Gaming in Windows 7 with a 5.1 issue...

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Hirakata, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. Hirakata macrumors 6502

    Hirakata

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #1
    Is anyone getting 5.1 sound from their Macs in Windows 7 while gaming? How?

    I have the latest 27" i7 iMac connected to Logitech Z-5500 speakers via TOSLINK. I get 5.1 on the OS X side. In Windows 7, I get 5.1 when playing DVDs, but not from any games. If I select 5.1 or Dolby surround from the "sound options" within each game, it still comes out stereo.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. wywern209 macrumors 65832

    wywern209

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    do you rly want to know?
    #2
    You need to set the audio output in windows to 5.1. It won't work if you don't.
     
  3. Hirakata thread starter macrumors 6502

    Hirakata

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Burbank, CA
    #3
    Thanks for the reply wywern209. I was never given an option to set up the output to 5.1 from the Windows control panel. Just Stereo or Quadrophonic. I was getting 5.1 when popping a DVD in though, so I was a bit confused why I wasn't in games. After exhaustive google-ing over the weekend I did find the answer however, if anyone has the same problem. On a forum elsewhere I found this reply to someone who asked a similar question:

    "The problem is that there is no problem. Your audio chipset isn't going to convert the games multiple channels of raw audio in to Dolby Digital. It is only going to spit out DD5.1 if the audio source is already encoded that way, as on a DVD for example. Since a game isn't encoding to Dolby on it's own, it's just going to hand Windows a pair of audio channels to spit out the sound hole. :)

    Stereo gaming is just a downside that you will have to live with on your Mac running Windows, in it's native configuration. There may be USB soundcards that will dynamically encode to Dolby Digital, but I haven't ever bothered to look for one."

    I also found someone on the MacRumors forums who uses a Creative X-Fi for 5.1 gaming in Windows. I went out an bought the latest version of that device (the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro) installed the software in Windows and it works like a charm. 5.1 surround sound while gaming. My iMac is connected to the Sound Blaster via USB, and the Sound Blaster is connected to the Z-5500s vis optical cable. And although the Sound Blaster states that it's not compatible with Macs, my iMac detects it. I just select it as my output from the Sound Preference window and I get 5.1. (Not that I had an issue going direct optical to the Z-5500s before, but it's nice to know that I don't need to plug and unplug cables going from OS X to Windows if I want surround sound.) I'm using OS 10.6.6 BTW. Hope this info can help others.
     

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