Mac Gaming and 5.1 support

Discussion in 'Games' started by Veldek, Oct 13, 2004.

  1. Veldek macrumors 68000


    Mar 29, 2003
    Are there games for Mac out there, that actually support 5.1 surround sound? I especially think of BF1942, UT2004 or Call of Duty. I also hope for Doom 3, because this would make it even more scary, I bet. I'm thinking of getting a 5.1 surround system for my new PowerMac and wonder if it's also good for gaming.
  2. a2daj macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2004
    If you use a soundcard with analog 5.1 outs, like the Revolution 5.1 or 7.1, then UT2K4 (with an unofficial OpenAL patch), and WoW will provide true multichannel sound. I think a special edition of Aspyr's Wakeboarding game ships with the Revo 5.1 which has multichannel sound as well.

    With Call of Duty (and a few other games which use Miles audio libraries), you can use Dolby Surround mode and get the equivalent of Dolby Prologic (I not II, I think) out of any sound output. With the built-in sound outs in Macs, you'll need a separate decoder to process the audio output. If you have a Revolution card and analog connections, you can turn on Circle Surround. The digital out would be equivalent to the Mac built-in sound out.
  3. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    So wait... If I bought a receiver that has the proper decoders, hooked it up to the sound out, I can get true ProLogic or Dolby Digital?

    Most of my PC buddies have their computers hooked up to a receiver and soundcard, but I don't know if it's true ProLogic or Dolby Digital.
  4. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    "true" prologic?

    prologic is just fancy stereo processing...there's nothing "true" about it.

    dolby digital has enough different formats that you can't be vague about it...i presume you mean "true" dolby digital 5.1...

    but I can't answer your question about mac games...i'm pretty sure that without spending a lot of money, you won't get anything except exaggerated stereo spread out over 5.1 channels, anyway...Is there a Mac equivalent of EAX or A3D or something?

    here's a big "if" for you...

    IF you get a receiver with TosLink input channels and you connect it to a G5 with an optical out port, and somehow the signal coming from the G5 is in 5.1 dolby digital from a game (don't think any are actually doing that, though...probably only happening with the Apple DVD Player), not some emulated psuedo-surround, then yes, you would hear 5.1 surround in that game.

    PC sound cards usually have DirectSound-based 360º positional sound output...
  5. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Well, I guess "true" isn't the word to describe it, but what I was thinking was what if Mac games have Dolby Digital <whatever-type here, I am aware there are many kinds> encoded or ProLogic encoded sound data. I'm pretty sure most of them don't, but let's say they did... Would it be possible to use a receiver instead of a soundcard to enjoy all of its goodness?

    But, with your big "IF" statement, you answered my question. So, thanks.
  6. Rezet macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2003
    Connecticut, United States of America
    I think 5.1 is overrated and still overpriced. 2.1 systems with in-concert technology still produce better quality than 5.1 in general and are cheaper. Unless you just watch movies on your mac, there is no point getting it even for the games that do support it.
  7. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003

    you've clearly not played much in the way of FPS games on a PC in the dark with a 5.1 system...when you can hear people coming up behind you and know which corridor they are on because you have 360º positional's extremely useful at times...
  8. a2daj macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2004
    OS X doesn't have any built-in multichannel encoders (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc) so unless the game has a built-in encoder, you won't see any games with true multichannel sound via digital outputs, only Dolby Prologic-like surround sound.

    Games with true multichannel 5.1 support via analog multichannel sound (requires a sound card like a Revo 5.1 or 7.1):

    Unreal Tournament 2003 (with Apple's OpenAL implementation)
    Unreal Tournament 2004 (with Apple's OpenAL implementation or Ryan Gordon's modified version)
    America's Army (with Apple's OpenAL implementation)
    World of Warcraft (uses CoreAudio)
    Special version of Aspyr's Wake Boarding game
  9. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    you mean decoders, right? not encoders...

    what is the point of the digital optical output on G5s if not to enable 5.1?

    what a sloppy, backwards mess...
  10. a2daj macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2004
    No, I mean encoder. In order for a game to output encoded Dolby Digital or DTS audio, something needs to encode it. There's no OS support for it at this time. There's also no built-in decoder.
  11. clr900 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2004
    I was also thinking about buying some logitech 5.1 speakers. I was under the impression that all I had to do to get surround sound was hook it up to my optical out with a Toslink cable. Is that not correct?
  12. a2daj macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Well, only for DVD Player.
  13. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    the logitech 5.1's have a built in decoder, so if the game can output it, they will decode it (only via coax or optical).
  14. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    I bought a bargain PC with a SB Live 5.1 card built in in 1999 for less than 1300 dollars from an online retailer (before i realized I could built them myself cheaper and better).

    it's about to be 2005 and the "professional audio" computer company hasn't responded?

    how embarrassing.

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