integrated audio w/ good quality ?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by userjack, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. userjack

    userjack n00b

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    hi there

    im looking for a socket A mobo w/ the best possible integrated sound
    (i dont care about cpu load, just the ... the sound :) )
     
  2. BaldHeadedDork

    BaldHeadedDork Gawd

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    Anything with an nForce2 chipset. The intergrated audio nVidia used (forget the name at the moment, I'm a dark-side-of-the-force guy) is as good as an Audigy. CPU loads aren't a problem, either, since the sound processor is wired in as an onboard PCI devise.




    BHD
     
  3. SilverMK3

    SilverMK3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Edit:
    Any nForce2 Chipset with the MCP-T south bridge. Only these boards carry the nVidia SoundStorm certification. Note that you'll only get great sound out of a SoundStorm motherboard if you're using the digital outs to connect to a home theatre receiver or digital speakers. If you just use the regular analog outputs (mini stereo plugs) you'll be using the crappy onboard Realtek codec - which is not as good as most PCI solutions.
     
  4. xonik

    xonik [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was definitely not satisfied with a SoundStorm/Realtek combo I installed a few months ago. I would tip my hat to the VIA Envy24PT as the best onboard solution. That, or the Analog Devices SoundMAX, which is pretty good as well.
     
  5. zerogt86

    zerogt86 Gawd

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    boards with soundstorm:
    abit nf7-s
    asus a7n8x delux
    chaintech nforce 2 zenith (i think)

    uhh, thats all that comes off the top of my head... mayb a DFI board aswell although im not sure... anyway id recomend the NF7-S, ive had alot of luck with it.
     
  6. leukotriene

    leukotriene 2[H]4U

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    The ADI 1980 I heard did not sound good, but CODEC output quality seems very much dependent on implementation.
     
  7. FanZ

    FanZ [H]ard|Gawd

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    most soundmax or soundmax cadenza boards are really nice.. soundstorm equipped boards have shitty analog output, but really nice digital.
     
  8. userjack

    userjack n00b

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    hi again
    tnx for ur quick replyes

    i`ve been looking at an abit mobo - it has a via sound part connected to a realtek one, do u know which one does what, which is more important for the noice level and the others characheristics of the sound
    output ?

    most mobos ive seen use either c-media or realtek chips - which
    u think r better?

    TIA
     
  9. NightRaven

    NightRaven [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you really care at all about the sound quality, I'd get a sound card. Generally, the quality difference between types of onboard audio is just varying degrees of crap.
     
  10. leukotriene

    leukotriene 2[H]4U

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    That sounds like an Envy24 solution connected through a Realtek CODEC but I wasn't aware Abit was doing any such thing.

    The implementation of the CODEC is nearly as important as the quality of the CODEC itself, which makes picking a good sounding integrated audio solution essentially impossible by partnumber alone.
    You have to listen to it.

    The newest Realtek (658) and C-Media (9761) CODECs should be very high fidelity and they support 96KHz sampling rates, but as soon as you embed the chip on a motherboard you are going to encounter output quality issues unless you are extremely careful about placement.
    Most manufacturers seem to consider CODEC placement a low priority - it's a checkbox feature at best.
     
  11. xonik

    xonik [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That applies to soundcards, too.

    Leukotriene, I think you and I are overanalyzing the impact of component placement/selection, because I've found that most people don't even notice these differences because of speaker/headphone selection and undeveloped ear training. It's worth noting, I guess.
     
  12. GodsMadClown

    GodsMadClown 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, well... The more high-fi or mid-fi stuff you listen to, the better your discrimination gets. It's a vicious circle.
     
  13. leukotriene

    leukotriene 2[H]4U

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    It's sad, isn't it? I almost wish I was listening to my stuff on Sony headphones that came free with an early-model walkman.

    Actually, even with those you could probably hear the interference that some motherboards exhibit through the CODEC analog-out when the optical drives are being accessed.
     
  14. userjack

    userjack n00b

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    leukotriene
    tnx 4 the info