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Soundcard for HTPC?

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  • Soundcard for HTPC?

    Motherboard has an optical output using the Realtek ALC882M.

    Worth it to get a dedicated soundcard?
    Coach Pat Summitt - Folding at Home

  • #2
    Honestly, depending on what you are listening to the optical out of the PC will be as good of a digital quality as you would get out of most anything else. Were the signal analog you would see a larger difference.

    Aside from this if you are running HDMI you can pass the audio via the HDMI channel and get equally good digital audio. From there its your amplifier that does the work.


    • #3
      Does that card bitstream HD audio via HDMI? Or can/does it decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA?


      • #4
        This is our original setup downstairs, and since it is a Hitachi 57S500 RP-CRTV, the latest greatest connector I have is a DVI adapter. Regardless, it still has a great picture, and I can't justify upgrading it while it works fine.

        Well, this media PC is already built and running. I installed a X-Fi Titanium HD, and used the optical out to my Denon AVR-3803. No matter what I try I can't get 5.1 to work out of this output. I posted a similar question over at Anandtech's HTPC forums and was told basically the same thing you are saying. Due to this I switched to the on board optical out, but still only get Matrix or Virtual surround via my AVR-3803. I have it set to bitstream DDL and DTS, but yet I seemingly can't get a DTS bitstream to my AVR. I'm sure this is an PEBCAC that I'll figure out later.

        I plan to use the X-fi still, but for other duties, namely the analog outputs for music.
        Coach Pat Summitt - Folding at Home