Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, 115dB SNR - diyAudio
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Old 3rd June 2013, 11:27 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Melbourne
Default Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, 115dB SNR

Dear All,


ASRock Brings New Technology to Light! A-Style: Purity Sound

Purity Sound is a combination of several hardware, software audio solutions and
technologies that will satisfy even the pickiest audiophiles. Including 7.1 CH
HD audio with Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, 115dB SNR DAC with Differential
Amplifier, TI® 5532 Premium Headset Amplifier which supports up to 600 ohm
headphones, cap less Direct Drive technology, EMI shielding cover, PCB isolate
shielding and support for DTS Connect.


Example: Motherboard Z87 Extreme4

ASRock > Z87 Extreme4

Supports 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 / i5 / i3 / Xeon® / Pentium® / Celeron®
in LGA1150 Package

2 x PCI slots

7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- Supports Purity Sound™
- 115dB SNR DAC with differential amplifier
- TI NE5532 Premium Headset Amplifier (supports up to 600 Ohms headsets)
- Direct Drive Technology
- EMI shielding cover
- PCB isolate shielding
- Supports DTS Connect


This would be an excellent HW for audio server and Ultimate Equalizer.



Best Regards,
Bohdan
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Old 4th June 2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Germany
SNR is only part of the story. I have not been able to find a data sheet for the chipset, but I remember that many of the consumer orientented DACs and Codecs had respectable SNR specs but borderline THD performance.

Another aspect is that some DAC manufacturer's have been know to publish SNR for the digital filter, not for the analog signal.

And even if this is a spec for analog out, how well can it be and will it be implemented on a commercially available PC mainboard?

Lastly, the 5532 is nothing to write home about these days.


I suppose the only way to tell is to get such a motherboard and run it through loopback tests (RMAA, Arta or Soundeasy).
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Old 4th June 2013, 11:21 PM   #3
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Location: Melbourne
Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
SNR is only part of the story. I have not been able to find a data sheet for the chipset, but I remember that many of the consumer orientented DACs and Codecs had respectable SNR specs but borderline THD performance.

Another aspect is that some DAC manufacturer's have been know to publish SNR for the digital filter, not for the analog signal.

And even if this is a spec for analog out, how well can it be and will it be implemented on a commercially available PC mainboard?

Lastly, the 5532 is nothing to write home about these days.


I suppose the only way to tell is to get such a motherboard and run it through loopback tests (RMAA, Arta or Soundeasy).

Hi capslock,

I would think, that both, Realtek and ASRock should be applauded for pushing the performance to ever higher levels, rather than bagged.

The Z87 Extreme4 motherboard and ALC1150 are very new releases, therefore I can not offer you any measurement results as yet.

But I can offer you measurement results of ACL 889 codecs and soundcards. The results are in:

http://www.bodziosoftware.com.au/Computers_SNR.pdf

As you can see, both, THD and SNR came out extremely good, even without A-weighting filter.

Therefore, I find you comments unwarranted.

Best Regards,
Bohdan
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Old 5th June 2013, 03:24 AM   #4
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Many motherboards use Realtek codecs that are capable of decent performance. But the final product after the minimum-cost approach is still worse than chip spec.

Biostar's Hi-Fi motherboard solution.
Biostar Hi-Fi A85W AMD Socket FM2 Review | techPowerUp

RightMark Audio Analyzer test : GA-MA770-US3 Realtek
This results (measured by me using an STX) has better THD than SNR. I know that the input is rather bad so I didn't use it. But minimizing ground distance via loopback to self should get better noise figures as seen in the above-posted PDF.

I have to say that the chips themselves are pretty decent.
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Old 5th June 2013, 11:22 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Germany
Bohdan,

page 5 of your PDF shows 3rd harmonic at -88 dB vs. a +4 dB fundamental at a SNR of 109.4 dB - that is not stellar but probably still ok for 16 bit encoded material. On page 7, after tweaking the output level, you got -76 dB second harmonic on a +10 dB fundamental - which is the kind of performance to expect from a cheapo portable player or a DVD player abused to play audio.

So at least that ALC889 implementation is not what I would call high quality audio playback, and we'll just have to wait for actual ALC1150 boards to come out.

Edit: the Gigabyte results posted by wwenze look pretty decent, I have to admit

Last edited by capslock; 5th June 2013 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 5th June 2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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Location: Melbourne
Quote:
Originally Posted by capslock View Post
Bohdan,

page 5 of your PDF shows 3rd harmonic at -88 dB vs. a +4 dB fundamental at a SNR of 109.4 dB - that is not stellar but probably still ok for 16 bit encoded material. On page 7, after tweaking the output level, you got -76 dB second harmonic on a +10 dB fundamental - which is the kind of performance to expect from a cheapo portable player or a DVD player abused to play audio.

So at least that ALC889 implementation is not what I would call high quality audio playback, and we'll just have to wait for actual ALC1150 boards to come out.

Edit: the Gigabyte results posted by wwenze look pretty decent, I have to admit


Hi capslock,


As my paper indicates, I intended to show the maximum available SNR in PC and sound cards. The input level was set to the maximum, just before the clipping level.

Even for such high level signal, the THD was 0.003% (page 5) and 0.005% (page 7),
while SNR was around 110dB. You can easily achieve lower THD by reducing the signal by 2dB – you should know this.

Bear in mind, that these results were achieved with two (D/A + A/D) conversions and without A-weighting filter.

These results are very good indeed, and fit very well into the HiFi level.


Best Regards,
Bohdan
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