Nvidia audio driver vs realtek: Nvidia High Definition Audio vs Realtek: Compared

Nvidia High Definition Audio vs Realtek: Compared

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I have a small gaming laptop that I use with my TV to watch stuff and play games occasionally on the TV in my bedroom.

An Nvidia GPU powers the laptop, and even if it isn’t the latest variant, it does the job well.

I had noticed that whenever I plug the TV into the laptop’s HDMI port, the audio gets transferred over to Nvidia’s High Definition Audio driver.

I already have an audio driver that came pre-installed from Realtek and wondered why the TV was using the Nvidia driver instead of the Realtek one.

I wanted to find out more about what these two drivers did and why Windows feels that its required for it to hand over audio control to Nvidia’s driver when I plug my PC into the TV.

To do this, I made a few posts on Nvidia forums and read up on a few technical articles that went in-depth about Realtek and Nvidia audio drivers.

With all the information that I gathered, I intend to make this guide so that you’ll know what Nvidia and Realtek High Definition Audio are and why they are separate.

Nvidia HD Audio is an audio driver used when you connect your PC over HDMI to a TV. The Realtek HD Audio driver, on the other hand, is used in all other forms of audio output, like speakers, headphones and more.

Read on to find out what both drivers are good at and know if choosing between them is possible.

Nvidia High Definition Audio

Nvidia High Definition Audio is the audio driver that Windows uses to get audio to your TV when you connect your PC to the TV.

You’ll only see this if you have an Nvidia graphics card, and you connect the HDMI cable to it rather than to the motherboard.

This is because HDMI is a standard that carries video and audio through the same interface, and you’ll need a driver that Nvidia makes to pass through the audio to your TV.

This is where the High Definition Audio driver comes in, which can use the sound controller on the GPU to send the audio part of the HDMI signal.

The driver has no provisions for analog audio since all audio output is done through only the HDMI port, and the GPU does not have analog audio out.


 High-Definition Audio

The Realtek High-Definition Audio driver handles all the audio outside of the HDMI display output.

This means that any audio equipment, including amplifiers, AV receivers, speakers, or headphones use the Realtek driver for audio.

The driver can output analog and digital audio if your motherboard has the ports, that most motherboards do have.

You can connect speakers or headphones to these analog ports to get audio there.

These drivers work with the built-in audio card of your motherboard and are enough for ninety-nine percent of people unless you do a lot of high-quality lossless audio recording and editing.

Are They Different?

The significant difference between the two lies where they are being used in.

The Realtek driver doesn’t handle the audio for the HDMI output from your GPU because it’s faster to use the onboard sound chip in the GPU for HDMI.

The Nvidia driver steps in here to handle the audio that’s meant for the TV or the HDMI display you’ve connected your computer too.

The Realtek driver handles everything else and can recognize and send audio output to any headphone or speaker that you plug into the PC because the driver is pretty standardized.

You have more control over the Realtek driver as well with the Realtek Audio Console. 

Still, the customization options for Nvidia HD Audio is pretty much non-existent and automatically configure itself.

What Both Audio Drivers Are Best At

Now that we know what audio drivers do and what hardware they were made for, it’s easier to understand what they are best at.

Nvidia HD Audio is good enough for plug-and-play audio HDMI uses, especially for TVs, and performs slightly better at playing back lossless audio.

However, the Realtek driver is more of a jack of all trades and is compatible with almost all kinds of audio outputs and inputs, including headphones, speakers, and other audio equipment.

The driver also supports wireless audio devices as well, where the Nvidia driver cannot, because it cannot use the Bluetooth functions of your motherboard or PC.

Since the Nvidia driver only comes into the picture when you connect your PC or laptop to a TV over HDMI, you will be using the Realtek driver most of the time.

Overall, the Realtek driver is the best and only choice if you don’t need to use your TV as a display, but when you do, the Nvidia driver becomes your only choice.

When you use your PC with your TV, the only way to get audio on a pair of headphones or speakers other than the internal speakers of the TV, you’ll need to depend on the input options that your TV has.

For example, if you want to use wired headphones with the TV, your TV needs to have a 3.5mm headphone jack for you to use headphones with.

Can I Choose The Driver I Use?

You don’t have a choice between using the driver you want because of how your GPU and your PC work when you output a display to a TV.

Since the motherboard has no choice when it comes to audio when you pass audio through your graphics card, you cannot use Realtek’s drivers when you are using a TV over HDMI as a display.

You can’t use the Nvidia HD Audio when you’re not using an HDMI-connected TV either because the graphics card has no role in transmitting the sound at that point.

The switch happens automatically, and Windows handles the change pretty well.

The auto-switching is more than enough unless you work with sound or music a lot.

Final Thoughts

Both drivers have their own pros and cons, but it doesn’t matter because, performance-wise, both drivers work well if you are a regular user.

Keep both your drivers updated as well; you can use Nvidia’s GeForce Experience to update Nvidia HD Audio and visit your motherboard or laptop manufacturer’s website to update the Realtek drivers.

