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Windows 7: HD Audio over HDMI solutions please???

19 Apr 2011   #1
byngo

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 
HD Audio over HDMI solutions please???

Hi there,

Current specs: -
Mobo = Asus P5N-E SLI
RAM = 4 Gig Corsair
CPU = C2Duo E8400 @ 3.0 Ghz
GFX = nvidia 8800 GT 512 Mb
Panasonic Bluray ROM drive

The issue: -

I am currently & successfully passing 5.1 Dolby and DTS over S/PDIF to my surround system and video is via a DVI to HDMI cable to the LCD tv.
I plan to possibly have a surround system in the near future that can handle the HD audio such as Dolby true hd and DTS master audio.
I understand that these audio formats cannot be passed over S/PDIF and need to go via HDMI so how do I do that? I imagine I need a new HDMI GFX card and some way of giving it the audio signal to pass along too???

There is a secondary requirements to this though, in that I am migrating my gaming desktop hardware to a full ATX HTPC case in which I will be doing my best to keep the Noise level down without going as far as water cooling.
So, whilst Im no longer gaming mad, I do still like a bit of modern warfare etc

So what do I need???
Edit: -
Been reading up since on Radeon 5800 series. Sounds like this could do the HD audio but could be a bit of a noisy hefty piece of hardware for a HTPC maybe??
Also, I am using Total Media Theatre to play my Bluray disks and this can decdoe the audio formats.
The surround amp I buy might not be able to decode them from a PCM bit-stream so I need the decoding to be done by the PC (TMT3), then sent over HDMI.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
21 Apr 2011   #2
Tomrdiedrich

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

A cheap audio card http://http://www.tigerdirect.com/ap...731&CatId=2771 Why would something like this not work? I also have a HTPC. I have a cheap video card also. A Geforce 210. It does the HD video just fine, and my sound card similar to the one I linked does the audio. It is True HD sound, and video. Way more inexspensive than the card that you are reffering to. And between bothof them I spent $80. I think... It is amazing sound through my Yamaha receiver. I also Play my Blu-Ray movies in this rig. A good all in one Media center is XBMC. It is free and is set up for HD. If you have a HTPC than you should check it out. Hope this helps you.-Tom
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2011   #3
Darician

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

As said by Tomrdiedrich above, any modern cheap video card can take care of the HDMI Audio and Video portion without issue. If you want to throw gaming into the mix, I would suggest something along the lines of either a Radeon HD 6790 or GeForce GTX 550 Ti depending on how much you want to spend and your currently power supply. A Radeon HD 5670 or 5570 or a GeForce GT 440 or 430 without concern to the power supply would also be able to handle the gaming portion decently. Again, as far as the HDMI Audio + Video, any of the aforementioned video cards will more than easily handle it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Apr 2011   #4
byngo

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Thanks for the suggestions,

The PSU is a Corsair HX520 Modular one. (i forgot to mention that and it runs my 8800GT just fine along with a Huappage HD satellite tuner card, 3 hard drives, and two optical drives).

I just never had ATI cards before, always been an Nvidia man, so I dont understand how they compare.

I would rather the video card handle the video and audio from the PCI-E bus rather than adding in a seperate sound card and keep the audio digital rather than analogue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2011   #5
Tomrdiedrich

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

There are several cards (Including Nvidia!) that do both. I believe nvidia GT430 does both. I think the main thing you have to ask yourself is how good a job you want it to do on games. Like I stated before I have a Nvidia Geforce 210 and it does great job on the HD video on a 46" Sharp LED display. I get my HD sound from my mobo.

I would think your PSU would be big enough. I also have always been a Nvidia man myself. I personally would stick with them. Personal preference though. All of the video cards we have mentioned do digital HD sound. DTS and such. No analog. I hope all of this will help you out. If I have plz add rep!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #6
byngo

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tomrdiedrich View Post
There are several cards (Including Nvidia!) that do both. I believe nvidia GT430 does both. I think the main thing you have to ask yourself is how good a job you want it to do on games. Like I stated before I have a Nvidia Geforce 210 and it does great job on the HD video on a 46" Sharp LED display. I get my HD sound from my mobo.

