/24bit not 192Khz/32bit like Intels Azalia, but Intels Azalia only supports 192/32 in stereo, so it doesnt matter anyway
Great service over here
So, let's see...
The chipset (nf4, K8T890 [or the VT8251] or whatever is used) enables the output of multichannel audio to the audio chip, whatever it may be, C-Media, Realtek whatever... which in its turn sends the signal to an optional DD encoder? (That none of the MB-manufacturers seem to want to put on any AMD board )
But so in theory it should be possible to have a K8T890 board with the VT8251 southbridge outputting to a C-Media CMI9880 and then a chip that encodes to DD..
I'm almost leaning over to Intel atm...
That is an actual option that I've considered, but then again, I want to use my front port audio on the case and that probably wouldn't be possible with a separate sound card...
I actually thought that the encoding was hardware on the Asus -board. Read a review where it didn't increase CPU usage at all compared to 2ch
The CMI9880 is specific to Intels Azalia codec spec's. You wont find it on an AMD board i dont think.
NF4 - does it own upmix, not dolby. The reference board uses the Realtek ALC850 codec which is only 8 channel, non HD sound.
VT8251 southbridge - i dont know, havent got a board yet to confirm.
Intel Azalia using CMI9880 - does do dolby live, thanks to CMI software. The Realtek ALC880 and software on other boards isnt as good.
CMI PCI card - says it supprots Dolby Live and 8 channel sound - enables you to have AC3 software encoding on whatever platform you want, even AMD as its just a normal PCI card.
EDIT: No, there seems to be no CPU useage increase, but the CMI site states software. Whatever it is, the effect looks extremely negligable on system performance.
Yeah well, just have to wait and see for a few months (and then go and buy the Asus P5AD2 Premium...)
Wait for retail VIA and NF4 boards to come out and compare (about ~2 weeks). Im gonna run some tests with AC3 encoding enabled and disabled in some games and will get back to you.
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