Can an Integrated Audio Chipset Pass Bit Perfect Audio?
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steve2151

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Long time lurker, first time poster here.
 
My current rig is a nfb-12 connected directly to the VT1818 chipset on my PC's M4A87TD Evo motherboard using SPDIF. PC runs Windows 7 x64. The online documentation on this chip indicates it can pass a 24 bit/192 kHz signal, but Foobar's WASAPI has always given me nothing but static when playing back DTS files.
 
I installed ASIO4ALL and added an ASIO plugin to Mediamonkey and the DTS files that used to give me trouble played back perfectly. Does that mean that my connection is now bit perfect? If so, is there any advantage to buying a sound card with a bit perfect output?
 
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jiiteepee

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In general, WASAPI operates in two modes.  In "shared" mode, audio streams are rendered by the application and mixed by the global audio engine before they're rendered out the audio device.  In "exclusive" mode, audio streams are rendered directly to the audio adapter, and no other application's audio will play.  Obviously the vast majority of applications will operate in shared mode, that's the default for the wave APIs and DSound.  One relatively common scenario that WILL use exclusive mode is rendering content that requires a codec that's present in the hardware that Windows doesn't understand.  A simple example of this is compressed AC3 audio rendered over a SPDIF connection - if you attempt to render this content, if Windows doesn't have a decoder for this content, then DSound will automatically initialize WASAPI in exclusive mode and will render the content directly to the hardware.
 
 
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steve2151

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Thanks for the response. I've always rendered in exclusive mode when playing back audio and WASAPI did work for standard flac and mp3 files. It just never worked for DTS files. ASIO works perfectly for everything. 
 
I've always assumed that the 24 bit/192 kHz mode on my integrated was advertising BS of some sort - it'd save me some money on sound cards if it really works.
 
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