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HDMI Graphics Cards and Mysterious Sound Cards

Explanation and solution for unknown sound cards resulting from newer graphics cards.

Steve Smith, host of your Technology Questions Answered, explains how to solve the unknown sound cards issues with new HDMI graphics cards.

Episode #1-39 released on June 26, 2011

Introduction

Every once in a while I come across hardware without all the necessary drivers on the companion CD that it came with. This also occurs often with almost all assembly line created personal computers. Today, I will answer a viewer's question and tackle an issue that will only become more and more common as people upgrade their graphics cards for more powerful and update technology.

Today's question from a viewer that wishes to remain anonymous is :

Just installed a new Nvidia graphics card with a HDMI connector port. While trying to install the driver from the CD, I have encountered 4 new unknown sound cards in my system, what's going on?

So, as I hinted to before, sometimes companies do a poor job of verifying the completeness of the driver sets in the disks that are sent with the hardware. What your experiencing in your computer is easily fixed. Knowing that it is from Nvidia helps, because they publish an universal driver set directly on their web-site, which works great and usually better than the drivers on the disks that come with the hardware. It also has an integrated update utility.

The way to fix the drivers is very easy. Head over to the primary driver set web-site. If you have Nvidia, head over to their site, or if you have an ATI go to their web-site. Download the latest driver for your graphics card. Install the drivers. Problem is usually solved by now.

So, just to answer what happened to your computer. The 4 unknown sound cards are the 8 channels for the 7.1 surround sound card integrated into the graphics card for the HDMI port. Many companies may feel that its not in their best interest to include the drivers to save space on the disk, though I am not sure why they would think that. More likely, an ignorant employee, at said place, decided against including the drivers in the CD not realizing the importance of the technology since graphics cards do not traditionally come with audio integration.

Why does the HDMI port have sound cards? This is an interesting technological addition, and it also saves you the trouble of buying many cables. HDMI cables are multimedia based, allowing for video, audio, and HDCP confirmation to be passed though the cable to your screen or television set. Allowing you to use only one HDMI cable, and not modify the rest of the computer. This is a distinct advantage to you, because of the consequences of technology that would be implied if you were obliged to use the audio output of your computer's motherboard in the television. You'd have to unplug your current computer speakers, to plug them into your television, which may pose a drop or damage risk to both pieces of hardware your currently trying to connect together. Leaving an HDMI cable attached causes no technological issues since you can close that particular port independently without unplugging it, from within the control panel of Windows, Mac or Linux.

So, as I said before, you will more than likely see this issue occur if you buy a new graphics card in the times to come. What I'd like to see, are companies showing a lot more foresight in their products. If you have new hardware with more abilities, all drivers should be included in the companion CD.

If you have any similar experiences or stories, feel free to comment below on our Youtube Channel, send a video reply, or e-mail this podcast at tqa@zedaxis.net. Next week, I'll be demonstrating how to reduce your computer's overall carbon footprint, in a day and age of environmental crisis.

Final speech

Thank you for listening to this episode, remember to subscribe to our show, leave us your comments, suggestions, questions or stories either on our Youtube Channel or e-mail us at tqa@zedaxis.net. Don't forget to do our viewer survey at http://www.zedaxis.net/. Have a great day, rest of weekend, and let's see you all back here next week, this has been your Technology Questions Answered.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

Sources & Resources