Audio bit depth(16? 24?) of my PC - How do I find out???

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by thekmanrocks, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    2007 HP Pavilion, Windows Vista SP2, Realtek High-Definition-Audio, NVIDIA GeForce 7100(video), NVIDIA nForce 630i(audio).

    Audio editor: Latest Audacity, with Preferences>Quality>Default sample format set to 24Bit.

    Realtek Audio Manager - Maximum bit depth for Digital Output, Stereo Mix, Line In, and DigitalIn are all 16bit. Speakers max is 24bit.

    I've been through all of control panel and cannot get a definitive answer as to what the maximum selectable or default bit depth is for audio. Windows Vista itself is the 32bit version, but that tells me nothing about audio, just the OS.

    I've visited NVIDIA's website, and viewed the detailed specs on all their cards and drivers from the past 10 years, and bit-depth as a spec is not provided(kind of like not providing horsepower in the specs for a car's power-train!).

    The maximum bit depth of the PC you do audio editing should be easily found out.

    thekmanrocks, Feb 9, 2014
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  2. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    I'm guessing you're not doing "audio over HDMI".

    The RealTek chip would do analog audio, and you
    might be wired to a 1x3 or 2x3 audio stack on
    the back of the computer.

    You could track down a datasheet for the
    RealTek chip.

    Since it's an HP, you start by providing a model number,
    plug that into Google, and look for the motherboard spec
    page for that machine. That will list the hardware (chips)
    in usage. With a little luck, you might get a RealTek part

    If you have really good eyesight and a magnifying glass,
    you can read it off the top of the RealTek chip.

    Maybe you can get it from some hardware utility, like
    get some Plug and Play information. And that could give
    a part number. But traditionally, audio devices don't
    have very large identifiers. Some used a 12 bit number,
    so only 4096 different ones could exist.

    I'd prefer to just start with the machine model number, and
    work it from there. Rather than screw around with an endless
    supply of half-baked hardware listers.

    Dig out the model number of the Pavilion. The year (2008)
    is not enough of an identifier. If you get desperate,
    check for a plate on the back of the machine, with model
    and serial number on it. I don't need the serial number
    (a long number), just the shorter model number.

    Paul, Feb 9, 2014
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  3. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest


    thekmanrocks, Feb 11, 2014
  4. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    thekmanrocks, Feb 11, 2014
  5. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    thekmanrocks, Feb 11, 2014
  6. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    There is a datasheet link, at the bottom of the RealTek page.


    Ten DAC channels 16/20/24 bit PCM.
    Two stereo ADC 16/20 bit PCM.

    I would consider 16 bits effective, coming out of a 24 bit
    device, to be "normal". If you had a chip like the VIA
    one (Envy?), where the analog devices are on I2C connections (like
    a Wolfson DAC), they can sometimes do better that way. Because
    it allows a bit more separation between the various "noisy bits".
    Separating the HDAudio digital portion, from the ADC/DAC chips, helps.
    (The numbers quoted here, don't last long, because you typically
    need an op amp after one of those, to buffer the output. They don't
    put a buffer inside the chip, because it "makes for bad numbers".
    It's all part of a game of course.)

    At least one poster here, did some experiments on his computer. He
    put his sound card in the last slot, and made a metal cover. He owned
    a scope and could take measurements, and could see around a 10dB difference
    in the noise. Measuring noise is always inherently risky, so I'd
    take that number with a grain of salt. But at least it's an
    interesting idea. The computer itself is a pretty noisy environment,
    able to couple into any analog like your sound stuff.

    Paul, Feb 11, 2014
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