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Building a media center PC here, are there any video cards that will output HDMI with sound? Ideally I'd like to run just the one HDMI cable. Is this possible? If not what is the best solution right now?

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4 Answers 4

It looks like the NVidia GTx400 series and GT220, and newer cards as well, do have audio passthrough. It requires the right software/driver combination to make it work, so it might not be usable on non-Windows yet. The audio is passed over the PCI-E bus to the video card.

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Looks like from this answer on another question that ATI HD 4600 series supports audio through HDMI as well.

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Even the HD 4200 series has an integrated HD audio controller. See my answer. You may want to get the lowest-end one possible for silent passive cooling and high electrical efficiency, on an HTPC. –  paradroid Oct 2 '10 at 0:46

All ATi Radeon based cards with HD in the name have onboard sound decoders (as far as I have seen).

nVidia cards have a passthrough which you can connect to the S/PDIF output on your motherboard.

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Most video cards with HDMI out have an internal connector for sound. You can connect your sound card to the graphics card and sound will then travel through the HDMI cable. Check your graphics card manual.

The reason for this is to separate the the functionality. If they were integrated, you could not upgrade or replace (if one half was defective).

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