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Help - Finding HDMI card with built in audio decoder

Filostud

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#1
Hi,

Over the last couple of months, I have spent a lot of time looking for something that should be easy to find, graphics cards with HDMI connectors that also have an audio controller built-in. The problem is that many manufacturers say that their graphics cards have HDMI when either 1) they provide dvi with a free HDMI adapter instead of HDMI or 2) their card requires a separate audio connection (e.g. SPDIF) in order for the HDMI to carry sound.

For example, Pailt lists tons of HDMI cards. When I reviewed each card with their tech support, it turns out that most need an SPDIF external connection - only a few have the audio controller built in (the only problem with Pailt is the cards are too large for my system). Same with MSI and I know several Sparkle cards are like that too. S3 Graphics makes the Chrome 530 GT, and even has a white paper on their site describing how they keep the audio and video in sync - however - this a lower end card that probably couldn't play my sons cards (and also S3 doesn't have email tech support).

So with that, I would like to ask for your help.

I would Greatly appreciate if you would send to me the names of any cards that have:

-- PCI-E 2.0
-- Native HDMI Connection (not dvi with adapter)
-- 512 Mb of memory or more
-- Built-in audio decoder so that it does not need an external SPDIF connection to a motherboard or sound card for the audio.
-- Please let me know if it is 5.1 or 7.1

I am indebted!!!

Thank you

Kevin
 

Darren

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#2
Hi,

Over the last couple of months, I have spent a lot of time looking for something that should be easy to find, graphics cards with HDMI connectors that also have an audio controller built-in. The problem is that many manufacturers say that their graphics cards have HDMI when either 1) they provide dvi with a free HDMI adapter instead of HDMI or 2) their card requires a separate audio connection (e.g. SPDIF) in order for the HDMI to carry sound.

For example, Pailt lists tons of HDMI cards. When I reviewed each card with their tech support, it turns out that most need an SPDIF external connection - only a few have the audio controller built in (the only problem with Pailt is the cards are too large for my system). Same with MSI and I know several Sparkle cards are like that too. S3 Graphics makes the Chrome 530 GT, and even has a white paper on their site describing how they keep the audio and video in sync - however - this a lower end card that probably couldn't play my sons cards (and also S3 doesn't have email tech support).

So with that, I would like to ask for your help.

I would Greatly appreciate if you would send to me the names of any cards that have:

-- PCI-E 2.0
-- Native HDMI Connection (not dvi with adapter)
-- 512 Mb of memory or more
-- Built-in audio decoder so that it does not need an external SPDIF connection to a motherboard or sound card for the audio.
-- Please let me know if it is 5.1 or 7.1

I am indebted!!!

Thank you

Kevin
Your best bet is to purchase the video card and sound card separately. Most ATI graphics cards have HDMI outputs for video and pair it up with a dedicated soundcard which also has HDMI outputs for sound.


Regardless of which soundcard you purchase, you'll need a AV receiver (amp) with support for HDMI and the new codecs such as Dolby Digital True HD or DTS Masters to enjoy 5.1 or 7.1 over HDMI. Otherwise there is no benefit from outputting sound through HDMI over SPDIF because it will just be PCM stereo. Both soundcards can pass video and sound through a single HDMI cable :)

Your soundcard choices are limited to:

Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD
http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_hometheater_hd.php

ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe 7.1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132008&Tpk=xonar hdmi

PS. if you can explain in a bit more detail as to what you are trying to achieve I could advise you better. Is this for gaming? movie watching? do you have a amp? the less information you give the less we can help.

Welcome to TPU.


Edit:



JrRacingFan - DVI doesn't support audio, it is meant as a video specification although some manufacturers provide dongles and their own customization so that the DVI then carries sound. I prefer to stay away from any strange customizations.

