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Thread: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

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    hvengel is offline Junior Member
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    Question Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    The title say it all. Where are the full audio drivers for this motherboard?

    Sorry for the typo should have been GA-Z87X-UD3H.
    Last edited by hvengel; 08-01-2013 at 10:00 AM.

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    stasio's Avatar
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    Default re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

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    hvengel is offline Junior Member
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    Default re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    Tried both of those. No go. Still no indication in the UI that the device supports 5.1 output.

    I contacted Gigabyte support and they are telling me that 5.1/7.1 ONLY work on the analog outputs (IE. digital is stereo only) and that this is a device limitation of the ALC898. But looking at the docs for the ALC898 from the Realtek web site it says that the device supports Dolby Pro Logic and DTS output to a digital receiver (IE. that it does support digital 5.1/7.1 output). The docs also say that 5.1/7.1 is supported over HDMI. Again the chip does support 5.1/7.1 digital output. My old PC sound chip was 5.1 capable and I had it connected to the same sound system using a digital coax cable (it didn't have a TOSH link output) and it is capable of outputting digital 5.1 content and is an 8 year old system. Have we really regressed that far in 8 years?

    The audio specs for the GA-Z87X-UD3H say:

    "2/4/5.1/7.1-channel"

    But to be correct this should read:

    "2-channel (digital and analog) 4/5.1/7.1-channel (analog only)"

    Since I knew that this motherboard only supported a TOSH link for digital output I purchased an optical cable specifically to get 5.1 digital output to my sound system. If I had known it didn't support full functionality on a digital connection I would have at least known what to expect and not purchased the optical cable.


    OK so now we all know. Gigabyte appears to be crippling the audio chips on it's motherboards so that the digital outputs don't work to spec. But I don't know why they are doing this.

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    Default Re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    I bought separate sound cards for my systems several years ago because I wanted full Dolby support when I purchased my Z-5500 5.1 speaker system. Motherboard manufacturers have to pay a licensing fee for additional Dolby features and this is one reason that lower cost motherboards don't usually include Dolby support.

    If the motherboard web page doesn't include multiple Dolby icons or if these features aren't listed, it's safe to assume that these features aren't implemented.

    Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Input Devices, Sound Cards, dolby
    is a list of PCI and PCI-e sound cards that offer limited or full Dolby support.
    HT Omega sound cards are outstanding, but pricey. The Asus Xonar sound cards are less expensive and have very good user reviews.
    You generally get what you pay for with sound cards.
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    Default Re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    For some things like DTS Connect and other DTS related things there must also be supporting hardware that Gigabyte doesn't include on their boards. But with the right software and playback device you should be able to get 5.1 from the toslink output.

    You might try using something like the Cyberlink media player if you want to stick with the digital output.
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    hvengel is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    I want surround output to be the system wide default format not something that is only available via special software for a limited number of media sources. For example I want my flight simulator to be able to output 5.1 but currently it does not even know that the system can output in surround sound so it only supports stereo because the sound drivers will only tell software on the system that it supports stereo.

    I will dig up my analog cables for the Z5500 speakers and use those. That will fix the issue but I still feel cheated that the product specs didn't disclose this limitation and I consider those specs to be deceptive. Gigabyte makes this claim on their web site "...GIGABYE 8 series motherboards are ideal for professional audio usage..." . So I guess that "professional audio" usage does not involve multi-channel digital output!

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    Default Re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    Quote Originally Posted by hvengel View Post
    I want surround output to be the system wide default format not something that is only available via special software for a limited number of media sources. For example I want my flight simulator to be able to output 5.1 but currently it does not even know that the system can output in surround sound so it only supports stereo because the sound drivers will only tell software on the system that it supports stereo.

    I will dig up my analog cables for the Z5500 speakers and use those. That will fix the issue but I still feel cheated that the product specs didn't disclose this limitation and I consider those specs to be deceptive. Gigabyte makes this claim on their web site "...GIGABYE 8 series motherboards are ideal for professional audio usage..." . So I guess that "professional audio" usage does not involve multi-channel digital output!
    I think you got the wrong idea here, you cannot have 5.1/7.1 system wide over digital without DTS Connect or HDMI.
    I took me some time to understand but that's the way it is for every board, and that's why DTS Connect and similar technologies were made, and are now useless in lieu of HDMI.

    When I switched from an analog 5.1 kit (everything worked fine) to an digital receiver (no HDMI), I could only have 5.1 in films by enabling pass through in my player, Windows/Linux (and games) cannot output 5.1 directly to digital, I had to buy a cheap CLUB3D Theatron Agrippa that had DTS Connect, it is (was, I'll get to that) the only way.
    Now, my new motherboard is not compatible with this card, and to be frank it's a mess to set up, so I went with a new HDMI receiver, that's why you have HD Audio drivers with your GPU, because it can do that through the HDMI output, that's what is was designed for.

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    Default Re: Where do I get 5.1/7.1 drivers for the ALC898 in my GA-Z87X-UD3H?

    Yes, I personally find HDMI the best way to go when possible.
    For my HTPC I use a 6450 gpu card and connect to my Onkyo AVR with HDMI. That allows hi res sound to be bitstreamed to the AVR for decoding.

    For use with my main pc rig though I have an older AVR that has only analog or toslink input.
    I have on my main rig a Xonar DSX with DTS Connect but it doesn't want to work right with digital out half the time so even with it I use the analog cables....which pretty much sucks since I bought it for the DTS Connect.

    HDMI is just the better technology, but older AVR's don't have it. I keep thinking one day I'll replace my old AVR in the pc area with a newer one.
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