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I have two questions about these audio connectors:

  1. My DVD-RW combo drive is not connected to the 4-pin Optical audio drive header on my motherboard. Why am I still being able to play Audio cds? Why should I plug this in?

  2. Almost all boards have an SPDIF_OUT (Digital audio connector). What is the use of this header?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. The audio connections on an optical drive are for audio output as handled by the audio circuitry in the drive itself. These days the audio data is read through the normal ATAPI channel as digital data and the system's sound card converts it to audio.

  2. Digital audio output.

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