Connecting the Cable

You can see the SPDIF In connector present on some GeForce video cards in Figure 5.

SPDIFFigure 5: Detail of the SPDIF In connector on a GeForce 9800 GT.

In order to use this connector you will need two things, a small cable, which will be used to connect the SPDIF out connector from your sound card or motherboard to the video card, and a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, to convert one of the DVI connectors from your sound card into HDMI.

SPDIFFigure 6: What you will need.

First you need to locate on your motherboard or sound card a connector called “SPDIF Out” or similar, see Figure 7.

SPDIFFigure 7: SPDIF out connector on a motherboard.

Then connect the cable. The cable has two wire, one black (ground) and another with a different color (red in our case), which is used to transmit SPDIF data. You connect each wire to the corresponding pin. This information can be seen on the board manual or at the board itself. If you pay close attention to the connector in Figure 7 you will see that pin 1 is labeled “VCC,” pin 2 is labeled “SPDO” (which means “SPDIF Out”) and pin 3 is labeled “GND.” So in our case we need to connect the red wire to pin 2 and the black wire to pin 3. Pay attention because the meaning of each pin can vary according to the board.

SPDIFFigure 8: Cable correctly connected to the SPDIF out connector on the motherboard.

The next step is simple: connect the other end of the cable on the video card and your system will be sending digital audio to the HDMI connector.

SPDIFFigure 9: Cabled correctly connected to the SPDIF in connector on the video card.

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.