I would think your PSU would be big enough. I also have always been a Nvidia man myself. I personally would stick with them. Personal preference though. All of the video cards we have mentioned do digital HD sound. DTS and such. No analog. I hope all of this will help you out. If I have plz add rep!!
Thanks for the replies,
In trying to stick with Nvidia, the GT 430 (and with passive cooling varieties) seemed a good choice but upon reading reviews, I think it would struggle to reach decent/playable FPS on games I own like Crysis, C.O.D Black OPS, Farcry 2, F.E.A.R 2 etc.
What about a GTX 460? Is that going too far for Noise levels and wattage requirements?
There seems to be more options going down the ATI route but I hear such bad reliability with the drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2011   #7
Tomrdiedrich

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

If you are going to be playing those games you mentioned, the gtx460 is not the right card. Ati Radeon 5850 is a far better card for about the same price. The gtx460 will play those games but not on high settings. I am currently going through the same search right now myself and have come to realize to get the same power from a nvidia card you have to be ready to pay a whole bunch more! Radeon card just are more powerfull for quite a bit less. Myself do to the size restraints of my case I am going with the MSI5770 hawk. It is a real tough Radeon card with good components. That is the most powerful card my case can fit. It has DTS and HD sound support also. Check it out!

You may be pushing the power envelope with these cards though. I am running a 750w Themaltake. Most of these cards suggest a minimum of a 500w psu. So depending on you system it may/may not be big enough. If you filled out the sys spec page we could help you better. If I hafd the room I would with out a doubt go with the Radeon 5850. It smashes the performance of the GTX460.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #8
byngo

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tomrdiedrich View Post
If you are going to be playing those games you mentioned, the gtx460 is not the right card. Ati Radeon 5850 is a far better card for about the same price. The gtx460 will play those games but not on high settings. I am currently going through the same search right now myself and have come to realize to get the same power from a nvidia card you have to be ready to pay a whole bunch more! Radeon card just are more powerfull for quite a bit less. Myself do to the size restraints of my case I am going with the MSI5770 hawk. It is a real tough Radeon card with good components. That is the most powerful card my case can fit. It has DTS and HD sound support also. Check it out!

You may be pushing the power envelope with these cards though. I am running a 750w Themaltake. Most of these cards suggest a minimum of a 500w psu. So depending on you system it may/may not be big enough. If you filled out the sys spec page we could help you better. If I hafd the room I would with out a doubt go with the Radeon 5850. It smashes the performance of the GTX460.
(System Specs now populated)
Yeah a 5770 is tempting. The HTPC case i intend to use is an ANTEC fusion Remote Max (full size ATX) so I could probably fit what I like in there, except I want to keep noise and temps down.
To this end, I dont want to upgrade my PSU, or need any better performance than the 8800GT 512mb that I have. I've been quite happy (very impressed in fact) on all those games even if not maxed out on setings. Have stayd aroung the 720P resolutions band though not 1080P.
So, I could go for a 5770 but I reckon a passive Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 ultimate would do me adequately and would of course be silent into the bargain.
What I do worry about is how all modern cards seem to have 1 gig of memory these days and how this might starve me of system RAM. My system only sees 3.5gig of RAM as it is.??????
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2011   #9
Tomrdiedrich

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP1
 
 

The system still uses your full 4gb of RAM. It is using that .5 you see missing. I would not worry about starved RAM. I just recently upgraded my RAM to 8gb from 4gb. My current card the nVidia 210 only has .5gb of RAM. And I play 1080p movies all the time. Not once has my video studdered, paused, or had any difficulty with playback. I also never had any issues with having enough RAM either. What do you plan on running while you are watching your movie? I cannot think of on instance where having 4 would be a issue. You are watching a movie. Not running tons of applications. 1GB OF VIDEO ram IS QUITE A BIT. Not to mention if you get vid card with GDDR5 RAM. That stuff is blistering fast. Even GDDR3 is real fast.

Point being if your current card plays your games fine then there are tons of cards out there that will play your HD video with HD sound. And they will do a great job at it. If you go with nVidia stay above a GT230 and you will be fine. If you upgrade to a Radeon 5770 it will blow your socks off. A card like that is 10x the card your current card is. You are not asking alot and there are hundreds of choices! Pick a price range. Figure out what you want(wich sounds like you have), and pull the trigger. Don't look back and enjoy! Good Luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2011   #10
byngo

windows 7 ultimate 32bit
 
 

Thanks for the advice
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HD Audio over HDMI solutions please???




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