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S/PDIF Information


Last Reviewed: 08-Nov-2016
Article ID: 000006034

S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) is an audio transfer format interface. It transfers digital audio signals from one device to another without the need to first convert to an analog signal, which can degrade audio quality.

Intel® Desktop Boards can include an S/PDIF port on the back panel or an S/PDIF header on the board itself. Refer to the Technical Product Specification for your desktop board to see if it includes S/PDIF support. If your desktop board doesn't include S/PDIF, you can disable onboard audio and install a sound card that includes it.

S/PDIF on the back panel

The image below shows the S/PDIF Out optical port on the back panel of a desktop board. Some Intel® boards also include an S/PDIF In optical port.

S/PDIF on the back panel

S/PDIF onboard headers

Intel Desktop Boards use either a 4-pin or 3-pin S/PDIF header.

You can connect a back panel S/PDIF bracket to the onboard header, similar to the one shown below:

back panel S/PDIF bracket

You can also connect the onboard header to an S/PDIF input header available on some graphics cards using an S/PDIF cable. This connection routes digital audio to the HDMI output of the graphics card.

connect onboard header to S/PDIF input header

Typically, if the graphics card supports S/PDIF connections, the S/PDIF cable is included with the card. Connect the cable from the port on the graphics card to the S/PDIF Out and Ground pins on the desktop board. See the documentation that came with the graphics card for complete configuration instructions.

S/PDIF header pin-outs

Intel Desktop Boards use either a 4-pin or 3-pin S/PDIF header.

4-pin S/PDIF header pin-out

4-pin S/PDIF header

3-pin S/PDIF header pin-out

3-pin S/PDIF header

S/PDIF bracket sources
Amazon.com*

S/PDIF cable sources
Cables to Go*
PC Cables*
PCH Cables*

Related topics
Everything You Need to Know About the SPDIF Connection
How to Use The SPDIF Connector Available on Video Cards
How To Connect Your PC to Your Home Stereo or Home Theater

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