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Sound Blaster Live / Audigy vs Realtek ALC860 7.1

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Kannan

In the zone
Hi everybody,

I am going to buy a new PC.

Having a little problem with the selection of the sound card.

It seems the current 825,915P series motherboard comes with the ALC860 7.1 channel onboard sound.

My doubt is, whether the ALC860 can play Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Prologic & Dolby Prologic II based movies & effects equivalent to SoundBlaster Live or Audigy series.

I am not bothered about the main processor load.

If ALC860 is the selection, then which Speaker is compatible.

Please give a solution.

Thanks in Advance.
 

theraven

Technomancer
its not equivalent to the audigy
if it was audigy would be out of business
but the onboard is quite decent
and the chipset standards have inproved a lot with the new range of MOBOS and 7.1 channel support
if u got cash go for the audigy no doubt abt it ... ofcourse to compare 7.1 support ull need the audigy 2
and theres nuthin like speaker compatibilty
get whatever u want and attatch !!
ofcourse the have to be computer speakers viz magnetically shielded etc.
alternatively u can connect ur home theatre ( if u have one ) to ur comp ... in which case u wont get 7.1 ... max 6.1
again if u have the cash
go for the creative gigaworks 7.1 .... costs a bomb ... but best speakers available for computers ...
( before anyone suggests alternatives and this turns out to be an argument ... i mean best for 7.1 ... and also as rated by lots of magazines ... as well as a certain mag this months issue .. where they built the best comp indian money can buy .... the choice of speakers was this)
 
G

gxsaurav

Guest
Although Audigy 2 will do everything in hardware but onboard is still cheap & best for the price, this new HD Audio in 9xx series is preety good, I prefer U get the ALC codec, preety good, if U have money definately go for Audigy 2 ZS, I have an Audigy LS using from last 1.5 years, no problems once U know how to configure drivers for best quality
 
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K

Kannan

In the zone
Can u get the same effects as Audigy ?

Can u get the same effects as Audigy ?

What I mean is, when u play a movie with Dolby Digital encoded audio can the ALC codec decode all the discreet channels or do I need an external decoder ??
Also while playing games like DOOM3 etc can I get the special effects in discreet channels??

My budget (soundcard only) is around Rs. 7,000/-, So which one can I choose ???

Also particularly which speaker module can better suite if I select ALC Codec and what might be the price ??
 

suave_guy

pedal to metal
Make sure that u've a big room before settling for a 7.1 setup.

Also i'm still not convienced with 7.1 format as there are not many movies and games which support even 6.1, forget alone 7.1. Ok agreed there are some movies(very few though) which support 6.1(Dolby Digital Ex) but still it will take atleast 2yrs(maybe) for 7.1 to be what we can call as a 'Universal Format' and by that time i'm sure there will be much better sound technology(in terms of clarity and bitstreams) and much better speaker models. Spending too much rt. now for a 7.1 setup is not much of a practical option. And since u've clearly mentioned that u need a dolby digital setup, then i suggest that u go for 5.1 dolby digital speakers(i mean with dolby digital decoder) to enjoy the best audio quality possible rt. now. What i mean to say is that the money u desire to spend rt. now on 7.1 setup can rather be used for buying a much better and superior 5.1 speakers and sound card.
Although i'm not saying that 7.1 is not good, infact there's no substitute for a 7.1 format, but then u need a whole lot of space and also the content for enjoying pure discrete 7.1 which rt. now looks remote.
Kannan said:
Can u get the same effects as Audigy ?
Audigy and Audigy2 soundcards offers better sound quality if you are going to use speakers with digital connection. Infact audigy2 supports 92 khz audio stream which is awesome if you aspire to listen dvd audio in the future and ALC in noway can match this.
Kannan said:
What I mean is, when u play a movie with Dolby Digital encoded audio can the ALC codec decode all the discreet channels or do I need an external decoder ??
Do they(i mean ALC) provides S/PDIF out?? I'm not sure about it. But if they do then the answer is 'Yes' they can provide discreet channels to be decoded by the external decoder. For S/PDIF You need an external decoder anyway to enjoy pure dolby digital audio without any signal loss and also remember that S/PDIF only supports 5.1 setup and also if ALC does not have S/PDIF then forget that it can provide 'encoded audio'. Though it can still provide discreet audio but only if you use analog connection by using multiple regular stereo audio pins for different audio channels rather then RC or Coaxial cable which is used for digital connection. The advantages of using digital connection is that the soundcard actually uses Speaker's A/D Converter circuit to provide digital audio which in turn provides pure audio without any signal loss and also that digital connection uses only single coaxial cable to provide dolby digital sound so there's no cable mess.
I think if you want 7.1 then forget digital connection, as you can only use them by using analog connections. I dont think there's any external 7.1 digital decoder available as of now. So again as i've said if you want best sound then go for 5.1, u'll be more then happy!
Kannan said:
Also particularly which speaker module can better suite if I select ALC Codec and what might be the price ??
Still if you want to go for a 7.1 setup then as stated by Raven, go for creative gigaworks 7.1 speakers, they are the best 7.1 speakers available at the moment. But remember that they are analog speakers :)
 
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Kannan

In the zone
So it means that still we can enjoy 8 discreet channels with Analog connection.

Am I correct ???
 
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