I currently have DVI (BFG GeForce) for video and a Turtle Sound Beach card with SPDIF dfor digital surround sound (5.1 passthrough) and I'm replacing both cards & the PC when I buy the Pioneer SC-05 for the true native combined sound and video - hence my search for the new graphics hdmi card with the built-in audio decoder.
Like I said in my previous post, you'll need a separate video card and dedicated sound card ideally. The ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe 7.1 and Auzentech X-FI Home Theatre HD can pass through both video and sound through a single HDMI cable.

In addition it can encode stereo signals in MP3s into DTS or Dolby Digital bit streams on the fly and pass it through the HDMI cable along with the processed video for your AV receiver for decoding!
 
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#3

JrRacinFan

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#4
Easiest way to do this is through an HD3870 or HD4850 and above. Remember 95% of nVidia cards come with an RGB adapter and that outputs up to 1080p also, so dont count out nVidia cards just yet.

We will need a reply though from you with what your wanting to obtain.

PS: HD48XX series output 7.1 channel.

EDIT:
O and FYI, with the DVI adapter it is still native. It doesnt need to be built-in as there is no signal loss, unless you get a broken adapter.
 
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#5
There are no current Nvidia cards that meet your requirements. Any ATI card based on the 4xxx series that has an HDMI connector on it should--the 4xxx series can pass sound through HDMI without needing any additional connections; you just need to have the additional driver loaded that it takes to do this.
 

Filostud

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#6
Thanks for the replies thus far. I am going to pair the HDMI graphics card to a Pioneer SC-05 receiver, then to a Samsung 67" DLP TV.

I'm replacing an older PC and receiver that have DVI, not HDMI. The application will be games (e.g. GTA, Halo...). Also 67" Internet and my library of media (through my home server). For fun, I can sit onthe couch and use my gyroscoptic mouse and keyboard - stuff from Gyration.

I'm pretty determined to find a good card that has the built-in sound too. I'm limited on slots on the PC and the technology should be available by now.

Right now, I'm researching the POWERCOLOR AX4830 512MD3-H Radeon which boasts 7.1. I need to be sure it has the audio decoder and doesn't expect a separate SPDIF. Here's the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...Froogle-_-Video+Cards-_-Powercolor-_-14131129
 

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#7
I understand now!!! Yup that is your best bet!!

EDIT:
With understanding with what your trying to accomplish, it looks very very good!

EDIT2:
Hmmm I wonder how well this card would fair if you overclock the ram on it ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814140099

Boasts DDR4. Also,just curiously asking, why cant you use the 2nd DVI port of the video card with an DVI->HDMI adapter?
 
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#8
Should be fine.
 

Filostud

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#9
Which one, the PowerColor or the Apollo? Are they both good brands and have good warranties?

I"ve had BFG (nvidia) and Diamond Stealth in the past)?

I wanted BFG for the lifetime Warranty - but they don't have the right card, neither does XFX or EVGA - so much for Nvidia.
 

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#10
TBH, neither brands are worthwhile. I have a feeling that your best bet to get a good brand is use a DVI->HDMI adapter.

EDIT:
O and btw, Welcome to TPU!!! Don't forget to fill-in your system specs and choose "Yes" for visibility. ;)
 

Filostud

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#11
JrRacingFan - DVI doesn't support audio, it is meant as a video specification although some manufacturers provide dongles and their own customization so that the DVI then carries sound. I prefer to stay away from any strange customizations.

I currently have DVI (BFG GeForce) for video and a Turtle Sound Beach card with SPDIF dfor digital surround sound (5.1 passthrough) and I'm replacing both cards & the PC when I buy the Pioneer SC-05 for the true native combined sound and video - hence my search for the new graphics hdmi card with the built-in audio decoder.
 
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#12
ATI 48xx cards pass sound over DVI>HDMI. I'm using a DVI>HDMI cable and it passes sound just fine, I dont use the adapter.

If you already have an HDMI>HDMI cable then the native HDMI card(powercolor) would be the way to go.

