I just recently upgraded my old computer with a new XPS 8700. My old system had a digital coax S/PDIF output and I used it to connect to my Cambridge Soundworks DTT2500 5.1 Home Theater Sound System. I really like that system and was wondering is there ant know way to comment them to the new XPS 8700. Is there anything that can be added to the 8700 ti give me a S/PDIF output.
Most of today's computer don't have discrete sound cards. There are 6 connections on the 8700 onboard sound card. Look at the manual to see what each is for. If the home sound system cannot be attached, you need to add a separate sound card with the ports you need. Technology changes so fast now, older systems might not be supported.
The Xonar is PCIe-x1 and has an S/PDIF output; use a mono mini-plug-to-RCA adapter to use it with co-ax.
I don't think the XPS 8700 motherboard has an S/PDIF header like the older Dells had, and I can't find any documentation on the functions of the rear audio ports.
The lack of audio ports on the 8700 is a real bummer, because otherwise it is a very powerful and desirable computer. I talked to five service people on the Dell Chat line, and not a one of them knew what an optical cable port was. It doesn't have a coax port either as far as I can tell. It does have one HDMI port which should export both sound and video to, say, a receiver or TV. But what if you want sound to your receiver, and the picture to the TV? For one thing, getting your receiver programed to send the video image to your TV using what is probably its only HDMI out port is not as easy as it supposed to be. It looks like there is a VGA port on the back, and that ought to work. All I want to do is use my TV as a second monitor and send audio to my receiver. The first part must be easy enough if your TV is your only monitor, but even if it is a second monitor most computers all for that these days. Audio is another matter. With an optical (S/PDIF) connection, it is a piece of cake. Connect one end of the optical cable to the S/PDIF port on the computer and the other end to the S/PDIF port on the receiver, and voila, you are done. And you haven't used up the other ports. This product is advertised as having audio to support a 5.1 or 7.1 home theater. How? Probably through the HDMI port. If for some reason that option is not available, can you send out the audio via the little analog audio ports, assuming it has them? Getting a hold of a manual to find out precisely what is on the back of the computer is all but impossible. I hope one comes when the product arrives. Because, unlike every other computer or entertainment device, with the XPS 8700 you cannot simply go to the website and download a manual, which presumably would have pictures with a no. assigned to each port or feature, and corresponding numbered explanations. If you could, I would have been saved from the exasperating experience of talking at length to five different sales persons, all of whom knew less than I did (knowing the specifications for Dell products is not my job), and none of whom had a clue of what an optical (S/PDIF) connection was. Either one of us could have just looked at the manual to tell, if there was one.
Is there any way to convert any of the ports that the XPS 8700 does have to an optical (S/PDIF) connection? It seems like that would defeat the whole purpose of optical transmission. If there was a coax connection somewhere on the computer, I would think you might be able to convert w/o too much degradation. But I don't think the 8700 has that either. What was Dell thinking? Maybe they think one HDMI port will do everything and that most modern peripherals will support it.