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Difference in sound between graphics card

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi

So I just purchased a receiver and speakers for my new tv, which I also want to connect to computer but found my computer doesnt have an HDMI or optical. I figure HDMI might be slightly better but am keeping options better. So to get an HDMI slot I understand I need to change the graphics card.

My question is how much difference will the sound be between a cheap graphics card and a more expensive one. Bare in mind I dont care about the graphics, I am simply gonna use the HDMI for the audio side of things.

I currently have a decent nvidia 2gb graphics card, so maybe do you think its a better choice to change sound card and go optical. and then again I have the same question how much difference would sound card make to my surround sound. Thanks in advance
post #2 of 9
Hdmi is hdmi. Unless there's something very wrong all hdmi should behave the same

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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hhhm cheers. I find that a bit iffy that a cheap £25 sound card would provide same audio quality as something that costs £200, but I am no expert. Thanks for your advice.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuk2000 View Post

Hhhm cheers. I find that a bit iffy that a cheap £25 sound card would provide same audio quality as something that costs £200, but I am no expert. Thanks for your advice.

It's not that. HDMI is a fully digital standard. That means that the audio quality among all HDMI devices is basically the same. The audio is uncompressed too, so you're getting a very clean source. If the GPU supports audio over an HDMI output, it's a fair bet that the audio will be the same as any other video card with an HDMI output.
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post #5 of 9
What GPU have you got at the moment? I thought NVidia could do HDMI sound (with an SPDIF passthrough for the older cards) since around the 200 series.
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi

Ah I see

I have an nvidia Geforce GTS 250. It is over three years old since i bought the computer now. Would u recomend updating that, or the sound card to get optical.

If so any graphics cards u could recommend that at least match my current graphics card but provide the HDMI so I can transfer audio through to my receiver and speakers.

In terms of computer graphics I am not too fussed, I am satisfied at what it is currently at as I dont really play games on it, just a shame it doesnt have HDMI.
post #7 of 9
Yep, the GTS250 can support HDMI audio but it's not really plug and play. You need an internal SPDIF out on the motherboard (or soundcard) and connect that with a cable to the GPU and then also the DVI to HDMI adapter that carries sound to go on the other end of the GPU. It's feeding your current soundcard/onboard to the GPU rather than a separate sound device which the newer cards are.

For Nvidia all of 400 series onwards support internal HDMI audio (plug it in and select it in Control Panel>Sound). You might want to start a thread in the GPU section to get the best replacement in terms of power/cost because the range from 430 up to 640/650 is large and I don't know them that well. (ATI is the same, the whole of 5000 to 7000 series)

Getting a new soundcard just to use the digital out (optical) isn't normally recommended. Soundcards are really for digital to analogue conversion and using just the digital out you'd be bypassing most of the hardware you'd just paid for.
Edited by Darren9 - 11/23/12 at 9:13am
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
You say that GTS250 can support HDMI audio but it doesnt have an HDMI slot so that confuses me a lot

However Thanks for your help. I will def go with changing the graphics card to accomodate HDMI output. I will ask about in GPU section to find the best one.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuk2000 View Post

Hhhm cheers. I find that a bit iffy that a cheap £25 sound card would provide same audio quality as something that costs £200, but I am no expert. Thanks for your advice.

digital audio is not processed by the GPU - it's simply passed through it. you could have an eleventy billion dollar GPU and that would not change.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuk2000 View Post

You say that GTS250 can support HDMI audio but it doesnt have an HDMI slot so that confuses me a lot
However Thanks for your help. I will def go with changing the graphics card to accomodate HDMI output. I will ask about in GPU section to find the best one.

The 4850 in my HTPC has no HDMI port on it either, yet it feeds the TV via a DVI-HDMI adapter with both video and audio.

Don't buy a GPU for audio capabilities, pick a GPU with the graphics / featureset you want, then make sure it supports audio passthrough (what doesn't these days?).
 
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