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Intel x58 vs Auzentech Hometheater or Asus Xonar HDAV

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  • Sound Cards
  • Intel
  • HD
  • Components
Last response: in Components
February 10, 2010 7:16:02 PM

I'm just starting to build an HTPC and I need some help with sound. I want to set up a 7.1 true HD theater and I'm wondering if the intel x58 chipset will do this. They advertise on their site how it supports HD audio and how they worked with Dolby, but they don't actually have that TrueHD or DTS HD logo that everyone shows off. Will the chipset deliver blu-ray audio to my speakers, or do I need a sound card? Thanks!!

More about : intel x58 auzentech hometheater asus xonar hdav

February 11, 2010 11:27:12 AM

Welcome to the forums!

My understanding is no, you will not be able to bitstream TrueHD or DTS HD from any onboard codec.

What I would recommend is to use an ATI 5xxx GPU in your HTPC.
All support TrueHD, DTS HD and 8-Channel LPCM bitstreaming through HDMI via an integrated codec.
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February 11, 2010 1:37:21 PM

Fantastic, I was looking at a Radeon 5770 or 5850 anyway...that'll save me some money. :)  So for the setup, I assume I'd just take the DVI out to the monitor/projector and the HDMI out to the receiver, right? Will this work with the newer nVidia boards (i.e. GTX 280) too?
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February 11, 2010 1:59:28 PM

The 5000 series GPU send audio over the HDMI cable, so you'd only need the one cable for most setups.

Not sure how it would work here though as using a DVI signal and a HDMI signal will enable multiple monitors, so you may need to fiddle around with desktops, check if audio will go down the HDMI cable when using multiple monitors etc.

I have a gut feeling that you'd be better off using a separate audio card after all if you're sending the signal into a decoder.
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February 11, 2010 5:47:28 PM

You can bitstream TrueHD and DTS HDMA from Clarkdale i3s and i5s, but not currently from any x58 board.
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February 18, 2010 1:58:12 PM

Thanks, I did some research on that after seeing your post. It seems to me that the GPU features just aren't quite up to snuff yet. Looks like you could get an i5 and an h55 motherboard in the $300 range. You can get a Radeon 5850 for that much as well, and have a much better graphics solution. Alternatively, a 5770 is under $200, still giving better graphics. I figure that's just a limitation of an on-board GPU. The integrated chipsets are always running a few generations behind, and while the i-series build them right into the CPU, the results are about the same.

I'm currently running a Core2Duo E6600 (2.4GHz) with a 975X chipset, 4GB RAM, and a GTS 8800 video card. Yes it's a few years old, but it does what I need it to. When I posted initially, I was considering building an all new system. The more I think about it, however, the more I feel like I might as well just use the system I have and add a new audio solution. Unfortunately, the 8800 can't give DVI to HDMI output, so I'm stuck getting a new video solution too, hence the Radeon 5-series.

Any thoughts?
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February 18, 2010 2:01:31 PM

LePhuronn said:
The 5000 series GPU send audio over the HDMI cable, so you'd only need the one cable for most setups.

Not sure how it would work here though as using a DVI signal and a HDMI signal will enable multiple monitors, so you may need to fiddle around with desktops, check if audio will go down the HDMI cable when using multiple monitors etc.

I have a gut feeling that you'd be better off using a separate audio card after all if you're sending the signal into a decoder.



Is there another way to get the sound to 7.1 speakers...? I was under the impression that to get trueHD, you had to have a receiver to split the HDMI source output into the appropriate channels.
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February 18, 2010 4:19:58 PM

Given your criteria for success, I see no reason why you shouldn't keep your current system and just swap out the video card for a discrete card that can bitstream.
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