If you have a PC with a motherboard with an HDMI output, you can use your Realtek driver with your TV.

Use the HDMI port on the motherboard instead of the one on your graphics card.

Doing it this way can let you control your TV’s audio like you would any other device connected to your PC.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Nvidia audio driver conflict with Realtek?

Usually, both drivers won’t have conflicts because the Nvidia driver only works when you plug your PC into a TV over HDMI.

But if a conflict does occur, check the BIOS of your system and enable Integrated Audio.

Should I disable Nvidia high definition audio?

Unless you use a TV as a display for your PC or laptop, disabling Nvidia High Definition Audio won’t cause any issues.

Remember to re-enable it if you ever want to connect your PC to a TV to use the TV speakers for audio output.

Should I install Nvidia audio driver?

You only need this driver installed to transmit an audio signal through HDMI to an external display with speakers.

You can choose not to install it if you don’t need it.

Can GPUs cause sound issues?

GPUs by themselves cannot cause sound issues, but the drivers that they use can conflict with your existing audio driver.

This has been seen as an issue with some PCs, especially ones from HP, and the easiest way to deal with that would be to turn on Integrated Audio from the BIOS of your computer.

Nvidia High Definition Audio vs Realtek: What’s The Difference?

nvidia high definition audio vs realtek

Do you always feel like It’s such a challenge to make the right choices when you need to buy a new computer or laptop? It’s true it can get very personal when deciding which specifications are best, either for working from the comfort of your home or your carry-on, lifesaving laptop.

Consumers’ needs range from simply sending and receiving emails, to the basic functions of Microsoft Office, all the way to gamer PCs or laptops and their high-end processors and amazing sound systems.

But what if it comes to audio being the most important feature when you have to decide between two or three computers or laptops? If all other aspects have been covered in a satisfactory manner and the audio card is the component to decide if you take this one or that one, here’s a comparison that should help you make up your mind.

Nowadays, there are only two big competitors when it comes to computer and laptop sound systems – and they are either the NVIDIA high-definition audio or the Realtek high-definition audio. Since it’s extremely likely that one of these two HD audio drivers, which are components that help enhance the quality or fidelity of your audio system, will be offered as an option for your new computer or laptop, let’s see what they have to offer.

What Do Realtek HD Audio Codecs Have To Offer?

Under the promise of delivering amazing audio quality to your devices, Realtek high-definition audio codecs are what you can call a sure option, whether you are listening to music through your headphones or enjoying the soundtrack of a high-end game through your PC speakers. Being mostly associated with Dell laptops, as well as with their motherboards (the biggest piece of hardware to which almost all other devices are connected), it delivers outstanding audio quality.

Be careful, nevertheless. When attempting to use Realtek high-def audio codecs with SFF, which stands for Small Form Factor and is represented by smaller, more compact PC cases, since these usually have their headphone connectors in the front part. This may cause induction screeching sounds if they are positioned too close to the internet components. 

Regarding the quality, the sound with Realtek high-def audio codecs is generally referred to as smooth and immersive. This is mainly because of the great compatibility they have with more modern motherboards, ever so visible with a few even more updated special Realtek sound cards that can be integrated into the motherboard, such as Realtek 887 and Realtek 892 HD audio cards.

In this area, it’s important to notice that the specifications of the motherboard will most definitely influence the quality of the audio system. So, high-definition audio cards should run with solid capacitors in order to prevent your motherboard from hindering the best sound experience your system can deliver. Basically, make sure the motherboard of your new computer or laptop advertises good audio quality and that should be enough!

On a second thought, users should bear in mind that the quality of the audio files is a major factor when it comes to delivering great audio experience. Should the quality of the files be lower, then your Realtek High-definition audio system will probably not work a miracle and deliver clear, smooth sound. On the other hand, by making sure you’re running good quality audio files, you may just witness your system showing how immersive it’s HD audio codecs can make your favourite songs.

Compatibility is a factor to be taken in consideration upon choosing your sound system as well, since not all audio files will be compatible with a Realtek high-def audio card. And for that matter, there will always be an audio format that will not be compatible with any audio card you think of getting. Disregarding that, Realtek offers a great compatibility ratio with most of the current audio file formats, while delivering great quality and performance.

The best feature for Realtek High-def audio cards is how easy they are to set up. It does not require much technical expertise neither for the card itself nor for the corresponding drivers, making it extremely easy even for users that are not used to handling hardware. A good example of this is the auto-installation of the audio consoles, upon downloading the recommended Realtek HD audio driver, which delivers a fairly more practical and functional control of most of your audio needs.

Finally, it’s remarkable how cognitive and user-friendly the integration of Realtek High-definition audio cards is, which is made visible via their auto-recognition features either for speakers and headphones connected to your computer or laptop or even for microphones. Also, the convenience of having an audio console setting up all definitions, but at the same time allowing users to tailor them to their perfect tuning, makes the audio experience ever so enjoyable.

And What About NVIDIA High-Def Audio Cards and Codecs?

