ED#02 : SoundStorm In A Cup

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by peaz, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. zeppelin

    zeppelin Newbie

    A sound test on the ASUSA7N8X Deluxe.
    I've tested the DD5.1 sound thru the board built in 5 channel analog output using WINDVD Software Decoder to play my DVD Movies and all I get is normal Dolby Surround for all the 5.1 channels.
    The Nvidia sound panel were set to 5.1 or 6 channel speaker mode and the sound testing for all the channels were correct with the female voice saying discreetly on all the 5 channels, but when I played a DVD containing the DD5.1 sound all I got is a normal Dolby Surround mode, it cant do the software decoding of DD5.1

    Than I hook up back my old SB live 5.1 DE as normal I can get a discreet DD5.1 channel decoding thru the SB live 5.1 analog output when playing the DVD movies thru the WINDVD Software Decorder.

    So my Question is the Soundstorm DD5.1 only work using its Coaxial Digital output hook up thru a Outside DD5.1 Decoder?

    If thats the case than Creative card is much more superior because it can do a software decoding of Full Discreet 5.1. where else the Nvidia Soundstorm on the ASUSA7N8X Deluxe could not and only works when hook up using the Coaxial output to a outside hardware decoder.

    So by using only the coaxial output hook up thru a Outside hardware Decoder, might as well I use the standalone DVD player, it defeat the purpose of a multimedia PC.

    Any of you had done the test yet? Or maybe because it fails to do so its been pull off the NVIDIA certified list.
  2. Divine_Madcat

    Divine_Madcat Newbie

    Actually, the review says nothing about the PCI card. I would be very interested in a card that could encode DD5.1, and if that card can do it...
  3. zeppelin

    zeppelin Newbie

    Note that Encoding(Encoder) and Decoding(Decoder) is 2 Different thing altogether.
    The SB Live DE can do a software Decoding of DD5.1 channel thru its analog speaker output from the card itself.
    The SoundStorm from what I've tested using the Asus A7N8X Deluxe only can do Encoding of DD5.1 channel thru its Coaxial Digital output.
    You need an Outside hardware Decoder for the later to produce DD5.1 channel.
  4. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hello Zeppelin,

    The APU (Audio Processing Unit) in SoundStorm-capable boards support only Dolby encoding. You'll need to send the output to an external decoder.

    So, failure to do a software decode has nothing to do with the A7N8X Deluxe being pulled from the list. Dolby software decode was never part of the specifications.

    Hello Divine_Madcat,

    I think the editorial has stated it pretty clearly. I'll cut and paste the relevant passage from the editorial :-

    Due to such requirements, there won't be any PCI cards offering SoundStorm-certification. Remember, SoundStorm is not some exclusive NVIDIA audio technology. It's merely a branding programme by NVIDIA and Dolby.

    Even if there's such a card, it will only be useful for users with nForce motherboards or nForce2+MCP-T boards. You cannot use the imaginary SoundStorm card with a VIA or SiS motherboard.

    Hope that clears it up! :)
  5. zeppelin

    zeppelin Newbie

    Than what I'm saying about hooking up thru a outside hardware decoder is correct lor.
    Thks for the clarification anyway.
    Its really a waste buying a board with the built in sound but not using it.
    I really need the software decoding as I watch a lot of DVDs on my PC using my PC analog speakers. Its a hassle hooking up to a Hardware HIFI decoder as my hifi set is in another room.
    I wonder why they did not include a Software Decoding to the SoundStorm, it will make the Soundstorm more attractive for the customer and for the market selling strategy.
  6. Divine_Madcat

    Divine_Madcat Newbie


    So, even if there is no offical addin, what about the card? I have never seen anything like it, and it sure looks like a full soundcard to me. I mean, i understand that it must have it all built-in to qualify, but if that is so, why make a PCI card???
  7. goldfries

    goldfries www.goldfries.com

    when i run Prime95 and crank up the volume i could hear odd transmission noises. is that normal for the nV-SS??

    somehow i just miss my SB Live 5.1 DE. sounds almost same to me, don't know why so many people claim it's of very much higher quality. hrmrmr. i guess i'm not audiophiled enough. ;)
  8. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Well, it may make the nForce2+MCP-T boards more attractive BUT it wouldn't be attractive at all to other Dolby customers (those selling the external decoder units). The idea of cheap motherboards coming with Dolby decoding capabilities would have given them nightmares! :)

    On the other hand, if the APU comes with a Dolby decoder, you can expect the price of nForce2+MCP-T motherboards to be much more expensive than it currently is. Dolby will definitely charge quite a bit for the licensing...

    Hello Divine_Madcat,

    What card are you talking about?? There is no SoundStorm card. That's what NVIDIA is trying to tell. All motherboards must come with SoundStorm built-in. There will be no SoundStorm PCI card to turn any motherboard into a SoundStorm-capable board.

