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question about NFORCE2 audio

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skatman

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Sep 23, 2002
I've been doing some research on the new NFORCE2 boards and there is one thing that you, ladies and gentlemen, might help me clear up.
The currently available Asus Delux board has the APU in the southbridge (MCP-T) featuring the Soundstorm with all the bells and whistles. However, it also has the Realtek ALC650 audio chip on board.
This is confusing... why would you have 2 sound chips on board?

Anybody researched this issue?
 

Tipycol

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Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Think it had to do with converting the signals between analog and digital (though that might have been something else). I remember earlier they were talking about having to have an add-on card for the Soundstorm for the Asus Delux board, even with the Realtek on the board.
 
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skatman

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Sep 23, 2002
I remember that add-on card business as well. So does the delux actually come with that card, or you'll have to purchase it separately?
 

hassmh

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Jul 1, 2002
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SE PA, USA
Yes, the Realtek chip is just a codec chip for converting the APU's digital output into analog. But if you use the SPDIF you get the digital signal straight from the APU.
 

Tipycol

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Aug 20, 2002
skatman said:
I remember that add-on card business as well. So does the delux actually come with that card, or you'll have to purchase it separately?

I think you don't need the add-on card anymore, that's why you found the board with both audio chips on them.
 

hassmh

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Jul 1, 2002
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SE PA, USA
I think most add-on cards were to supply the extra audio connectors, but since the ASUS has all the audio connectors, except perhaps optical SPDIF in/out, onboard already, there's not really a need for an add-on card. I don't think the add-on cards actually had the codec chip on them, but I could be wrong.
 
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skatman

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Sep 23, 2002
Ok, so does the Asus board have an SPDIF out?
I can't seem to find any reference to it on the Asus website.
 

hassmh

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Location
SE PA, USA
All the pics I've seen of the board have analog in, analog out, and SPDIF out where the second COM would normally be. Check Newegg and search for the board. They've got pics of it there.
 

hassmh

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Jul 1, 2002
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SE PA, USA
Actually, if you look at the pic of the board on the ASUS website, here, the SPDIF is clearly visible between the pink parallel connector and the metal block on the left. It's the yellow connector in between the two.
 

BadOC

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Aug 8, 2002
Location
Toronto, baconville
Even with the on board audio in mind, how will the quality of sound compare to lets say an audigy ? Im thinking of getting speakers and dont really want to get an extra pci if i dont have to.
 

EluSiOn

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Oct 31, 2002
Location
SC, USA
NForce2 Audio Sound Storm is as good as audigy, however, I dunno if sound storm has something like EAX or not...
 
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skatman

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Sep 23, 2002
Actually, if you look at the pic of the board on the ASUS website, here, the SPDIF is clearly visible between the pink parallel connector and the metal block on the left. It's the yellow connector in between the two.

Are you sure that is the S/PDIF? It looks like a digital coaxial to me.

As far as Sound Storm is concerned, it supports EAX and pretty much all other standards.
This is one of the main reasons why I'm looking at NForce2 because the only other high quality/ high feature alternative is Audigy... and Audigy, apprently, is very elecrtically noisy and pollutes the PCI bus quite a bit... so I would really not like to use it.
 

hassmh

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Jul 1, 2002
Location
SE PA, USA
It is a digital coaxial connector that puts out the SPDIF signal from the APU. SPDIF refers to the signal format, not the connector. Thus there are SPDIF connectors in digital coax, optical, 1/8" mini jack, and other formats. Unless you need optical, there's probably a cheap adapter from the digital coax that you can use. I think they used the coax because audio devices tend to use either coax or optical.

The APU on the nForce is very good. I like it better than my SB Live, especially since it doesn't burn all the CPU time. I'm sure nVidia made some improvements from the first version, but probably not many as it was already very good. I am looking forward to trying the new one. I love not having any PCI cards in my system!
 
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skatman

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Sep 23, 2002
Thanks for the info, Hassmh.
This does look like a very good platform. I'm still on the fence between AMD and Intel (will be building my system in 2-4 weeks), but having NForce2 might just push me over to the AMD side.