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Will a 7.1 sound card output to a 5.1 receiver?

Last response: in Components
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April 2, 2009 8:45:34 AM

I'm setting an old system (Dell SC420) with Vista x86, which I'll be using as a Vista Media Center PC. I installed an Nvidia geForce 8400 GT video card and I'm currently looking for a decent audio card. I'm not sure if I should go with a 7.1 sound card or just 5.1 sound card. I have a 5.1 receiver. I'm wondering if I should go with a 7.1 sound card or a 5.1 sound card, which will be connected to a 5.1 receiver, via SPDIF. Upgrading the receiver is currently not an option.

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April 2, 2009 9:20:00 AM

Hi - a 7.1 card will output 5.1. You just need to set it to do so in Windows Control Panel and/or the drivers or application that came with the sound card. I currently do that with a Creative X-Fi 7.1 to a set of 5.1 amp/speakers. However I dont use SPDIF, just the regular 3.5mm jacks but dont see why it shouldnt be the case for SPDIF. Good luck!
April 2, 2009 12:05:54 PM

CrazieEddie said:
I'm setting an old system (Dell SC420) with Vista x86, which I'll be using as a Vista Media Center PC. I installed an Nvidia geForce 8400 GT video card and I'm currently looking for a decent audio card. I'm not sure if I should go with a 7.1 sound card or just 5.1 sound card. I have a 5.1 receiver. I'm wondering if I should go with a 7.1 sound card or a 5.1 sound card, which will be connected to a 5.1 receiver, via SPDIF. Upgrading the receiver is currently not an option.

Thanks



If you want 5.1 using SPdif, you need to use either Dolby Digital or DTS, as native PCM 5.1 can not be transmitted over SPdif. (Upscalling via Dolby Pro Logic can also be done, if hardware supports it).

Now, if your receiver supports DD/DTS, your best option would be a sound card that can encode DD/DTS signals, to get you the best quality possible. I recommend the ASUS Xonar D2/D2X.
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