Thoughts on sound via HDMI on graphics card

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Hi guys,

Just wondering if and what people think about the sound on graphics cards. I'm using sound via a 7970 via HDMI connected to an Onkyo NR609. It sounds wicked if I set output to 24bit 96Khz and games like Witcher 2 are amazing in 5.1:) Dunno why but if I set output to 192Khz in windows I get less bass. You can't upmix stereo to 5.1 either but hopefully AMD will allow this in a driver update.
 
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I am using audyssey, I'll check if its on at 192Khz. Any reason why it wouldn't be? the surround speakers arent as loud at 192 either I've noticed.
 
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Seems like Audyssey doesn't work at 192khz (on my amp anyway) but 96khz sounds awesome enough:)

Am I missing out on anything by not having a dedicated soundcard, maybe better 3D posisioning and better EAX effects?
 
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Sound quality wise, you are not missing anything, as the AV receiver is converting digital data into sound. Whether the data is sent to it via a sound card, or via a HDMI audio capable graphic card, it makes no difference.

I think you are better off sticking with HDMI from your graphics card.
 
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Yer, I've been harping on for years aboot the benefits of running a dedicated soundcard and not realising how good sound over HDMI actually is (thank you Marsman & Uriel). HDMI is uncompressed (unlike other lossy formats like DTS Connect/Dolby Digital Live etc.).

Does depend on the situation though - in yours I would say stick with the HDMI. In mine, I run several different soundcards for varying purposes. When I am sat at my computer for example I have an Auzen X-Fi Prelude doing a nice job of converting the 1s and 0s into Analogue and outputting to some speakers. However, I also run HDMI from my graphics card and into a Home receiver amplifier for uncompressed surround sound in games/movies for kicking back on my sofa in front of the big plasma. This is preferable as there is only one stage of conversion (when the sound is converted from digital and into analogue at the amp).

Lastly, you mention that you cannot upmix from a stereo source but are awaiting a driver update from AMD. Are you sure your amplifier cannot perform this duty? My Denon AVR-1910 for example can do 5 channel stereo upmixing from a stereo source but it has to be selected as an agorithm on the device (mine is in 'surround modes'). Might be worth checking your Onkyo for a similiar DSP.

Hope this helps.
 
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The amp wont upmix as the source it recieves is still 5.1 multichannel. I guess I could set speaker settings in windows to stereo when listening to me tunes and then set the upmix mode on the amp that way.
 
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I am using audyssey, I'll check if its on at 192Khz. Any reason why it wouldn't be?
Seems like Audyssey doesn't work at 192khz (on my amp anyway) but 96khz sounds awesome enough
:p Not sure if it's a limitation of the Audyssey processor or the amp itself that's lacking in power, but either way, that's why. It's always been that way - my tx-sr805 is the same.

HDMI is uncompressed (unlike other lossy formats like DTS Connect/Dolby Digital Live etc.).

Hdmi is a hardware interface and can carry both lossy and lossless audio, alongside video and (in hdmi 1.4) ethernet.

The amp wont upmix as the source it recieves is still 5.1 multichannel. I guess I could set speaker settings in windows to stereo when listening to me tunes and then set the upmix mode on the amp that way.

You can indeed do that, bit of a faff though :p I wouldn't bet on AMD doing anything about it.
 
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Nice - thanks for clearing that up James :)

Ah, I'm with you now metalmackey - I'm used to running two different sets of speakers in my lounge (whereas the first lot at my desk are connected via analogue and are set to stereo in windows sound properties, my surround system is hooked up to my GTX 580 via HDMI).

Got any spare speakers knocking around?
 
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