Will a powerbook g4 be able to do 5.1 surround sound?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MattMK45, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I'm thinking of getting some new external speakers to work with my powerbook. I saw this sound card that said 5.1 on the box and then I presumed that you need, like a graphics card you need to have a dedicated sound card to do 5.1.

    So, do you need a dedicated sound card for 5.1?

    If so, does a Powerbook g4 have this card?

    Will it work?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2004
    Certain PowerBook G4s can theoretically do this, as they have a combined optical/analog audio out. Go to Apple Menu > About this Mac... > More Info...

    Under "Hardware Overview", you'll see an item named "Model Identifier." If your model is PowerBook 5,9, 5,8, or 5,7, then you have optical audio on your PowerBook.

    You will, of course, need the correct audio hardware and software. I am no expert on this, though, as I've never actually done anything with 5.1. Google is your friend. You will at least need an adapter for the optical, and speakers that support optical/digital 5.1. Maybe someone else can shed light on this?
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2009
    United Kingdom
    no, mines 5.2 which is fine, so long as I can do 2.1 thanks for your help!
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2009
    If you do indeed have optical out on your powerbook (I was under the impression no PowerBooks had this feature but I may be mistaken), then you will be able to output 5.1 using the DVD Player application. You'll need a receiver that can take an optical input obviously.

    Otherwise, there are USB and Firewire solutions for getting 5.1 output. Driver and application support go from ok to bad to worse, but if you can find something reasonable that gives you the correct outputs for your speakers, you should be all set.

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