Zotac 8400GS 512MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

Zotac 8400GS 512MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

The Zotac 8400GS is still one of the cheapest Direct X 10 PCI cards around and can be picked from outlets like Ebuyer for under £25 which is fantastic value for money if you are wanting a cheap HDCP card capable of outputting 1080P from a Home Theatre PC.

Having purchased one of these cards, it took me a while to work out what sort of output the card does and this is something that has clearly confused a lot of people on the internet especially as this particular model has no HDMI dongle or SPDIF cable. By default the Zotac 8400GS 512MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card comes with a VGA output and a DVI output. However when someone tries to connect the DVI output to an HDTV and the analogue outputs of the PC to analogue inputs of the sound card to the HDTV, they get no sound. In my case, I have no analogue inputs on my HDTV, I just get an annoying clicking noise coming from the TV when I plug the DVI output into the HDMI socket of the television.

A quick search on the internet reveals hundreds of people complaining the the NVidia drivers are flawed as the graphics card output is not recognised as a DVI, rather HDMI and the lack of a digital audio signal is responsible for the clicking noise. The situation is also made worse by ATI's confusing and initial non standard DVI to HDMI adaptor that passed SPDIF sound on non standard pins.

Now for the good news, the digital output of the Zotac 8400GS 512MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card is meant to be HDMI, Zotac just chose to use a DVI socket to carry the HDMI the signal from the graphics card for easier compatibility with PC monitors (whose DVI inputs don't recognise audio). All the digital audio is mixed on the same carriers as the video channels meaning you don't need the yellow Zotac HDMI/DVI dongle to get sound via the DVI as it is infact an HDMI signal albeit on a DVI connector ! All you need to do is connect the spdif pins on the Zotac Graphics card to the SPDIF out on your motherboard/sound card via some two wires (SPDIF out and ground) and enable SPDIF output in the sound card driver control panel.

This has allowed me to use an expensive Profigold DVI to HDMI cable (no dongle needed) and still get audio on my HDTV making the Zotac 8400GS 512MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card a perfect solution of home theatre output once I had grasped what was going on with the mis-labeled DVI output of the card.

This entry was posted on Sunday September 20th, 2009 at 1:30 PM and is filed under Home Cinema. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Comments are now closed.

3 Responses to Zotac 8400GS 512MB DDR2 VGA DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

Balu.c Says:
August 17th, 2010 at 5:30 AM

I want a driver for xp

Sid Says:
February 15th, 2011 at 6:26 AM

Hey, i am planning to buy this card for attaching my Sony 3D tv throught HDMI port.

Will I be able to watch contents simultaneously on monitor(VGA connected) as well as TV?

and what about audio? does HDMI carry audio too? or will i be needing another connection?

current CPU is Intel DG31pr

Please reply asap

Hi-fi-insight.com Says:
February 15th, 2011 at 9:12 AM

The 8400GS supports dual monitors in either cloned mode (what you want) or expanded desktop.

HMDI audio is available via the DVI port, but is limited to only motherboard SPDIF (if available) via an external cable connected to the graphics card. No DVI-HDMI dongle is required for audio, an ordinary DVI->HDMI cable will suffice . As the audio is SPDIF only, there is only support for AC3, core DTS and 2 channel 16/48 PCM. TrueHD, DTS-HD and 24bit LPCM require more bandwidth. To support multichannel HD audio, you need to look at a more recent ATI/Nvidia graphics cards with an onboard audio controller which supports the full HDMI 1.3 specification.

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