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Do I need a sperate video card for HDMI audio out in HTPC

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October 8, 2011 10:54:45 PM

I'm looking to put together a really good HTPC that will be able to handle HD with ease. Don't care about games on it really but it has to be able to output DTS and or DD 5.1 through HDMI. I'm thinking the best processor right now is the i5 2500k. If I get a motherboard which has HDMI out built in will it also output 5.1 sound? Or do I need to purchase a separate video card or sound card. Absolute requirement is that 5.1 sound has to come from HDMI and not some additional second output. Thanks for any advice guys.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2011 12:04:34 AM

Some mobos will, like the ASRock H55M/USB3 R2.0. Note that they specify "Core i5 600 series / i3 500 series / PentiumĀ® G6950 CPU". I googled <+motherboard +hdmi "master audio" 2011>. You just have to study the specs on likely candidates.
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October 9, 2011 2:50:50 AM

Aww crud...its looking like only the older H55 chipsets support Master audio or lossless audio. Crap I don't want to get already antiquated MOBO and chip technology. Any know if theres any current MOBOs or chipsets that support Master audio out through HDMI that are with the new LGA 1155 chips?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 9, 2011 6:34:46 AM

A HD5450 will output up to 7.1 It's a video card but it's around ~$30 and 10W. 2500k is way over what you need. Look for an i3-2100 or below (the G* pentiums)
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2011 2:25:14 PM

You don't need a video card. All of the Intel socket 1155 processors have built in video that can bitstream both DD/DTS as well as the newer blu-ray audio DTS-MA and DD-TrueHD. You will need an H61, H67, or Z68 chipset motherboard to use the CPU audio and video.

The AMD Llano processors can do this too.

That said, I agree that a 2500k is overkill.

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