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Thread: The Future of Sound Cards

  1. #11
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by nevermind1534 View Post
    That's my headset
    Same here, but I have the Logitech G35s. USB headsets have their own drivers onboard, so there's no use for dedicated sound cards unless you are building a HTPC.

    Kayin, I have some Cooler Master Musketeer III units. If you want to get another tube for your computer I might be talked into selling one. It's very likely not as good as the on board motherboard version, but I've liked using it in the past. I have a few brand new ones too.

  2. #12
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    I had an idea recently: rather than condemning sound cards to oblivion, what if the components that are used in sound cards currently were moved to the speakers themselves, and then connected to the computer with a different type of connection?
    That's sorta what SPDIF is, I believe.
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  3. #13
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by x88x View Post
    That's sorta what SPDIF is, I believe.
    I am not familiar with S/PDIF, as my current speakers do not use it, nor do very many computer speakers use that connection, from what I have observed, but I have some knowledge of it, and I have seen that a typical S/PDIF connecter has only a single pin. Can that single pin convey data between the speakers and computer, similarly to how USB (which has 4 pins), HDMI (19 pins), or DisplayPort (20 pins) can?
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  4. #14
    One Eye, Sixteen Cores. Kayin's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    That "single pin" is a fiber optic connector. So yeah.
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  5. #15
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayin View Post
    That "single pin" is a fiber optic connector. So yeah.
    Can the speakers separate each sound channel (one for each speaker) from that single pin? There is a reason that most connectors have multiple pins, and that is so the data does not become distorted or jumbled. Therefore if a single optical fiber cable can carry data from as many as six sound channels (the five satellites and the subwoofer), that is very impressive. However, does S/PDIF convey data from the speakers to the computer, as does Display Data Channel with monitors? And not all S/PDIF connections use optical fibers; some still use coaxial cables, which makes me wish to ask another question: why do they use coaxial cables, when I was under the impression that coaxial cables were obsolete (they have largely been replaced by HDMI for usage in television sets) due to potential for signal loss? Would it not make more sense to develop a cable similar to USB or DisplayPort for carrying sound signals? And why must the pin or pins be exposed? That can lead to the pins being bent or broken, as I have often seen with VGA, DVI, or PS/2 connectors, which is why newer connectors, such as HDMI, Displayport, and USB, have their pins embedded in the connectors.

    To change the subject slightly, if S/PDIF is better than normal analog connections, why is it not more popular? Most computer speakers that I have seen still use the same TRS connectors that have been used for many years, so I wonder why adoption of the new connector type is relatively slow compared to the adoption of other new connectors.
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

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  6. #16
    Measure once, curse twice nevermind1534's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    It's a digital signal, intended for audio use. USB also carries power, in addition to data, which is why it has four pins. Only one of them is actually for data.
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  7. #17
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    Since as I started reading your post, nvm, I was preparing a post in my head about...what ended up being in the second part of your post, but in a little more detail in case electrically challenged people might be watching, it looks like it's time for...


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    ...anyways...

    Quote Originally Posted by nevermind1534 View Post
    Only one of them is actually for data.
    To elaborate, in case any electrically challenged people are watching, electrical signals require signal/reference pair (also called a 'differential pair') in order to transfer data. Basically, a point of reference is required in order to reliably transmit and receive a signal. In the case of USB, this manifests as a positive signal line and a negative signal line, in addition to the 5V positive static line and the ground. This is because in an electrical system, data is transferred usually using variations on the sin-wave (that's trig sin, not religion sin..and yes, a square-wave is a variation on the sin-wave). In an optical system, data is transferred in pulses of light, so no reference point is needed (or, rather, the reference point is the time between pulses of light). That's why USB (an electrical data transfer system) requires two lines to establish a single channel of communication and optical S/PDIF only requires one. ...you know...in case anyone was wondering...if you weren't/don't care/etc, feel free to ignore everything I just said...
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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  8. #18
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    X88X owns you all.

    Since I'm one of the resident audio nuts, I should chip in here.

    The debate of onboard sound vs add on cards comes down to two things.. cost and quality. Decent quality (as in "good enough for almost everyone") can be had with the onboard audio on almost all motherboards now. The difference in cost between adding onboard sound or not is probably a matter of PENNIES at this point, so manufacturers might as well; it also frees up a slot for some other device.

    I've been using an external USB device to feed my audio system for a few years now, rather than running a line out to the amp; I've always found that onboard audio generates electrical noise (some more than others) that I can hear through my hifi. Nothing serious mind you, a little buzz here or there, maybe a slight hum. To me, it's torture.

    When I have nothing playing, I want SILENCE, even if my system is turned up to full volume. Using an outboard audio solution eliminates the potential of interference from other components, and allows for a much shorter "line level" signal cable from the audio output to the amplifier.

    I'm currently using an M-Audio Mobile Pre USB device for my outboard sound. I have a very good quality USB cable from my computer to the MobilePre, and then a homemade 3mm to RCA adaptor cable (gold plated mini plug, single strand cat5 wire, silver solder, eichman bullet RCA plugs, heat shrink, and vinyl sleeving) to my Sonica Super T-Amp (15w peak per channel), which then feeds a pair of Merill Zigmahornets.

    I've been watching the external USB DAC converter scene for awhile, and there are TONS of options out there for high quality USB audio. Some affordable, some not so much. The Devilsound DAC looks like good value, and reviews have been positive.

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  9. #19
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    Look up some of my posts on audio to see pictures of my rig. It's pretty much unchanged for quite some time!

    \m/ d(-_-)b \m/

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  10. #20
    100% Recycled Pixels. Twigsoffury's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Future of Sound Cards

    350,000 charcters and 2 pages of posts and not one mention of maximum voices that the audio cards can handle.



    huge difference between 128 voices on the high end cards, and the 16 or 24 on the integrated cards.

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