[SOLVED] Do the different audio codecs etc really make a difference in audio quality ?

alphacoyle

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My audio all goes thru my surround sound system so analog; but I notice a big difference in the audio codecs and such dedicated to audio quality. In the AsRock B460M pretty much just Realtek ALC887 and not much extra; now the B470M has the ALC1200 which is better; then the Asus Rog Strix B460-I Gaming has the S1220A and a lot of extras dedicated to audio; of course it's also costs 50% more than the entry level B460M. The PC pulls double duty out here as living room computer as well as htpc for streaming; do you think I would notice a difference in the audio quality with my setup?
 
My audio all goes thru my surround sound system so analog; but I notice a big difference in the audio codecs and such dedicated to audio quality. In the AsRock B460M pretty much just Realtek ALC887 and not much extra; now the B470M has the ALC1200 which is better; then the Asus Rog Strix B460-I Gaming has the S1220A and a lot of extras dedicated to audio; of course it's also costs 50% more than the entry level B460M. The PC pulls double duty out here as living room computer as well as htpc for streaming; do you think I would notice a difference in the audio quality with my setup?
CODEC chips are mostly same quality nowadays, all they do is convert digital to analog signal and other way around for input and are capable of very high conversion/sample rate. Most difference is in circuits for preamps and filters that are on the MB itself. Quality of those parts is most important for good sound. Speakers and their amplifier also have to match in quality of course, most "computer" speakers are hard pressed to do so.
 

alphacoyle

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That's good to know; while some of the higher end mobos have more of what you're talking about, it seems to be focused on headphone/vr use (it is a gaming mobo) My surround system is the Sony Dream machine DAVE FX900, it's an old model but I've had good experiences with the Dream Machine line; have the DAV X1V in my bedroom.
So do you think with the audio going from 3.5mm to left/right AV inputs I'm not really going to notice anything one way or the other from the different motherboards? Here's a pic of the Asus Rog Strix B460s extra audio:
 
That's good to know; while some of the higher end mobos have more of what you're talking about, it seems to be focused on headphone/vr use (it is a gaming mobo) My surround system is the Sony Dream machine DAVE FX900, it's an old model but I've had good experiences with the Dream Machine line; have the DAV X1V in my bedroom.
So do you think with the audio going from 3.5mm to left/right AV inputs I'm not really going to notice anything one way or the other from the different motherboards? Here's a pic of the Asus Rog Strix B460s extra audio:
Probably not, most distortions occur at very high volume. I think it should be fine on that board.
Most problems arise with headphones as there's difference between low and high impedance ones and filters have to take that in the account, "Gaming" headphones also simulate 5.1 and even 7,1 sound using very sensitive speakers.
 
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alphacoyle

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I do have a digital optical input on the surround system; do you think my audio quality would be noticeably improved by using one of those hdmi to hdmi + optical outlet splitters, compared to using the AVs RCA analog inputs like I do now?
 

Karadjgne

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Yes. Hdmi has far greater bandwidth than RCA is capable of and optical is lossless for all intents and purposes. The hdmi carries a digital signal, the RCA is analog afaik, digital not carrying the distortions analog usually does. After being amplified the digital sounds will be crisper and cleaner.

It's the difference between misic recorded on an old cassette and the same music on DVD
 

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