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Speaker Configuration

You select the configuration of your speaker system here. Many modern mainboards don’t come with a bracket with the additional audio connectors. That’s why you can use the three main connectors to plug in the rear pair of satellites, the central channel and the subwoofer. In the standard layout, the connectors are intended for the microphone, stereo system and line input. The screenshot shows you that when the six-channel system is selected, the blue-colored plug is used for rear speakers, and the red-colored one – for the central channel or subwoofer. Even so, the user can click the down-pressed button to return the connectors to their regular operational mode.

Speaker Test

This page helps you to test each component of your speaker system. The positioning of a multi-channel system around the user is show on a picture.

S/PDIF-In

You can enable the digital audio-input monitoring (if it is implemented on your mainboard).

S/PDIF-Out

There are four operational modes for the digital audio-output: No output, Output digital only, Output digital and analog, and S/PDIF-In to S/PDIF-Out pass through mode.

HTRF Demo

The audio-visual demonstration of the environmental audio effects looks like an innovation on the developer’s side. This page explains you what three-positional sound is.

General

The last page tells you about the version of the installed driver, DirectX, audio-controller and the codec itself (this panel is the same for every six-channel codec from Realtek). The language selection menu is a little below. The language support embraces all European languages.

So, the software from Realtek is a well-made product, offering every single function implemented in the codec circuitry. It is good that Realtek upholds its name of a solid manufacturer by updating its drivers regularly and polishing off the software. I think the next codec to be reviewed on our site will be the one from Realtek. For example, the AC’97 2.3-compliant Realtek ALC850. I wonder how Jack Sensing technology is implemented there.

Testbed and Methods

So, we have three mainboards to test today. The testbed was configured as follows:

  • Albatron PX865PE Pro II (VIA ICE1712, VIA VT1616), Albatron PX865PE Pro (ALC650), ASUS P4P800 (AD1985) mainboards;
  • Creative Audigy2 add-on audio card;
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU;
  • 256MB RAM;
  • ATI RADEON 9500 graphics card;
  • Western Digital WDC400BB HDD, 40GB capacity;
  • Creative Inspire 6700 speaker system;
  • Windows XP Pro SP1.

Below you will see the diagrams with the results in 3DMark03 (Sound Tests) and Comanche 4 Demo. Regrettably, Creative’s audio cards only support 3DMark03 “60 Sounds” test mode, while the drivers for the integrated audio subsystems do not. In fact, even “No Sounds” and “24 Sounds” modes are only available after installation of the latest drivers (for the integrated sound from VIA – after enabling the Sensaura 3DPA mode).

So, let’s see the effect of the enabled sound on the overall system performance. For more illustrative results (or rather for normalization of average fps values), we used an add-on Creative Audigy2 card with every mainboard.

 
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