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External sound blaster for pretty old laptop - 6/24/2005 2:01:11 AM   
woodydoc

 

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Hi,

I have an old Gateway laptop with the following configuration : PIII 500 MHz, 128 Mb SDRAM, 18 GB Hard drive, DVD-ROM drive, USB 2.0 card and running Win 2K. I mainly use the notebook for MP3s, or for watching DVD's. Am not much into games, and the config and my graphics card do not have 3-D graphics support anyway.

I would like some recommendations for an external sound blaster that would work well with this configuration.

Thanks.
Post #: 1
RE: External sound blaster for pretty old laptop - 6/26/2005 4:14:23 PM   
Clint


Posts: 2184
Joined: 9/11/2001
From: Australia
Status: offline
I would say the ext. NX will work well, provided your config meets the min. hardware requirements.
http://www.soundblaster.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=204&product=9103

With decent speakers, you will notice quite a big difference in audio clarity/quality compared to any on-board solution you currently utilize.


< Message edited by Clint -- 6/26/2005 4:30:29 PM >


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(in reply to woodydoc)
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RE: External sound blaster for pretty old laptop - 6/27/2005 3:00:51 AM   
woodydoc

 

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Hi,

I just checked my laptop's Audio chipset specs : it says 'Provides full 5.1 channel Dolby Digital output (AC-3) from DVD decoder via RCA connector.'

The link to the audio chipset specifications is :
http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/Solo_Series/P9300/P9300 47.shtml

The system documentation says:

DVD audio playback : Dolby Digital audio; supports two channel Dolby Digital, MPEG-2 or LPCM playback internally and through analog line output

Dolby Digital output : Optical connector provides full 5.1 channel Dolby Digital Output (AC-3); external Dolby Digital decoder, amplifier, and speakers required.

Does this mean that my on-board sound-card supports 5.1 sound, and all I need is a set of speakers ? In that case, do the 5.1 speakers usually contain inbuilt Dolby Digital decoder and amplifier ?

I checked the system - there is an S/PDIF digital audio output connection which takes a standard RCA connection. Are there 5.1 speaker systems which have S/PDIF support, and can one connect them to the notebook through RCA cable ?

Sorry, but it's really the finer details that I'm not able to figure out. Thanks for any help.

(in reply to Clint)
Post #: 3
RE: External sound blaster for pretty old laptop - 6/27/2005 10:26:13 AM   
Clint


Posts: 2184
Joined: 9/11/2001
From: Australia
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I haven't seen any 5.1 systems which connect via S/PDIF... In the case of optical connecter, you will need digital speakers which are more expensive than their analog counterparts. It looks to me as though your card any supports 5.1 via digital connection.
Not many speakers contain built-in decoders, this is handled by the audio chip of the sound provider (I.e. the sound card).
I think you may have to go the road of the NX, unless you buy digital speakers that connect via optical. Most speakers are power amplified. Judging from the above, it looks as though the analog output only provides stereo output.
Link you provided is dead to me...


< Message edited by Clint -- 6/27/2005 10:27:32 AM >


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