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AMD and Realtek Sound Options

Last response: in Motherboards
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March 5, 2012 3:46:33 PM

I'm hoping the fine folks here at Tom's can bring some closure to this issue. I have posted on other forums, and am still awaiting answers from ASUS tech support (not holding my breath). I hope this is the right forum section (couldn't decide between here, sound cards, or Win 7!)

I have a F1A75V EVO board with an A8-3850 Llano CPU, running Windows 7 64-bit. I am pretty confused about some of the HDMI output devices:

In my Onboard Devices configuration I have the option to either enable to disable an "HD Audio Device". If I choose to enable it I have the option of setting the "SPDIF Out Type" to either HDMI or SPDIF. Below are BIOS screenshots which show these options.

HD Audio Device Disabled:


HD Audio Device Enabled:


So this basically means there are 3 discrete sets of configurations your system can have:
1) HD Audio Disabled
2) HD Audio Enabled with SPDIF Out Type set to SPDIF
3) HD Audio Enabled with SPDIF Out Type set to HDMI

For each of these configurations Windows will show a different set of Playback Devices in Audio Manager. Posted below are the different configuration windows will show for the corresponding BIOS configs:

#1 HD Audio Disabled - AMD with AMD/ATI Driver



#2 HD Audio Enabled with SPDIF Out Type set to SPDIF


#3 HD Audio Enabled with SPDIF Out Type set to HDMI


So here is my confusion and my questions about all of this:

1) In configuration #1 (HD Audio Disabled) you still will have the AMD HDMI Output show. Isn't this an HD Audio device?

2) Configuration #2 (HD Audio Enabled with SPDIF Out Type set to SPDIF) seems "normal" to me in terms of what I would expect to find on a system with a MoBo such as this. It lists a single HDMI out option as well as a standard Digital Out and an Optical Digital Out.

3) Configuration #3 (HD Audio Enabled with SPDIF Out Type set to HDMI) lists two HDMI connections - however the only one that "works" is the AMD HDMI Output. I don't understand the point of the second HDMI. In fact, I don't understand the point of "SPDIF Out Type set to HDMI" at all!

Part of my confusion on this may be this particular motherboard, and specifically the Llano CPUs.

I know that the Llano has an integrated Radeon HD6550D.
What I don't understand is does the Llano also have its own integrated Audio? I have heard tell that the Llano can "bitstream" the HD audio codecs - but does it stand on its own as an audio processor?

It would seem that the answer is yes - since when I chose to disable "HD Audio" in the BIOS I still get the AMD HDMI Output device.
If this is the case - what is the purpose for ASUS to install a separate soundcard onboard?
Is the answer to get SPDIF (or standard speaker) output?
If that's the case - then why have the SPDIF-HDMI output option?
Is this simply an option on the Realtek controller that just makes no sense with a Llano CPU? (e.g. redundant)

So there is a lot that I would like answers for above - but I have even another question below:

When I use option #1 (HD Audio Disabled) I have just the AMD HDMI Output - AMD High Definition Audio Device as shown in pic #1 above. However I can download and install the ATI HDMI Audio Device from Realtek here. When I download and install them instead of what you see in pic #1 I get the following:

#4 HD Audio Disabled - AMD with REALTEK Driver


So this shows the AMD (now called ATI) device using the Realtek Driver.
Ok - so this makes sense to me, I've simply loaded a different driver for this piece of hardware. What I am looking for however is an up-to-date explanation of the functional differences between these drivers and in what circumstance I would choose one over the other.

I appreciate everyone's time in helping me understand this!

More about : amd realtek sound options

a b V Motherboard
March 5, 2012 4:28:20 PM

If this Mobo has HDMI, you may be seeing the audio portion. HDMI is made up of video and audio as I'm sure you know. That said you will find a device for audio that goes with the video. In many cases you will not find the proper device driver until you load the video driver which has the audio part of HDMI.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 156 V Motherboard
March 5, 2012 6:23:49 PM

look this for your hdmi that always on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TY5L849bEh4 also did you put the driver from the dvd that came with the board you could get the latest one on asus
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Related resources
March 5, 2012 6:49:17 PM

Thanks guys but this info doesn't seem relevant to my questions. Perhaps I wasn't clear on these points:

- Board has a single HDMI output

- If I turn "HD Audio" to Disabled in the BIOS, then what is listed in Windows is the AMD High Definition Audio". This device works using either the AMD driver OR the Realtek driver (shots #1 and #4 above).

- If I turn "HD Audio" to Enabled and set "SPDIF Out Type" to HDMI, then I get what you see in shot #3 above. That is, namely, 2 HDMI out devices. My question is why is there a "Realtek High Definition Audio Device" over HDMI? This doesn't seem like a usable device as there is only a single HDMI port that is already in use by the AMD.

So, given that information perhaps someone can explain why all these devices exist under this particular BIOS configuration and under what condition these can actually be used.

To distill the main question down I would probably ask "What does SPDIF out over HDMI provide?" Because that is clearly an option of the Realtek (being enabled in the BIOS) but one cannot actually get output over any HDMI connection for the Realtek. It seems an oversight on the part of ASUS.
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March 6, 2012 12:09:49 AM

scout_03 said:
your board got a onboard hdmi chipset and the liano processor got a integrated graphic chipset with hdmi that why you always see hdmi in the realtek panel http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a8-3850-llano,2... and read this for spidf and hdmi http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080820163...


@Scout - yes that's right - I understand that point.

What I don't understand is why the board's integrated Realtek has an option to output sound over either SPDIF or HDMI. Because if you set it to HDMI it doesn't work! Why doesn't it work - well presumable because the Llano's APU uses the HDMI port, and you can't disable the Llano APU - so why provide the option.

I can understand setting "HD Audio" to Enabled in the BIOS and using SPDIF out set to SPDIF for optical out. But setting it to HDMI out seems to do no good other than make a device appear which isn't actually usable. Additionally, it is my understanding that the audio processing capabilities of the Llano are superior to the Realtek anyway. If ASUS was designing a board to only support Fusion/Llano CPUs, then why include this anyway (unless Llano APU can ONLY output HDMI and not SPDIF).
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 156 V Motherboard
March 6, 2012 12:38:10 AM

there is a update for the realtek driver on asus ,check connector on the back speaker could be not plug in the output follow the user manual for motherboard settings and bios ,use the standard realtek digital output for sound if you dont use a hdmi cable to your monitor
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March 6, 2012 1:02:30 AM

Nope - not a driver issue...running the latest drivers.
As I state in my original post there is an option of running either the AMD driver for the AMD High Definition Out or running a Realtek driver (to which I post the link).

I also don't know what you are referring to in regards to a connector in the back speaker. There is only a single hdmi cable from a single HDMI port.

The motherboard manual has no information on this - if it did would I bother to post here?

I appreciate your attempts to help but perhaps there is a communication issue as I have clearly outlined the scenarios above and have been very clear on my questions and your replies don't seem to be really relevant to what I am asking :/ 
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April 29, 2013 1:10:54 AM

I happen to be searching for an answer to a question of my own and i came across your question here. Granted you asked this question over 1yr already so i assume you found your answer. However, if you haven't ever found the answer... here's a question. Do you have an Add-on AMD HD video card? if so that is probably your "AMD HDMI output" and that wouldn't be part of the bios. I also believe that AMD HD cards uses Realtek audio controller or at least similar driver software which are compatible and thats why you were able to change "AMD HDMI output" to "Realtek HDMI output.
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