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Building 5.1 audio system with receiver and audiophile speakers

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello guys, I currently own a HD 5850 and I'm going to upgrade. At first I was pretty much decided on a GTX 460 SLI, but then I started waiting on the GTX 560 to check it out and in the meantime everything changed.

I'm building a 5.1 system with audiophile equipement:
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 LCR
Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 for surrounds
HSU VTF-3 Mk3 Subwoofer
Yamaha RX-A2000 Receiver

my main source will be my computer for music, gaming and movies.

So, my questions are pretty simple:

I've heard I can hook my HD 5970 via HDMI to my Receiver and get high quality audio out of it, which makes the use of a sound card something futile. But can the same be said about nVidia's mini HDMI out?

And plus, is it true that the audio from the HDMI out from a 6950 sound as good as, say, from the optical out from a Xonar Essence or Omega Claro?

thanks!
post #2 of 9
nVidia's only difference with ATI (AFAIK) is the lack of PAP (protected audio path) support, so HD bitstreaming is out of the question, but otherwise should work identically. The only thing that's really important for most users is 8 channel Linear PCM which modern nVidia cards will do fine.

HDMI is copper cable and not optical fiber. They are completely different methods of information transfer, although use the same digital protocol. They should in theory work identically in ideal conditions, and different in extreme conditions. What HDMI will do is pick up ground loop noise like any copper cable. The problem with optical is no multichannel PCM, only 2 channel.
Edited by astrallite - 1/9/11 at 3:32am
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Nice DOS game build. Have you ever tried Prince of Persia? I heard it's great.

I've got one question tho.... what is Protected Audio Path?
post #4 of 9
This beast runs Command & Conquer, Civ II, Duke Nukem. Almost Red Alert but it lags in the underground commando mission, and it crashes on Doom 2 occasionally.

Protected Audio Path is for HD audio, like I said. There's a lot of security protocols these days for HD content. No bitstreaming DTS-HD or Dolby-TrueHD.

And Prince of Persia ran on an Apple II bro, this thing blows it out of the water.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hmmm I suppose I'm just sleepy or dumb.
So that means current nVidias dont support the Secured Audio Paths, which are protected audio encoders such as DTS-HD.

Yeah, so I guess I'm indeed going for either a 9650 or a 6970.



unless theres a new voodoo coming out. Those are killers.
post #6 of 9
Nice speakers; I own both Ascends.

You using them for living room or office?
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh you own both the Sierra-1 and the CMT-340? Could you tell me about 'em?
post #8 of 9
You wrote you were building with CBM-170 for rears not CMT-340.

The 170s I've had since college and they are very neutral and ugly as ****. A little light on the bass.

The Sierra's are very nice speakers. They remind me of the HD650s. Very mellow and warm with extended bass response. They sound like floorstanders, in fact they go deeper than a lot of bigger speakers which is surprising because they only have a 5" long throw woofer.

I have the Paradigm S2v2s (30lbs each), Revel M20s bookshelf speakers (38lbs each), Usher Be-718 bookshelf speakers (40lbs each) and NHT Classic 4 Floorstanders (75lbs each) and they both don't extend as much in the way of bass as the Ascends. I have a few other speakers too including the Revel Ultima Gem2s, Energy C-3s, Axiom M22v2, Athena AS-F1s, Klipsch RSXs etc, and some older ones from the 80s I've got sitting around (audio is a little hobby of mine)...

For a small listening area the bass might start create reflection problems (hopefully you don't have these sitting on your desk...) but I'm assuming this is a living room setup.
Edited by astrallite - 1/10/11 at 8:30pm
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes, it's a living room setup. I've got an old receiver too, about 13, 15 years old, it was my dads. I'm considering hooking up a 2 speakers system at it for my bedroom.

And you do have an incredible ammount of equipement there now, don't ya? And I guess I shouldn't worry too much about bass lack if I've got a HSU VTF-3 Mk3 or HO, so I believe I'll just stick with my 170's.

Tho my intention is to grab the Sierra-1, I'm also considering the CMT-340's as well, so any info on 'em would be appreciated too.
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