Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Sound card scenario

  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    CountMike, are you sure about that? The only reason I never answered his question is because on some of my digital devices, his premise is absolutely correct. When using any digital cable out of my Blu Ray player, the processing is done by the pre/pro, but when sending analog out of my Blu Ray player the processing is done by my machine. So at this point, without all of his instruction manuals, I would be hesitant to answer either way.
    Yes, I'm sure. CODEC chip in the computer (integrated or in discrete audio card) are what processes sound either from analog signal from Microphone or otherwise, or SW making it. After that, in normal conditions, it's converted again to analog (using onboard DAC) and uses analog outputs thru jacks to amplifier and ultimately speakers.
    Digital output, bypasses onboard DAC and goes to external DAC amplifier which converts to analog, amplifies and sends analog sound to the speakers. It could be thru SP/dif by wire (coax cable) or optical but signal goes to external DAC as digital.

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  2. #12


    Posts : 148
    Windows 8.1 Update 1


    It depends on what you mean by "processing". If you talk about digital signal processing (DSP) like an equalizer or sampling rate conversions etc. that would be yes, it's still done by your pc/ soundcard, even if you output the sound digitally. But the conversion of the digital signal into the analog signal has to be done by the digital-analog converter (DAC) of your speakers system since it receives a digital signal but needs an analog signal to make the speakers transform it into sound waves that you can hear.

    @Rocky: What you say about high end audio and analog connections is theoretically true but in reality completely irrelevant. First if all we talk about PCs as playback devices. Everything that is played by a PC is digital by design. Digital sources come in various formats with specs according to industry standards. A CD for example has a bit depth of 16 bit and a sampling rate of 44.1 khz. This means it can only contain frequencies that are within a bandwidth of 22050 hz per channel, which by the way is the complete spectrum a healthy human being is able to hear. In fact it's even more than almost every adult is able to hear since most adult's max. frequency he or she is able to hear tops out around 16 khz. Digital connections like optical cables are perfectly able to transfer high end signals encoded with up to 24 bit and 192 kzh. There are no commercially relevant digital sources that go beyond those specs. So does it make any sense to talk about the theoretical limitations of digital connections if there are simply no digital sources available (at least not commercially) that exceed those limitations? No matter how good your cables, your amp and your speakers are, they can never sound better than the source. And when it comes to the source we mostly talk about CDs which are limited to 16 bit 44.1 khz. This would be different if we talked about vinyl which is analog. But who with at least some kind of common sense would connect an analog source digitally? This would simply add another conversion analog-digtial. And conversions by design always come with loss of quality. Only problem here, I highly doubt the OP intends to play vinyl through his pc

    But there is another huge advantage of digital connections, at least if we talk about optical cables: Contrary to every electrical connection like 3.5 mm or cinch cables which can easily be distorted by interferences of other electrical sources optical cables are immune to almost any source of interference. And that's not some theoretical advantage, that's a real world fact, nowadays there are electrical interferences everywhere. Power lines, other audio cables, radio waves, devices of various kinds, you name it.

    So I stick to my advice: If the OP's hardware has got the necessary outputs and inputs he would be better off using digital connections, preferably optical SPDIF.
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  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by altae View Post
    It depends on what you mean by "processing". If you talk about digital signal processing (DSP) like an equalizer or sampling rate conversions etc. that would be yes, it's still done by your pc/ soundcard, even if you output the sound digitally. But the conversion of the digital signal into the analog signal has to be done by the digital-analog converter (DAC) of your speakers system since it receives a digital signal but needs an analog signal to make the speakers transform it into sound waves that you can hear.
    Yes, that's what I meant, In case of SPDIF optical or wired, DAC in the speaker system takes role of the DAC in the computer.
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  4. #14


    Florida
    Posts : 5
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    That card comes with adapters that will work with 3.5mm audio cables. You should be fine. That card has a good DAC and the opamps can be swapped out if you have a preference. If your machine is mixed use - games, movies, music - your setup will be fine. If you prefer to game, or just watch movies, optical might be a better bet.
    Last edited by AimHigh; 13 Apr 2015 at 22:15.
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