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What will give me a better sounding set up?

Last response: in Components
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March 14, 2013 9:08:50 PM

Hello. So I am looking at hooking up my PC to my Denon AVR-1912. I was wondering which set up would sound better; running an HDMI from my GTX 560 ti to my A/V receiver, or running an optical cable from my HT Omega Claro Halo sound card to my A/V receiver. My first instinct was to utilize my high end sound card for the best quality, but I have seen many forums stating that HDMI is the way to go for best audio. Which way should I be going here? Or are there benefits to each?

Also, if using my sound card is the best way to go, I could use some help troubleshooting. If I run an HDMI cable to the receiver, it plays sound perfectly fine. However, if I connect the Claro Halo to the receiver, I am getting no sound at all, even though the sound card works with my computer speakers. Any tips would help. Thanks.

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March 14, 2013 9:15:47 PM

HDMI through GPU will be better since it will just be a pass-through. Optical audio cables have bandwidth limitations so it won't be as good as using the HDMI.
March 15, 2013 12:38:09 AM

HDMI and audio:
Some graphics cards only support LIMITED types of audio output. I know the new GTX600 series supports full HDMI output (movies, games etc) though I'm unsure if this comes from a graphics card chip or is routed from the PC's sound card/chip.

Do you get GAME sounds with HDMI?

Optical audio:
I'm not aware of any major bandwidth issues though perhaps he means SYNCHING the audio with the video. I do know it can be initially tricky to set things up in software.

Clare Halo sound card:
Unless the card's Optical output is broken, your problem is not enabling optical output properly in software.

Conclusion:
- GTX500 series has full HDMI output? (movies, music and games)
- is the HDMI sound created by the graphics card (onboard dedicated audio chip) or passed from your sound card?
- Optical output issue likely setup related

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March 15, 2013 12:42:08 AM
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http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_56...

"NVIDIA has included an HDMI sound device inside their GPU which does away with the requirement of connecting an external audio source to the card for HDMI audio. The HDMI interface is HDMI 1.3a compatible which includes Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, AC-3, DTS and up to 7.1 channel audio with 192 kHz / 24-bit. NVIDIA also claims full support for the 3D portion of the HDMI 1.4 specification which will become important later this year when we will see first Blu-Ray titles shipping with support for 3D output."

I still am unsure whether GAMES work though. Can you confirm this?

HDMI sound appears to be decoded via the graphics card. If so, there seems little point in using your (likely better) sound card. You may wish to investigate OPTICAL OUTPUT more.
March 15, 2013 8:21:27 AM

Thank you for the responses. Yes games play fine through the HDMI output. I was unaware that NVIDIA GPUs were able to produce high quality sounds via HDMI. Thank you for clearing this up!
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