NFORCE2 Audio Processing Unit / Realtek ALC650....What?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by BobTheSlob, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. BobTheSlob

    BobTheSlob Limp Gawd

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    Ok I'm confused. I bought the Biostar iDEQ 200N cause it was an nForce2 setup. And the nForce2 is supposed to have this very acceptable "Soundstorm" audio thing going on.


    But on the Biostar website, it says what the topic says.
    "NFORCE2 Audio Processing Unit / Realtek ALC650
    6-Channel Audio"

    What's the deal with this Realtek ALC650? Why is Realtek part of my nForce2 audio setup? Realtek is crap and is blatantly worse than my Audigy.

    What is "Soundstorm" and why don't I have it?
     
  2. leukotriene

    leukotriene 2[H]4U

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    Listen very carefully:

    The NForce 2 audio solution is completely digital, there is no DAC integrated into the south bridge because that would be stupid and increase die size further.

    So, if you need an analog output to your speakers (which most do), the board manufacturer must use a DAC to convert said digital signal to an analog signal.

    What on a typical motherboard is inexpensive and converts a digital signal into an analog one? Hmmmm. Oh yes!

    An AC97 CODEC!
    Like the Realtek ALC650.

    Unlike traditional mobo designs where the CPU does the digital audio processing however, the NForce2 MCP-T (and -D IIRC) has an integrated DSP that does it itself, thereby removing that (small) load from the CPU.

    So, if you need to use analog output with that board, the helpful ALC650 will do the Digital to Analog Conversion duties (and ADC). But that is all it will do.

    Since you bought a Biostar and saved money relative to another manufacturer, I would suggest you not complain too much. Indeed, even the "great" Asus has chosen the ALC650 for this duty. Why?

    Because they're cheap bastards and the ALC650 is one of the cheapest CODECs in the universe.

    I believe some manufacturers have opted for high quality CODECs (VT1616, CMI9739, ALC658) on certain models.
     
  3. oqvist

    oqvist [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Strangely those with the best codecs are those non soundstorm boards which uses Cmedia stuff.
     
  4. leukotriene

    leukotriene 2[H]4U

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    Yeah the newer Epox models use the 9739(a-version; which denotes something Im not aware of) and I'm not aware which if any use the APU. The 9739 might actually sound better as a standalone, however.
    You can always find some manufacturer who screws up the implementation though, and you throw in a CD and Bach suddenly sounds like blech.


    edited for syntax and spelling.

    Also, CMedia appears to have software DD encoding support with their newest CODEC, which supports 24/96 output :eek:
     
  5. BobTheSlob

    BobTheSlob Limp Gawd

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    Well that cleared it up nicely! Thanks
     
  6. kaukau

    kaukau n00b

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    Can you also make it so it will output digital sound that would work with an optical digital in?