Biostar's Hi-Fi H170S3H Shouldn't Be Called Hi-Fi

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gamebrigada

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Those HDMI ports aggravate me.... There is clearly enough room to put them side by side, possibly would have to move some other stuff, also they could just be stacked...

Even if they were simply trying to save room, they could have had them both upright...

Its not a big deal, but someone breaking one of those ports, or someone trying to plug in an HDMI cable into one of the ports while the computer is under a desk where you can't stick your head in. Both of those people will curse you as a company...
 

Achoo22

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I challenge the author to demonstrate, scientifically, that the included audio solution does not render audio in high fidelity. Being limited to /four/ speakers hardly disqualifies the setup and omitting garbage from Creative Labs and co absolutely doesn't disqualify the system.
 


Alright, well I don't have one of these boards to test hands-on, but how is this for sufficient evidence?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733.html

When Tom's Hardware tested out the higher-quality ALC889 it was clearly noted as being "Near Hi-Fi" and lacking in certain areas. If the ALC889 didn't qualify as Hi-Fi, then the lower-end ALC887 certainly isn't going to either.

Looking past that, what do you expect out of a Hi-Fi audio solution? Most would expect a baseline of features to go hand-in-hand with the audio codec. Being able to actually connect to a high-end speaker system over SPDIF and being able to connect enough speakers for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound experience are going to matter to users. That doesn't mean that the audio setup on this board is bad, but coming out and professing it as Hi-Fi to try and attract users looking for a motherboard with high-quality audio features, and then giving them an out-dated codec and extremely limited audio features shouldn't be done.

More importantly, it is the responsibility of the writers who work for this site to cut out the marketing speak and tell our readers what are real features present on a product and what aren't. To not call out this issue would be irresponsible of me.
 
HDMI port:
To "gamebrigada" there is one HDMI port, and one DP port.

I'm guessing they made one 90-deg to the other intentionally to help differentiate the two so it would actually be EASIER if you can't see what you are doing.
 

therealduckofdeath

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Hi-Fi has nothing to do with the number of outputs. Hi-Fi I'd a very limited specification which every sound chip is capable of. It's basically a frequency range requirement made up in the 60s or 70s. And really only is relevant for analogue systems.
The complaints in this article are as silly as the label on the motherboard. :)
 

Pedasc

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Hi-Fi = analog, nuff said.
Digital isn't bad, it just needs to have enough bandwidth to carry the data. On a computer all of the sound starts out as digital data anyway so it is never true analog audio and a lot of sound files on computer are already compressed so the sound isn't great to start.

Of course I have my computer hooked up via analog cables.
 

cats_Paw

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The concept "hi-fi" is not defined so calling something Hi-Fi is never right or wrong.
Its a subjective term:
A 100 dollar mp3 player actually has very good sound, but you can spend over a million dollars on audio gear.

Who decides where hi-fi starts and where it ends? (mostly the person writing the article and it starts where most of your readers consider the price to be expensive).

In other words, its a term used to serve an agenda.
It does not to be a bad one but it is one non the less.

One of the clear red flags in this article is considering something "old" as not hi-fi.
Personally, Id rather know what DAC is used rather than what codec.
 

PopinFRESH007

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Hi-Fi has nothing to do with the number of outputs. Hi-Fi I'd a very limited specification which every sound chip is capable of. It's basically a frequency range requirement made up in the 60s or 70s. And really only is relevant for analogue systems.
The complaints in this article are as silly as the label on the motherboard. :)
There is no Hi-Fi standard or specification. There is no specified range of frequencies or other defined measure of any other qualities. Hi-Fi is a marketing term that has always been a marketing term. You are correct, however, in saying it has nothing to do with the number of outputs or speakers a system has.

The FTC actually declined to create a Hi-Fi standard in 1953 based on feedback and insights from the phonographic-TV-Radio industry due to it being impractical to define such a standard.

The Billboard wrote an article regarding this in the December 19, 1953 issue.

From the British Dictionary
high fidelity
noun
1.
the reproduction of sound using electronic equipment that gives faithful reproduction with little or no distortion
(as modifier): a high-fidelity amplifier
Often shortened to hi-fi

Some definitions have included the implication of being able to produce a "full range" of frequencies, however, this is also subjective and not defined. Each individual has a varying range of audible frequencies.


The concept "hi-fi" is not defined so calling something Hi-Fi is never right or wrong.
Its a subjective term:
A 100 dollar mp3 player actually has very good sound, but you can spend over a million dollars on audio gear.

Who decides where hi-fi starts and where it ends? (mostly the person writing the article and it starts where most of your readers consider the price to be expensive).

In other words, its a term used to serve an agenda.
It does not to be a bad one but it is one non the less.

One of the clear red flags in this article is considering something "old" as not hi-fi.
Personally, Id rather know what DAC is used rather than what codec.
This is spot on. It's a (subjective) marketing term used to describe something that can faithfully reproduce recorded audio with little or no distortion. The author of this article is incorrect in their assertion due to a flawed concept of what Hi-Fi is.

I too would be more interested in which DAC as well as which capacitors were used as these would be more likely to introduce degradation and distortion.


HDMI port:
To "gamebrigada" there is one HDMI port, and one DP port.

I'm guessing they made one 90-deg to the other intentionally to help differentiate the two so it would actually be EASIER if you can't see what you are doing.
Both of those definitely look like they are HDMI ports, not 1x Display Port & 1x HDMI. I agree that this seems somewhat strange in placement, but motherboard manufacturers often don't cater to our aesthetic OCD. They will often do things like this due to trace design simplicity or other small economical considerations.

-PopinFRESH
 

therealduckofdeath

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IInuyasha74, you're linking to a write-up by this site clearly stating it's impossible to hear the difference between a Realtek sound chip and a $2,000 external amp under identical conditions. A test showing people doing blind tests and literally just guessing what's what, where the only (obvious) reason is the support for headphones with different internal resistance.
I have a Wolfson-based Xonar DSX myself, but if I'm honest I probably wouldn't notice if someone would remove the sound card and make me listen to the on-board Realtek 887 instead. That's how marginal the differences are.
 

nekatreven

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HDMI port:
To "gamebrigada" there is one HDMI port, and one DP port.

I'm guessing they made one 90-deg to the other intentionally to help differentiate the two so it would actually be EASIER if you can't see what you are doing.
Those are both HDMI because... they just are. But, if you click on the top-down image (and are able to click through Tom's horrible image viewer to get to the large version), it also clearly has labels for HDMI1 and HDMI2.
 
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