I have been thinking about purchasing the MSI K8N Diamond motherboard into my new rig but it seems I'll have to factor in the cost of a sound card if I cannot solve this problem that the MSI K8N diamond is riddled with.
The onboard SB Audigy SE seems to be better than my current Audigy 2 - has more features like Equlizer, crossfader, THX calibration and up to 7.1 Support. Whats even better is the optical output meaning I can easily link it to my receiver and get 7.1 sound!! Although the manual specifies that it only supports 5.1 and 7.1 speaker sets the screenshot of the Speaker Selector showed an option for 6.1 speaker sets which is good news for me until I get a set of 7.1s!
It seems that the onboard connectors are only to cater for 5.1/6.1 speaker sets and if you were to use 7.1, you would have to forfeit the line in socket on the soundcard. This presents a problem as the Mic Socket is used for a microphone and I require the Line In socket for stereo input from my TV tuner. I don't fancy plugging the TV Tuner into the Mic socket as the sound will be so tinny and distorted, and the lack of stereo sound will bother me especially when watching shows like 24.
Is it possible to input stereo sound from my TV Tuner without the loss of 7.1 sound from the K8N onboard sound or shall I just budget for an Audigy 2 ZS/4? Even the inferior Realtek ALC850 doesn't make you sacrifice the Line In and Mic sockets to get surround sound audio, but I wont step down that far as I intend to listen to DVD Audio soundtracks, not to mention I will miss the EAX 3 & 4 Audio in games.
Hmmmm - I know Creative Speakers are like that as well as the X-Fi Sound Cards. However the motherboard manual actually states that the Line In port will be used as the Surround Back Output when in 7.1 Mode (each mode has a diagram and an explanation of how each port on the back panel functions) hence the reason I was really upset when I was presented with this problem.
I won't be using Creative Speakers with this sound card - instead I'll be plugging in my home cinema receiver and using Ipod headphone splitters on each output so I can have the home cinema receiver and standard 7.1 PC speakers plugged in simultaneously without having to keep switching plugs. Currently I have split the front speakers channel on my sound card so that one output goes into my Dolby Pro Logic TV while the PC Speakers still remain plugged in.
Anyone else have any ideas on this subject? Will a separate Audigy 2 ZS/4 sound like a better idea? If thats the case I can save money on the motherboard and get one without the fancy dan soundcard - especially as this is the main reason I'm paying through the nose for the motherboard!!