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5.1/7.1 sound card for small form factor PC with optical out

alitech

Prominent Member
Anyone know of any good sound cards that can be used in a low profile (small form factor) PC?

I know with some cards you can just replace the bracket with a low profile one.. is that the best solution?

Can anyone suggest a good sound card for my HP DC7800?

Links would be useful as well..

Oh yes... would it be a good idea to go for a card that has an optical output in the back or does that prove to be a useless feature on these cards? I have a yamma RXv1700 that I want to use with the PC and possibly use the card drivers to upconvert stereo music (MP3s and Movies) to 5.1.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
do you want it for HD playback, i.e. blu-ray? them optical may not be the best, as you can get the uncompressed HD audio tracks over the analog ouputs, but not the optical.

if you don't want hd playback, then get the cheapest canrd you can with a digitial output and just let your amp do the D/A conversion
 

alitech

Prominent Member
HD playback is not required.. I have a PS3 for that..

Just want to hear my MP3s and DiVx movies in the best possible quality... processed by either the sound card drivers or my AMP... ideally I would like the sound card to upconvert stereo to 5.1.

Cheers
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
sound cards will pass stereo signals as stereo. surely your amp has a psuedo surround algorithm you can use?
 

alitech

Prominent Member
I know of some creative sound cards that would upconvert stereo sound to 5.1. Atleast their marketing meterial claims so

Example:

Vocals picked up by engine come through centre speaker
Trebel and high pitches come through front left and right
Suround speakers take care of low frequencies
Bass is thrown out from the boom box (the .1 LWF)

Am i talking rubbish here... kill me if I am mistaken.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
possibly, but they are probaly just implementing PLII(or some other psuedo surround algorithm), same as your amp should do. i don't see the benefit in doing it in your pc rather than the amp, so no point spending money on a card that does jwhen you have that functionality right there, or should do depending on your amp
 

Andy98765

Distinguished Member
possibly, but they are probaly just implementing PLII(or some other psuedo surround algorithm), same as your amp should do. i don't see the benefit in doing it in your pc rather than the amp, so no point spending money on a card that does jwhen you have that functionality right there, or should do depending on your amp

Have to agree, nothing to be gained by optical, and it is called CMSS or something like that. And as the blurb states in the small print optical is stereo out only. If your AV amp has 5.1 direct in and your motherboard has 5.1 out connect using 3x 3.5mm to stereo phonos.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
well i meant no point paying for a card that does 5.1 from stereo. optical can be useful as some amps have problems with subwoofer level on the 5.1 analog inputs, but i guess you could compensate for that on the pc side.
 

alitech

Prominent Member
I have a stereo sound card built into the motherboard already and what I do currently is use an in built DSP setting on my yammy RXV1700 to throw out 7 channel stereo.. but it doesnt do much to the sound though. It just replicates left channel to front left and souround left and vice versa.. i guess the centre speaker mixes both the channels. The the LFE is shared accross all speakers as well... which pumps out the bass on the woofer.

I guess I will have to see if I can do anything else on the amp to make this work using the existing sound card.
 

mossym

Distinguished Member
tbh unless the music has originally been mixed in 5.1 there's not a lot more any of the algoritms do than that. very tough to extract voice from music if the frequencies of each are anyway close
 

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