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Dolby Digital in games

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by GagHalfrunt, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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    I'm looking at building some new guts for my PC, and one thing that's essential to me is in game Dolby Digital which my Soundblaster 5.1 Platinum isn't capable of.

    The choices look like:

    AMD Nforce2-based motherboard with Soundstorm chipset ...or...
    Intel 925x motherboard with HD Audio (e.g. Asus)

    As I want to not waste money on a AGP graphics card, I'm leaning towards the latter but can't afford it.

    The other choice would be an Nforce4 board (I'm not buying yet :) ) but Soundstorm has gone. Are there any good soundcards which do Dolby Digital ENCODING in games? The manufacturers websites seem vague as to what they do, most pass DD from films etc. but I want more than that. I will be using a coax or optical link to my amp and that will be doing the decoding.

    I've had a bad experience with my current soundcard, but will risk another SB if I have to.
     
  2. AndyH

    AndyH
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    I'm happy to be corrected, but there are practically zero PC games which support "proper" Dolby Digital.

    I think one exception is Unreal Tournament 2004, which I remember reading up about.


    For the vast majority of the time you'll either be using a digital output and decoding using Pro Logic / Pro Logic II - or EAX (or equivalent) with the 4.1 / 5.1 style analogue outputs from your soundcard.


    Did the Soundstorm chipset do full 5.1 encoding? Or did it just take the stereo output from a game and encode it into DD 2.0 (which again can be decoded using PL/PLII) ?
     
  3. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Soundstorm does full 5.1 DD encoding and its lack of future use is a tremendous loss.
     
  4. AndyH

    AndyH
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    Do you have a couple of mins to explain how it works?

    Is it as simple as just requiring the game to output 5.1, which it intercepts and encodes?

    What if the surround element comes from another brand of audio manipulation (e.g. Creative EAX)?

    I might be talking out my backside now in asking these questions, but I'm curious...
     
  5. stuthemong

    stuthemong
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    gag, ive been wanting the same as you, but have come to this conclusion.

    real DD encoding may be availiable with SS etc.. but at a price. playing games i am not too bothered about total hi-fi quality. as such, if i am playing a DVD, ill ouptu DD through the optical SPDIF, and let my yamaha A1 decode. Playing games, ill use the 6 ch analog out from the PC into the external input of my yammy. its not an ideal solution, but it should work jsut fine

    stu
     
  6. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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    I find this immensly annoying - as if we've took a step backwards.

    Surely DirectSound, EAX et al have direction information in them. It's just a case of encoding this information into DD.

    I don't have PLII on my amp, only DD / DTS (Denon AVC-A1D) so I really want DD if I can get it. I'm very impressed with the XBox.

    What about the Dolby Digital Live on the Asus 775 board. Does this only work on UT2004 then? :confused:
     
  7. timothyw

    timothyw
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    nforce 2 soundstorm is the exact same chip that the xbox has for live dolby digital encoding, you just set your sound control panel to '5.1 speakers (dolby digital)' and the sound that is going to the DACs of your analogue outs is also encoded as a dolby digital stream thats put on your digital out. Its a pretty damn sweet feature that i will miss when i finally do upgrade... only real problem with it is switching between it and pcm every time you play/stop playing a game.
    Do tell about the asus's dolby digital live if you do go that route, i'm interested to hear if its any good.
     
  8. AndyH

    AndyH
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    Cool, thanks for the clarification around how it works.


    There was a statement from NVidia I briefly read yesterday which acknowledged the feelings about them removing SoundStorm from the NForce4 chipset. But it did suggest it may be returning "in future NVidia products".
     
  9. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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    I'll have to hold off on my purchase then until DDR2 prices drop to a reasonable level then.
    :(
     
  10. timothyw

    timothyw
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    many socket 775 chipsets don't need ddr2, so don't let that hold you back, as performance is apparently almost no better as compared to ddr 400.
     
  11. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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    But I don't know of a 915 motherboard which does DD Live.

    The only board I know of is the 925 by Asus, which is £165 for the board alone and requires DDR2. :rolleyes:
     
  12. timothyw

    timothyw
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    http://www.asus.com/products/mb/socket478/p4gd1/overview.htm
    that one do you? I'm actually interested to find out if dolby digital live is only implemented on asus boards or all the intel boards, as i'm thinking about getting a shuttle sb81p, and if it has this feature it will be the killer blow to my overdraft i think. Seems to be a lack of information about it online.
     
  13. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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  14. timothyw

    timothyw
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    But they both have the exact same quote "The Dolby Digital Live technology from Dolby Lab encodes the multi-channel audio source into AC-3 bit-stream and outputs it to S/PDIF port in real time.", is that a misprint then?
     
  15. GagHalfrunt

    GagHalfrunt
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    Good point. :oops:

    They don't have the logo on it either like the other page. This might be a cheaper way into it because I can just buy DDR.
     

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