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Analog vs Digital on the Z-5500

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Im wondering if its worth switching my current X-Fi Extreme Music to something like an X-Fi Titanium Fatality Edition to be able to used DD-Live encoding while in optical out, would this give me a noticeable audio quality difference in games and movies?
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post #2 of 5
Digital can offer a better experience if the cables you are using on your analog connection are low quality.

A digital cable, to have a loss of signal quality, needs to be physically damaged most of the time. So even a cheap digital cable will transmit the best possible sound quality from the soundcard to the speakers.

If your analog cables are good, and you're comparing analog to digital (assuming the DAC for the digital connector is good too) then you'll have the same sound quality.

If you are looking for a better sound experience I suggest moving to a better card then the Titanium Fatal1ty Edition. Try something along the lines of a Asus Xonar DX or Xonar D2X.

On the other hand; your speakers are really the low point of your system.
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post #3 of 5
What matters isn't the cable - it's the DAC behind each solution. Now I don't know much about those speakers; I'm assuming they have a digital optical input (and thus an internal DAC). Chances are, the DAC in your soundcard will greatly surpass the integrated DAC in low end media speakers like these. Analog cables are not really a concern - you can get ~$10 RCA cables (gold plated no less) that perform 99% to the specification of $1000 "audiophile cables". But that's another argument. Have you tried optical vs analog before, with your current card/mobo?
post #4 of 5
Depends on what you're going to do with your machine. Surround games going over an X-Fi to digital out will come out 2.1 unless you use the Creative Dolby or DTS conversion. Then it gets complicated. Digital makes the biggest difference if you're running out to a good receiver/speakers and you like high-quality MP3 listening.

Best way to have BluRay HD audio is the raw signal passed directly out your Vid card via HDMI to a receiver, not using the X-Fi. Raw HD audio can't go over optical or co-ax digital cables, only HDMI. If you're watching Blu-Ray and not using HDMI, you're not getting the real HD audio. Regular DVDs is different, IF your speakers can decode Dolby or DTS, you can send the signal out raw through the digital out, and have full quality sound, which will make a difference if your speakers are good enough.

When you start getting into digital signals and PCs, things get complicated. Using your analog out will be alot simpler if you're just a gamer.
Edited by 2thAche - 5/8/11 at 9:16am
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input, I'll stick with analog connection then.
Nexus
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Intel Core i7 4790K Gigabyte Z87 G1 Sniper M5  2x Zotac 980Ti (Reference Design) Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866Mhz 4x4Gb (16Gb)... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial M550 256Gb Corsair Force GT 240Gb Seagate 3TB 2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 
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Swiftec H220X w/ GT-AP15  Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Samsung 32EH5000 32" HD Direct lit LED TV Ducky Shine 3 [Cherry MX Blue , White LED] 
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Coolermaster V1000 Corsair 350D Logitech G603 Puretrack Talent 
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Logitech Z5500 5.1 Digital Speaker 
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Nexus
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 4790K Gigabyte Z87 G1 Sniper M5  2x Zotac 980Ti (Reference Design) Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866Mhz 4x4Gb (16Gb)... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Crucial M550 256Gb Corsair Force GT 240Gb Seagate 3TB 2x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Swiftec H220X w/ GT-AP15  Windows 8.1 Pro x64 Samsung 32EH5000 32" HD Direct lit LED TV Ducky Shine 3 [Cherry MX Blue , White LED] 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Coolermaster V1000 Corsair 350D Logitech G603 Puretrack Talent 
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Logitech Z5500 5.1 Digital Speaker 
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