5.1 surround sound card/adapter?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by newsoul, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. newsoul macrumors newbie


    Jan 13, 2011
    Hi Guys,

    I recently got a 8 core mac pro with the 27" apple led display.
    I would like to know what is the best way of connected my 5.1 surround sound to the mac? (pink, green & black wires)

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
  3. ebiain macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2007
    Hey xgman, can i ask you something? how you compare the 2010 mac pro with the 2008??? in speed did you notice the speed bump?

    To the other user, i must say i was in the same situation than you, and there IS NONE soundcard or anything that do 5.1 or DTS, the only choise you have is one: optical out from the optical out in the mac pro, in this area PCs are A LOT ahead from apple...

    Good Luck!
  4. hyram macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    Not entirely true... you can also connect via firewire to an external sound device. There are lots of them.
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    This question is asked a lot. There isn't a good way to do it any more. If you can find an old Griffin Firewave, those output 5.1 analog.

    Your best bet is to get computer speakers that accept 5.1 optical in instead of analog in (pink/green/black).
  6. ebiain macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2007
    Yes, there are a lot, i own one a firewire m-audio profire 610 BUT none of them do 5.1 DTS... all are for recording and stuff like that...
  7. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Your best bets would be:

    A. Output to a powered 5.1 speaker system that accepts an optical connection.

    B. Output to a 5.1 receiver (with attached speakers) over optical.

    There's really not a lot of traditional sound card options for Macs outside of the professional stuff, which wouldn't exactly do what you're expecting anyway.
  8. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    sorry to be off topic, but to answer the above:

    Boot time, or time to select which drive (via holding opt key down, increased significantly on the 2010. Other than that it is faster on the memory side, because of the throughput and faster mem speed which I do notice, but the 2008 was already 3.2 ghz and this one at 3.3 is basically the same. I do not miss the extra two cores though. Probably not with the upgrade as such, but I needed a new MP anyway and kept both. Actually the most bang for the buck was swaping a Western Digital Black drive for an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. that you immediately see a speed difference.
  9. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
  10. ebiain macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2007
    THANKS for the answer!
  11. Thunder240 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    What settings/procedure do you guys use to pass 5.1 encoded audio (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc) using your built-in minioptical output? I've been using the procedure described here:


    However, it's a pain to toggle back and forth between 5.1 and stereo, and I'd rather a simpler way. Ideally I'd love it if the Mac didn't require me to toggle, but just detected whether the source was encoded in 5.1 or not and passed the signal the proper way. But barring that, an easier way to toggle would be nice.

  12. cptjacksparrow macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Nothing Pro about Mac pro audio situation

    So I am running an HDMI cable from my Mac Pro to my Blu Ray and then HDMI to my television and I can get great video and stereo audio. My bluRay when playing a dvd or from my ipod or from a bluRAY disc allows me to use the different soundfield modes. No such luck from my Mac pro through the HDMI (i guess thats cause it doesn't support 5.1??). BUT when i connected the optical out i WAS able to use all the fancy soundfield modes. The problem with this is that I now am forced to run the video straight to the tv through the HDMI port on the tv. The weird thing is that now the hdmi video drops out every few seconds.
    HDMI from Mac pro to blu ray, great graphics mediocre sound.
    optical form Mac pro to blue great audio (no video)
    HDMI straight from MAC pro to tv (because of optical to blue ray). Terrible video
  13. Thunder240 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    No idea why your video to the TV is dropping, but have you tried exploring the features of your BluRay player to see if it can accept hdmi video input and separate audio input? I use a Denon 3808ci av receiver, and it has this option under hdmi set up, so I assign one of the hdmi ports to v.aux with separate audio, and one of the optical ports to v.aux, then connect my MBP using hdmi and optical, and no problems at all with video or sound. I realize that your BluRay player probably wasn't intended to perform switching, but its worth reading the manual to see if the separate audio input feature is there.
  14. cptjacksparrow macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Yeah i tried that but unfortunately that is not possible. the problem is i don't even know who to contact with this problem? Not mac of course cause its not "really" supposed to be HDMI compatible. not the TV because all other hdmi inputs work, and not the blu ray guys cause the problem doesn't seem to be there..... ?
    i wish everything was actually as easy as mac claims it to be...
  15. Thunder240 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    My gut feeling is that the generic monitor driver on the mac isn't compatible with your tv. Like you said, neither Apple nor the tv manufacturer will take responsibility for the problem.

    Suggest you post over in the AVS forums. Smarter people than I hang out over there and will see your post and respond.

    In the mean time, I'm curious if you're getting 5.1 audio from your mac through your bluray, and if so, what settings you use on the mac to get it to send a 5.1 audio signal? (See my first post above.)
  16. cptjacksparrow macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Well as near as I can tell (and I am not 100 percent here) I seem to be getting 5.1 through the optical output.
    My sole test for this however is the fact that i can use the dolby features on my blu ray. they don't work through the hdmi. now i can get full surround.

    Also forgive me, but what is AVS? I went over to the Digital audio section and couldn't find a good topic. Was that the place that you meant?
  17. Thunder240 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Are the Dolby features enabled automatically when you plug in your optical cable to your Mac, or do you have to muck around with any settings to enable them?


    If I were you I would browse the Home Theater PC section (they have a Mac subsection) as well as look up the thread corresponding to your model TV. You could post in both places.
  18. cptjacksparrow macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    and no i didn't have to mess with anything. It was plug and play.
    but i did some more research and i may have figured out the problem... not sure yet but i think it has to do with the hdcp protocols (the tv is older so maybe they are not up to date)
    i will check out that forum.
    let me know how you progress

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