Need help with audio for HD 3870 & choosing between 2 gfx cards

Hi all, im new here so i hope everyone can help me out :)

first of all i have a HIS ICEQ Radeon HD 3870 overclocked edition. For more info please look here:

I've installed the latest ATI drivers already, i keep up to date with all my drivers every month. Currently i have ATI 8.12 installed, I downloaded from here in case you ask:

anyway i like to play games on my Plasma 50' and i have hooked up a DVI to HDMI adapter to my 3870, and then hook up a HDMI cable from my card to my TV. Everything works fine, but i was doing some research and found out that most HD 3XXX & 4XXX series can support audio through the card or something like that? How do i do that? I'm currently using 7.1 surround speakers connected to my sound card but i would like to try the audio just from the gfx card itself, can someone tell me how? I think i've already setup it correctly since HDMI supports both video & audio but i don't get any sound from it.....

And secondly, i need help choosing a new gfx card. I live in New Zealand so i will be only using this site, please don't give me sites like Neweggs or anything else to compare the prices etc, i won't be ordering from overseas coz that takes at least 1 week and i don't trust those stuff, so please just use this site to help me.

anyway i only got about $300 to spend on a new gfx card and that is max. I can't go $50 more, maybe $330 will be acceptable but that's the max limit. All those prices on the site i posted above are in NZD.

Anyway im thinking of getting a 9800GT 1GB or a HD 4850 512mb. I know that 9800GT is just a repackaged 8800GT, but it's got a new feature in it though. Funny thing is, it's actually cheaper than the 8800GT on that site, i don't know why lol.

Also i know the the 4850 is better, i've done a lot of research and read a lot of reviews and charts and 4850 smokes the 9800GT.........the thing is, i like gaming on a big screen, so will that 9800GT with 1GB be a better choice or the 4850 512mb be a better choice? The 9800GT is also slightly cheaper as well by $10 or so.......

the 9800GT is $290 (inc GST), and the HD4850 is $299 (inc GST). Those are the cheapest prices for the cards i've found. Anyway i probably only play at 1330*768 as the max resolution so will the 4850 do? I might be wrong about the exact resolution but it's around that. Please help me.
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More about need audio 3870 choosing cards
  1. Welcome to the forums. To get answers from the peeps in this section ask one graphics card related question at a time. You right about the 4850 and the 9800gt. But for future proof get the best graphic card you can afford
  2. Gaming on big screens means nothing you can get away with a fx5200 on a 40" but at extremely low resolutions. Gaming at high resolutions needs fast ram. If 19×10 is the max resolution 512vram vs 1 gig isn't much different. Don't worry the 98gt will run outa steam before the 4850 hits the memory wall.
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