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How to bring out SPDIF connection from motherboard?
How to bring out SPDIF connection from motherboard?
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Old 25th February 2021, 04:24 PM   #1
MikyK is offline MikyK  Czech Republic
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Default How to bring out SPDIF connection from motherboard?

Hello, I have different PC now (Dell optiplex 990) and struggle with the SPDIF output.
Most motherboards have the two pin SPDIF out straight out the motheboard, but mine doesnt have this connection.
Does exist some board or something like that which will make SPDIF lets say out of PCI?
Because I dont want to use USB/SPDIF converter.
Thank you very much for help. Best regards, Michal
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Old 25th February 2021, 04:32 PM   #2
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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The computer does not speak spdif. So there must be a conversion from the computers internal representation of audio (likely floats) to spdif. If you feel this is better done via the PCI bus, then get a PCI card (e.g. "soundcard) with spdif output. You cannot "wire up" something to the PCI bus that spits out spdif (if that was what you were asking).

Previously the spdif pins on your motherboard used the onboard sound codec chip to do this conversion.
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Old 26th February 2021, 04:45 PM   #3
M1JWR is offline M1JWR  United Kingdom
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i use an xonar se soundcard which is connected via optical to a minidisc deck, you have to switch it via the graphics from headphone out which is your hi fi sound from pc to your amp/speakers, 3.5 to phono cable, to the optical spdif and thats about it
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Old 26th February 2021, 05:21 PM   #4
Frabor is offline Frabor  United States
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Default SPDIF

I have been using SPDIF adapters for the longest time. In the past asus motherboards used to came bundled with the adapter. I checked my last board, a mid grade z490 for the Intel 10th-11th generation and comes with the header. To my knowledge, most of the DIY type mobos came with the header, as the functionality is built into the audio chipset, all it cost is 1-2 cents for the header connector to the manufacturer. Attached is the page of my board. This is an Intel industry standard connector.

If you look at the pinout you can see that the payload is signal (SPDIFIO), Voltage (+5V) and ground. Toshiba (Toslink) created an optical standard that was genius in its simplicity, a red LED will blink out proportional to the SPDIFO, and that functionality was mostly built on the socket of the fiber conector, wo , I guess, the +5 and Gnd lines power the LED and the SPDIFIO modulates the PWM timing of the LED. Connectors are mostly either input or output I(have not seen any bidirectional). The ones in the mobo are transmitters (output)

So, 1) a very simple adapter connected to that header will give you optical SPDIF Toslink 2) For RCA coax, I guess you do not need the adapter, connect the gnd to gnd and signal to RCA.

Adapters can be sourced on ali, ebay , amazon in the range of $15. The asus is a tested design and I can see them for $15
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Old 28th February 2021, 11:25 PM   #5
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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It's slightly possible that the sound chip on the motherboard has an S/PDIF output, but that Dell saved a few pennies by either leaving that pin unused, or by not installing the connector. But if you have a spare PCI slot, old sound cards with S/PDIF outputs can be picked up for cheap from computer recyclers.
A good source for Toslink transmitters is broken DVD players and obsolete satellite tuner boxes.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:08 AM   #6
Havoc is offline Havoc
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From the Dell docs: the Optiplex 990 uses an Realtek ALC269Q audio chip but SPDIF is not brought out. From the ALC269Q datasheet, this chip does have spdif outputs. Problem will be one of drivers and getting access to the pins.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:12 AM   #7
MikyK is offline MikyK  Czech Republic
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Hello, thanks everyone for reply.
It looks like the easiest way will be get some USB SPDIF converter. Plus I can use it with different PCs in the future.

Thank you very much. Best regards, Michal
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