5.1 sound

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mfarris2, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. mfarris2 macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    Is it possible to get 5.1 sound natively out of a 2010 Mac Pro? And if not, what will it take to do this?
    Thank you for your advise.
  2. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    DVD player and anything encoded in 5.1 should output surround sound via the optical output.

    Unfortunately games etc are not encoded so you would need a soundcard that can either encode dolby digital live or use a soundcard that has separate outputs for R,L LS, RS and the subwoofer and connect them to each PC speaker or use an amplifer that has a set of auxillery inputs for each channel.

    For gaming, I have a Soundblaster Titanium that ouputs 5.1 to my Denon amplifier via optical output on the card in Windows so I can use standard speakers instead of computer speakers.

    There is a program that can encode sound real time called Jack or something but it uses a lot of CPU power if you can get it to work. I never got it to work.
  3. mfarris2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2012
    Thank you.

    Just purchased a new set of Logitechs Z5500 speaker system. Note much of a gamer. But do like to listen to music while I work. (Mostly MP3's) I am going to look into the card you recommended.
    Thank you for your advise.

  4. jablko macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Music files usually don't have more than two tracks, so even with 5.1 appropriately set up, your mp3s won't use three of your speakers. You will notice a big difference with movies though.
  5. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    Definitely true. But I know the Z5500s will fake 5.1, and basically just output the same audio in the back speakers as what is coming out of the front.
  6. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    I have Logitech Z906's. They do a fake 5.1 surround quite well. Movies use passthrough to play in real 5.1.

    You could install a Soundblaster card in a Mac Pro for 5.1 or even 7.1 gaming, however it would only be usable in Windows / Boot Camp, not in OS X.
  7. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    As the people above as mentioned, I should have made it clearer but the soundcard I use does nothing in OSX (It does seem to prevent computer profiler from identifing the PCI devices though) so only Windows games will benefit.

    Crysis sounds awesome in surround sound but I do find in games like Bioshock that things like waterflows seem to hop from one speaker to the other depending on your orientation instead of flowing from one speaker to the other.

    That program I talked about is here but as I mentioned I never got it to work for games in OSX.

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