Most of the features highlighted on MSI's P55-GD80 center on drawing in the enthusiast crowd. However, "True Blu-ray Audio" silk-screened onto the PCB caught our attention, too. So, what does that mean, exactly?
As far as we're able to tell, it's a reference to the integrated Realtek ALC889 audio codec. CyberLink's PowerDVD 9 playback app supports the ALC889 (among four other HD Audio codecs) and offers up to 96 kHz / 24-bit audio playback through eight analog channels. It won't do lossless pass-through, like Asus' Xonar HDAV 1.3, but there is truth to MSI's claim for high-def support if you're using the right playback application and speaker configuration.