Firstly, the diversity of platforms through which users can run NVIDIA high-definition audio cards and codecs is amazing. It will definitely deliver great audio quality on pretty much any Windows version; Vista, XP (64-bit), Windows 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions), amongst others.

Via their specially designed GPUs, a unit that processes graphics and manipulates your system’s memory to enhance the creation of images or videos, with their internal audio codecs, NVIDIA high-def audio system shows it has come to take the podium. Since it is integrated into the graphics card, NVIDIA audio cards deliver excellent sound quality with their internal sound controller, while HDMI connectivity is allowed by means of their special audio codecs, which enables outstanding quality both for graphics and sounds.

It’s important to note that NVIDIA audio cards do not support analog versions of audios. That said, any computer or laptop nowadays come with a built-in audio system that plays most forms of analog audio.

The downside is that analog audio constitutes an essential feature when it comes to the connections between headphones, speakers, and microphones to the computer or laptop. So, bear that in mind when deciding which sound card fits better into what you’re looking for audio-wise.

Another noteworthy feature of NVIDIA high-def audio cards is their multiple audio channels compatibility, which brings along very advanced audio formats, such as the ones in Blu-Ray pictures. This will definitely deliver a greater audio experience both in quality and performance. And the best thing about all this is that there’s no need for any unconventional and hard-to-find cables to connect to your HDTV.

It becomes a matter of using a HDMI cable to connect your NVIDIA HD audio cardwhich is already integrated into a graphics card – to any High-Definition TV set to simply enjoy the amazing experience of a streamlined access to high-definition audio and video files.

There’s even an optimization feature for 1080 displays with NVIDIA high-def audio driver and its integrated control panel, leaving to your convenience the definitions of audio settings, which will very likely be auto-tuned to the default configuration of the device you choose to connect to your computer or laptop. In any case, should you wish to change the settings, just make sure the audio is coming from the NVIDIA high-definition audio card (and not from your TV or other device, and access your control panel to tune it into perfection.

Beware, nevertheless, of the regular updating of your NVIDIA high-def audio drivers and codecs in order to maintain the great clear smooth sound your system can provide if it’s running with the latest components. Tech companies are every now and then offering best solutions or features to even further enhance users’ audio experiences, so make sure to keep an eye on what’s new from NVIDIA.

Apart from that, users have reported reduced audio quality upon the use of cables longer than twelve feet, as well as HDMI switches, audio receivers and/or KVM, which mainly presented lower fidelity to the original audio files.

Whilst both providers promise to deliver high-definition audio experiences, and in that they may as well be in the same level, consider also the downsides as factors before choosing the perfect audio system for your new computer or laptop.

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NVIDIA, AMD, Realtek drivers not installing on Windows 10

NVIDIA, AMD, Realtek drivers not installing on Windows 10

Published: 03/31/2019 Updated: 04/24/2021 Category: windows Author: myWEBpc

Drivers from companies such as NVIDIA, AMD and Realtek are sometimes installed automatically and sometimes do not respond. In other cases, they simply refuse to install on Windows 10 because they leave traces of earlier versions or an incomplete installation that creates a conflict. What to do in such a situation? Many advise to reinstall the drivers, but the reinstallation methods are different and this rarely helps. Here we will analyze the correct sequence of steps that will help fix the problem when NVIDIA, AMD and Realtek drivers are not installed in Windows 10.

  1. First, create a system restore point before running the solution.
  2. Download drivers from NVIDIA, AMD and Realtek official websites and do not run them. Just save to your desktop.
  3. Download a special utility to remove DDU video card drivers from off. site. Do not run, save it to your desktop too.
  4. When you’re all set, you need to start in safe mode without an internet connection. Or turn it off later.

Read the full guide on how to completely uninstall Nvidia, AMD, Intel video card drivers


Uninstalling the video card driver

When we booted into safe mode, turn off the Internet if it is on. We have programs saved to us on the desktop. We launch DDU, select the manufacturer of the video card NVIDIA or AMD and click « Uninstall and reboot «. After that, install a fresh, downloaded video driver.

2. Uninstall Realtek drivers

Realtek HD audio driver installation error, usually overwriting files in the default Windows driver, or a conflict with Microsoft Universal Audio Architecture. So, you need to uninstall the existing Realtek and Microsoft UAA drivers and then reinstall the Realtek driver. When you booted into safe mode, then:

  1. Open the device manager and expand the column « System devices «.
  2. Find Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio right click on it and Disable .
  3. Restart your computer ( in safe mode back to ).
  4. Go back to Windows Device Manager and look for « Sound, game and video devices».
  5. Here, right-click on the Realtek audio device and select the «Uninstall device» option.
  6. Double-click «9» again0025 System Devices «. Locate back Microsoft UAA Bus Driver for High Definition Audio and right click on it and select « Uninstall «. Close Device Manager.
  7. You have a new copy of the downloaded Realtek driver, double click on «Realtek» driver installation and proceed with the installation.
  8. Start your computer in normal mode and restart your computer.

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