SPDIF (optical) support 5.1?

TeeBoner

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Jan 27, 2013
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Okay, so this should be a reasonably easy question, my motherboard's (ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z) on board audio card/chip has an optical audio option. I recently saw a fairly good amplifier that supports 5.1 and optical, and I would like to use it for my pc setup. My question is, since I never saw the option in my audio manager, does my audio chip's optical SPDIF support true 5.1? So that I can play games in 5.1 using only one amplifier using the optical audio from my pc
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
to answer your question and sort of rehash what was already stated in a simpler manner:

YES, an optical connection does support 5.1
HOWEVER, it only supports it compressed audio (not uncompressed) via DTS or AT3 only

if at all possible i would suggest buying a receiver and routing a hdmi from your video card to it and passing the hdmi through for video to your monitor. the hdmi out (well specifically the receiver) will show up as your default audio device. this is the best possible sound you will get from pc.

in the case of users with complicated monitor setups or users that do not want to use hdmi passthrough (or who lack equipment with hdmi capability but do have spdif or coax) then you can get by with spdif optical or coax. it will work fine in most cases however there may be times that things do not work so well.

also you mention amplifier with a dac..... are you sure you do not mean "Receiver" or "AVR (audio video receiver)" not "amplifier?
 

Pinhedd

Distinguished
Moderator


No it does not.

S/PDIF supports the following formats:

Single channel PCM (Mono)

Dual channel PCM (Stereo)

Compressed bitstreams up to 48Khz/16bps using AC3 (Dolby Digital) or DTS encoding mechanisms.

Surround audio across S/PSIF can only be achieved using AC3/DTS. Multichannel PCM (most desirable) is not possible over S/PDIF but is possible over HDMI.

If you wish to use your external amplifier to play games that do not have native support for AC3 (almost none on PC do as it's typically unnecessary) then you must have a soundcard that supports Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, and an external receiver which supports decoding either one.
 
Dolby Digital and DTS are supported via optical audio (as well as 2 channel audio usually up to 24 bit 96khz). You might want to check to see if there are any updates for your mobo that will allow you to use this option. You might try just connecting it to a surround sound receiver to see if the 5.1 channel indicator comes on.
 

TeeBoner

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Jan 27, 2013
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My mobo (ASUS Corsshair Formula-Z) has one of the best on-board soundcards (Supreme FX III) and apparently it does support DTS interactive (5.1) and most probably Dolby Digital aswell. Click here for info...

Also, I wasn't planning on using the amplifier because of games that were supposed to not-support AC3, but rather because I asumed the DAC of the YAMAHA amplifier would be higher quality than that of my motherboard (although it did cost me 220 bucks and is supposed to have this super awesome DAC).

Besides, my current sound setup is a bit unorganized since I'm forced to use a different amp for the two speakers behind me, for my sub & center and my MFBs (front) aren't pre-amplified, but directly plugged into the back of my pc. If I were to use the amp with the digital input though, I'd be able to plug all of me speakers in it and it would be a lot better to use (it has some un-amplified outputs in the back btw, for the MFBs).

So... yeah... I guess now the question is if the amplifier supports DTS interactive, I asume it does since it's a 5.1 amplifier, but I can't recall correctly if I saw anything about DTS support. I can check it out tomorrow.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
to answer your question and sort of rehash what was already stated in a simpler manner:

YES, an optical connection does support 5.1
HOWEVER, it only supports it compressed audio (not uncompressed) via DTS or AT3 only

if at all possible i would suggest buying a receiver and routing a hdmi from your video card to it and passing the hdmi through for video to your monitor. the hdmi out (well specifically the receiver) will show up as your default audio device. this is the best possible sound you will get from pc.

in the case of users with complicated monitor setups or users that do not want to use hdmi passthrough (or who lack equipment with hdmi capability but do have spdif or coax) then you can get by with spdif optical or coax. it will work fine in most cases however there may be times that things do not work so well.

also you mention amplifier with a dac..... are you sure you do not mean "Receiver" or "AVR (audio video receiver)" not "amplifier?
 

TeeBoner

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Jan 27, 2013
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I already knew it supported 5.1 (via DTS as I said in my earlier message), but thanks anyway. Unfortunately my AMP does not support DTS (although it does support Dolby Digital), but for me it's still a better solution to my problem, since I can now use the analog inputs and get real surround anyway.

As to answer your question about what I meant with DAC, I mean the built in DAC of the amplifier.
 
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