Realtek doesn't have much of a name as a high quality audio solution... or at least it hasn't. Have they been improving their audio quality substantially, or is this board losing points right from go?
Personally, I'd have been more impressed if they'd included via envy 24, c-media, or (sadly exiting the market) analog devices based audio.
It's my understanding that realtek based audio solutions definitely have issues with gaming... but gaming isn't the focus of this board.
In other words, please try to address this in any coming article. I'm really curious about the relative audio quality, vs say, a discrete solution based on the chipsets I've mentioned.
PS: 'Issues with gaming' is probably deceptive. I apologize. I only mean that the sound QUALITY could be better... I've no knowledge of any unusual issues with say, getting a game to actually run, on realtek audio.
PSS: Am I way off base here? The amp card doesn't appear to have any inputs... is it receiving the audio data via the pci-e port, aka full digital audio until it hits the speakers?
Actually, the audio is based upon D2Audio's DSP.
I recently built a system based upon this board and it is AWESOME! Way better than traditional PC audio codecs and deffinitely on par with mainstream, high end consumer amps and receivers.
I have it hooked up to Infinity Primus L/R/C spekers in front and Difinitive Pro Cinema surrounds. Powered sub is Polk 10". It sounds killer, no pops, hisses, crackles. Very warm sound that can crank nice and loud without distorting.
In addtion to 780M chipset, MSI put down 128MB of sideport memory so blu ray and HD content is crystal clear and stutter free. No frame drops that I can tell. Looks beautiful when watching movies or HD TV.
I am using the 65W quad core in mine and it stays very cool/quiet.
Overall, I am very, very pleased with the overall design and integrated amplifier. It allowed me to ditch several boxes under my tv and get down to just my HTPC and Dish Network STB.
I keep waiting for MS to add DirecTV support so I can swap out my Dish box and run everything through HTPC.
I would suggest you guys listen to it before making any judgements. Hopefully the SPCR review will be posted soon so everyone can see just how good this thing really is.
Look at the user reviews on Newegg. There are a few that have bought and have been very happy with it besides myself.
Hi Jay, I'm very interested in this board with 5.1 output, but wondered whether volume control is performed by Windows, or inside the chip please? (can Foobar2000 run using WASAPI, and is volume control still available?)
Also, can I please ask if the problems people have been having from reading reviews on Newegg are fixed in recent batches? Are RMAs decreasing?
Do you have any useful sound quality measurements of 16 bit 44.1Hz or 48kHz output using the 5.1 card please? eg frequency response graphs