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ronch
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HD Audio Codec Manufacturers

Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:52 am

Hi people. I've been noticing lately that most motherboards use Realtek codecs. I haven't scoured each and every mobo maker's product list yet, but it seems it's nearly impossible to find a motherboard with a non-Realtek codec. What happened to the likes of VIA, IDT, C-media, etc.? Are their products so bad that mobo makers only use Realtek? Or is Realtek simply offering the best value? My recently bought i5 laptop uses a Conexant codec though. I understand Conexant acquired Analog Devices' audio codecs product line.
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Re: HD Audio Codec Manufacturers

Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:49 am

Don't know for sure, but since all they do is a basic digital to analogue conversion the only real criteria for a board manufacturer is low cost.

Quite frequently the audio gets palmed off to another device such as an HDMI receiver, TV, SPDIF port, USB headphones with inbuilt codec....
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Re: HD Audio Codec Manufacturers

Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:23 am

Realtek is the low-cost provider with the typical PC user's feature "checklist" already coded. Other manufacturers (AKM, ADI, Cirrus/Crystal, TI) offer parts with better performance, but typically at a higher price, and the customer has to provide at least some of the feature package (more or less, depending on the vendor). This makes Realtek the "why not?" solution for most motherboard manufacturers.
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ronch
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Re: HD Audio Codec Manufacturers

Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:07 am

I remember back in 2008 when I picked up this ECS A780GM-A board which uses an IDT codec. The board looked really cool and was cheap. I loved it. And one of the things about it that intrigued me was the codec. Not that it sounded excellent, mind you, I just love trying products that aren't the most popular, an IDT codec in this case.
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TheEmrys
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Re: HD Audio Codec Manufacturers

Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:14 pm

Shoot, nvidia's sandstorm was one of the better codecs out there, once upon a time. I haven't seen VIA's Envy series in quite a while, either. However, with HP's love affair with Beats Audio, we may see some better things out there. And to be honest, on my dv7, its pretty awesome.
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