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Graphic/Sound card for HTPC


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#1 Thomasm

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:13 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics and sound card, mainly for watching video on an HDTV. Right now I run VGA out to a Panasonic Viera 1080P 42" and analog stereo audio from an onboard sound chip to an Onkyo receiver. I also run DVI from the same graphics card to my LG monitor and audio out to desktop speakers. What I'd like to do is upgrade to an HDMI card and output both HD video and HD audio to the Onkyo receiver, while also keeping my LG monitor connected to DVI and my desktop speakers connected to a analog stereo output.

When looking at new graphics cards online, I notice that some offer 7.1 channel sound through the HDMI output. What I'm not clear on is whether or not I need a new sound card or if these new graphics cards handle both HD video and audio. If they do, then that means I can run one HDMI cable from the graphics card to my receiver and get both HD audio and video to my home theater setup. But then I still need analog sound output for my desktop speakers. How would I achieve that?

Another concern is that the sound quality from a graphics card may be poor. So if I wanted a new graphics card and a new sound card, how would I send both signals over HDMI to my receiver on one cable? And do sound cards even have HDMI output (I haven't checked yet)?

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#2 Sterling14

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:33 PM

The HDMI from the graphics card will provide audio, it doesn't even use your sound card. I doubt the sound quality would be poor, but to some it may. I'm sure you could always add in another sound card, but your home theater speakers would need to connect to the sound card directly, the sound card won't improve the quality of the HDMI in the graphics card.

If you need analog audio to your current desktop speakers, you can just plug them into the sound card you already have.
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#3 Thomasm

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:29 AM

Okay thanks. That all makes sense. I just wasn't sure.




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