Audio Codec Comparison Table

C-Media (CMI)

C-Media used to be very popular, especially on low-end motherboards, and they manufactured both codecs and complete audio controllers. Audio controllers usually need an external codec to do the analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversions, but C-Media’s low-end audio controllers have a codec embedded inside the chip, which is why we will include them in the table below. Because of that, we included a column called “type” to let you know if the chip is just a codec requiring an external controller (e.g., connected to the south bridge chip) or if it is a complete controller with an embedded codec (usually connected to the PCI bus). Chips from C-Media use names starting with the letters “CMI,” as you can see on the example shown in Figure 3.

C-Media CMI9739A codecFigure 3: C-Media CMI9739A codec

Model Type Channels Input Resolution Output Resolution Input  Max. Sampling Rate Output Max. Sampling Rate Input SNR Output SNR
CMI8738-LX, CMI8738MX Controller 5.1 16-bit 16-bit 48 kHz 48 kHz 80 dB 80 dB
CMI8738-SX Controller 4 16-bit 16-bit 48 kHz 48 kHz 80 dB 80 dB
CMI8768 Controller 7.1 16-bit 24-bit 48 kHz 96 kHz 86 dB 101 dB
CMI9738 Codec 4 20-bit 20-bit 48 kHz 48 kHz 72 dB 82 dB
CMI9739 Codec 5.1 20-bit 20-bit 48 kHz 48 kHz NA NA
CMI9761 Codec 5.1 20-bit 24-bit 48 kHz 96 kHz 90 dB 92 dB

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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