If you have a DVI>HDMI cable like I have then just get the DVI output and it will pass sound just fine
 
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#13
The Palit HD4670 has all four ports (DisplayPort, HDMI, DSub, and DVI-D) and has good clocks at 750MHz/2x1000MHz.
 

Filostud

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#14
Yes, Pailt makes a few cards that meets my specifications and I've spent a lot of time with their tech support discussing the cards (by the way, they have good suport).

The problem is that the cards are very large. It appears that although they take up 2 slots, their height takes up more than 2, so the card actually takes up 2.5 slots. The other concern I have is length. I have a Dell Dimension 5150 and the Pailt cards are so long, that there is a chance they will interfere with the CPU fan connector. Palit even looked at a diagram of the motherboard in my PC and could not tell me if there was enough room. I would have liked to buy Pailt as I was impressed at their extraordinary customer service - but their card is too big for the space my computer has.
 
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#15
Hmm...? The 4670 has a height and length similar to a 9500GT, so it's pretty short, in fact. Does it not suit you well? Or do you need a true low-profile card?
 

Filostud

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#16
There really isn't a lot of room in this Dell. There are 4 slots that consist of: pci-e 16, pci-e, pci, pci. I would like the graphics card to take up 2 slots ( pci-e 16, pci-e), one more for the netgear gigabit network card that I have, and that would leave 1 empty for the future. With the palit card, I wouldn't have the one empty slot due to the height of their card.

Also, I think their card is 9+ inches long and that could interfear where the cfu fan connector is on my motherboard.

At this point, I am looking at the apollo and powercolor cards since they are smaller cards and have 7.1 audio built into the cards - although those brands weren't my first choice. These are the cards:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814140097
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131129

I'll probably make my purchase decision next weekend or the one after.

Thanks
 
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#17
Are you completely dead-set against the DVI->HDMI dongle? I know you've said you don't want it, but thats what I use and I dont have any problems (in fact, its standard on at least all of the HD4XXX and HD3XXX series cards from ATI) The reason I ask is that it would greatly broaden the range of cards available to you.

HDMI is derived from DVI anyway (hdmi is essentially sinle-link DVI, overclocked from standard to provide the bandwidth neccesary to carry the extra data.) HDMI and DVI are electrically compatible - to be honest I'd guess that the onboard HDMI connector on those cards is providing the same signal as is coming from the DVI-port on the card, with some auto-sense logic to detect whether HDMI or actual DVI is connected, and would be the same if it were another DVI port with dongle. If thats the case, you'd be getting the "strange customizations" anyway. Just my 2 cents.


Either way, I'll take a look and see what I can find sometime tomorrow; good luck!

Also, just so you know;
-- PCI-E 2.0 <- I believe ATI's 3XXX series and later are all 2.0, but it shouldn't matter. Benchmarks have shown relatively small gains on PCIe2.0 Someone help me out with a link, I cant seem to find the couple reviews that did a comparison
-- Native HDMI Connection (not dvi with adapter) <- like I said, I'd have to guess that the same circuitry is providing the signal either way, essentially, you want an on-board dongle. I'm not an expert or EE though.
-- 512 Mb of memory or more <- This mostly depends on your gaming resolutions. I'd say you've got the right idea. If you plan on doin really high-res you may want to make sure to get 1GB or more if available
-- Built-in audio decoder so that it does not need an external SPDIF connection to a motherboard or sound card for the audio. <- all ATI 3XXX series and up carry this.
-- Please let me know if it is 5.1 or 7.1 <- The ATI 3XXX is 5.1 and 4XXX series is 7.1 can't say for nvidia.

ATI uses an onboard Realtek HD Audio chip (similar to the integrated sound on a lot of motherboards) for their cards. Anything 3XXX and up supports at least 5.1 over HDMI.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdmi <- If you're curious about the HDMI

and please, if anyone sees something wrong with what I've said, correct me, for his sake.
 
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