There are a wide range of audio coder/decoders on the market, from a variety of vendors providing codecs for both onboard audio as well as for discrete cards which can prove confusing to even veteran PC builders. With Analog Devices, Realtec, C-Media, VIA and several other smaller vendors providing a wide range of codecs and controllers you can easily be lost in the alphabet soup of model names. Perhaps you wish there was a handy reference that would give you a list of the basic capabilities of these codecs, like the Channels available, input and output resolution, the maximum sampling rates and the signal to noise ratio? Hardware Secrets has heard your plea and assembled a list of the more common codecs on the market today which you can refer to here.
"Audio codec is a small chip measuring 0.25 sq. in. (7 mm2) located on the motherboard in charge of the analog audio functions. Knowing the specs of a codec will permit you to compare the audio quality of different motherboards, allowing you to choose the right product for your needs."
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