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How can I confirm I have "true" 5.1?

Guitarmageddon1
Level 9
So I have a logitech 5.1 surround system, and the maximus x code. Do I need to be using the optical output on the motherboard to get true 5.1 surround? I can see all the speakers in the realtek audio console and click to each and they correctly test out, but when I find some 5.1 test files, it seems to play the left and right rear out of the front right and left speakers. The windows 5.1 test works seemingly correct as well. Im not entirely sure if I have "true" 5.1 going. I do have an optical cable, and I tried plugging that in but I couldnt get any sound to come out. I dont have sonic studio or any of that stuff. Realtek audio console tells me my driver is "6.0.1.8507. To add to my confusion, Im unsure if I need to update the HDA or UAD drivers, that Ive already asked a million questions about in those update thread (sorry for that...:( ) Has anyone else run into this? I have a logitech z904 surround, and have gone through all the settings to be certain. Im using the green/orange/black plugs in the motherboard currently (assuming analog). Do I need the optical to get what I want?
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6 REPLIES 6

howxcore
Level 10
Guitarmageddon888 wrote:
So I have a logitech 5.1 surround system, and the maximus x code. Do I need to be using the optical output on the motherboard to get true 5.1 surround? I can see all the speakers in the realtek audio console and click to each and they correctly test out, but when I find some 5.1 test files, it seems to play the left and right rear out of the front right and left speakers. The windows 5.1 test works seemingly correct as well. Im not entirely sure if I have "true" 5.1 going. I do have an optical cable, and I tried plugging that in but I couldnt get any sound to come out. I dont have sonic studio or any of that stuff. Realtek audio console tells me my driver is "6.0.1.8507. To add to my confusion, Im unsure if I need to update the HDA or UAD drivers, that Ive already asked a million questions about in those update thread (sorry for that...:( ) Has anyone else run into this? I have a logitech z904 surround, and have gone through all the settings to be certain. Im using the green/orange/black plugs in the motherboard currently (assuming analog). Do I need the optical to get what I want?


I've been using optical s/pdif connection for quite sometime on my 5.1 z5500's, haven't used analog in years, and it works fine with the latest UAD drivers and the maximus xi board. Give it a shot.

howxcore wrote:
I've been using optical s/pdif connection for quite sometime on my 5.1 z5500's, haven't used analog in years, and it works fine with the latest UAD drivers and the maximus xi board. Give it a shot.


So the 5.1 wont transmit over the analog cables? I had a soundcard in my last system, and I did in fact use optical, and the "decode" light was always turned on on the reciever. When I just tried it today with an optical cable, that light wouldnt turn on. I also didnt see the same menu for testing speakers etc from within the realtek control panel. Thats why I was like..hmm...is this really 5.1?

Korth
Level 14
Very similar questions & answers here ... older ASUS mobo but even though version numbers differ everything (probably) still works the same ways with the same limits ...

http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-2095538/spdif-optical-support.html
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

Korth wrote:
Very similar questions & answers here ... older ASUS mobo but even though version numbers differ everything (probably) still works the same ways with the same limits ...

http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-2095538/spdif-optical-support.html


Ok that seems to make sense... unfortunately. I do have an older soundcard that does in fact output Dolby and my reciever decodes it, but I didn't want it to mess with my build asthetics (superficial I know). I figured that this great amazing onboard audio would do true 5.1 but I guess not. Just worried about drivers for the soundcard since it's not been updated since 2015 and the creative site has it listed as end of life.

rexbinary
Level 8
Guitarmageddon888 wrote:
So I have a logitech 5.1 surround system, and the maximus x code. Do I need to be using the optical output on the motherboard to get true 5.1 surround?


No. For gaming you will want to connect them as analog for the best compatibility with all games, especially older games. There will be no noticeable quality difference in the sound. Not all games that support multiple speakers output in surround sound. For those games you would have to enable some type of simulated surround. With an analog connection this is not an issue. That's why the primary connection on your speakers is analog for PC. The digital out on PCs is good for tapping into a home theater system, not gaming speakers.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950x | Mobo: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero (BIOS 4602) | Cooler: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360
Memory: G.SKILL Trident Z Neo 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti FE | PSU: Corsair HX Series HX850
Drives: Samsung 980 PRO 2TB x2, WD_BLACK 10TB HD | Case: Fractal Design Meshify 2 Dark Tinted Glass

Retail motherboards used to have support for Dolby live or DTS interactive encoding which was made precisely to allow for surround sound over a digital connection. Usually, you need software form the audio chipset manufacturer to configure this. It seems like a lot of MB makers are not including this feature anymore because they don't want to pay licensing fees. I think HDMI audio is the alternative now?

BTW, I've been using a digital connection for surround sound since my SoundBlaster Live! days.