    That's because SoundStorm is a branding programme that requires the product to be certified by NVIDIA and Dolby. It also requires the presence of the nForce or nForce2 APU. Hence, EVEN if you can get your hands on a SoundStorm card, your system cannot be called SoundStorm-certified...
  9. bugs_bunny

    bugs_bunny Newbie

    what about my poor old nforce 1 ?
    i have a Asus A7N266-VM which has MCP-D in it.
    (nForce 220D chipset)
    the box says dolby digital !!!

    what is this all about .. am totally a novice in terms of sound..

  10. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    SoundStorm is a certification, and it's only available on limited NForce2 board at the moment, which is stated in the editorial. None of the NForce1 motherboards has SoundStorm certification so far. But since both of them uses the same APU, so there's still a possibility that NForce1 may get SoundStorm certification.
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Since I posted the revised SoundStorm editorial, I have received many e-mails and numerous questions were posted in the forums about the mysterious disappearance of the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe from the list of SoundStorm-certified products.

    How can a product that was initially SoundStorm-certified be dropped from the list? Did NVIDIA tightened the SoundStorm requirements? Is ASUS cheating you by declaring SoundStorm certification with Dolby stickers on the box? I'm sure those were some of the questions that were running through your mind.

    Today, I have posted an updated SoundStorm editorial that will answer all your questions! If you own the A7N8X Deluxe, this is definitely something you should read before you go hysterical and start marching with a placard in front of ASUS HQ! Hehe...

    For more on NVIDIA's de-certification of the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard, read our revised SoundStorm In A Cup editorial!
  12. goldfries

    goldfries www.goldfries.com

    ahh thanx Adrian. your efforts on this is admirable!!!
  13. zeppelin

    zeppelin Newbie

    Guys, Guys there's 1 news from me.
    Sorry Adrian if its out of topic a bit.
    The great news is I just Dump my Asus A7N8X Deluxe version 1.04, meaning that I sold it to someone and I tell you a lot of people massaging me. Selling like hot cakes :D
    I dump the board cause initially , I thought I got the all in 1 solution with the board especially on the sound part. I got the wrong idea that the Soundstorm really supported DD5.1 software decoding. Dont get me the wrong idea, the soundstrom did support DD5.1 but only on the encoding part thru the digital coaxial. So back to my old faithfull SB Live, with my old system.
  14. goldfries

    goldfries www.goldfries.com

    i'm thinking of putting back the SB Live for it's game port, similar sound and better bass. :)

    i felt no diff though when using SoundStorm many have claimed it to be even better than Audigy and close to Audigy2.

    EDITED :)
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah... One thing everyone missed is that SoundStorm only provides Dolby encoding. You will need an external decoder to do the decoding... :(

    I hope you are referring to SoundStorm and NOT the SB Live! :D
  16. gizzlon

    gizzlon Newbie

    nforce2 sound quality


    When u compare the sound quality of your nforce2 board, u need to know that
    its a HUGE difference between analog out and digital out. If you use the digital
    there shouldn't be any difference between this and other cards, be cause digital
    is digital. (many may say there is, but point is, its AT least as good as the
    The analog on the other hand, is depended on the motherboard itself, as it uses
    a dac (digital to analog converter) that is picked by e.g. asus when they make
    the board. I have yet to hear about a nforce2 motherboard that has a good dac,
    so bottom line is:
    If you use the analog outputs, use the live
    If you use the digital out (coax. or optical) the nforce2 is good :))

    I have the asus a7n8x deluxe and pure/videologic digitheatre platinum speakers,
    with a coax cabel and it rocks :) The speakers dont have analog in, but the
    reciver (build in) does have dolby digital and dts decoding.
    So the nforce2 ENcodes to dolby (in games) and the speakers/reciver DEcodes
    the dolby signal.
    Oh yeah, dvds have already ENcoded dolbydigital OR/AND dts siganal, so they
    are just passed through to the speakers ..


    ø . s a k a g i z z l o n
  17. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Re: nforce2 sound quality

    I totally agree with you there. I doubt any NForce2 board uses good DAC that you will find on Audigy2, or Santa Cruz. NForce2 APU is very good for general use, but far from being the best sound card.
  18. luma

    luma Newbie

    i'm wondering if it was a business related falling out between asus and nvidia. i see this kinda thing happen all the time in the corporate world - i imagine the using the "dolby" logo on the box and claiming the "soundstorm certification" means that asus is paying nvidia or dolby labs licensing fees for the privilege.

    i wouldn't be too surprised if asus has been dragging their feet or haggling over the fees and nvidia has chosen this moment to say "only these three boards are certified", while refusing to flat out say "the asus board has been de-certified", even though a month ago they claimed the board was in fact certified.
  19. luma

    luma Newbie

    Re: nforce2 sound quality

    i think the whole point of the soundstorm is that the DAC doesn't matter a bit - it's the only board out there that will give you one handy digital cable to plug into your receiver, with 5.1 dolby coming straight out of the computer. if you're using the digital output on the board, the DAC will never be used and you can rely on the DAC in your receiver (cause you're all using mc-1's to plug it into, right?) :D
  20. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Re: nforce2 sound quality

    If I'm not mistaken, you can do that on other sound card like Santa Cruz as well, right? I don't use digital out, so I'm not very sure. :)

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