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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Headphones, Portable Audio, Computer Audio > Computer Audio


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Old 06-28-2012, 02:07 AM   #1
Vauba Vauba is offline
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Default Choosing a sound card

So I'm attempting to build a PC and looking at sound cards and I can't find much good information about what I would need in a sound card for my current setup. I am connecting my PC to a surround receiver which at least for the time being has 5.0 speakers connected but I would hopefully future proom myself for 7.1 sound. I plan to connect to my reciever via the HDMI output on my graphics card, (I plan to buy GTX 670). For DVDs and Blu-rays my understanding is that I can bitstream to my reciever which means I wouldn't need a souncard to process anything here. What I would want is for various digital music files and games to sound good. In my searching I am finding recommendations for cards such as ASUS Xonar Essence STX, but the details seem to suggest they are geared toward headphone use and I'm having trouble finding out what is best for actual surround sound.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vauba View Post
So I'm attempting to build a PC and looking at sound cards and I can't find much good information about what I would need in a sound card for my current setup. I am connecting my PC to a surround receiver which at least for the time being has 5.0 speakers connected but I would hopefully future proom myself for 7.1 sound. I plan to connect to my reciever via the HDMI output on my graphics card, (I plan to buy GTX 670). For DVDs and Blu-rays my understanding is that I can bitstream to my reciever which means I wouldn't need a souncard to process anything here. What I would want is for various digital music files and games to sound good. In my searching I am finding recommendations for cards such as ASUS Xonar Essence STX, but the details seem to suggest they are geared toward headphone use and I'm having trouble finding out what is best for actual surround sound.
The Asus Xonar Essence STX probably has one of the best built-in headphone amps on a card that you could find, but it isn't exclusively for headphone use. This card kicks butt for two-channel playback through a nice pair of monitors.

It is however NOT a surround card, so I am a little confused as to why you brought it up. So, if you are looking for a surround card, this is not the card for you.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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I have no experience in HDMI video card sound but from what I understand of it, you won't need a sound card as you will be sending everything bitstreamed to your receiver to do all the processing. As long as you select your video card for sound output in windows.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #4
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
I have no experience in HDMI video card sound but from what I understand of it, you won't need a sound card as you will be sending everything bitstreamed to your receiver to do all the processing. As long as you select your video card for sound output in windows.
That was my confusion as well. If you're hooking up a receiver/AVR I wouldn't think you'd need a sound card either.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
That was my confusion as well. If you're hooking up a receiver/AVR I wouldn't think you'd need a sound card either.
I know that in my sound options in windows my HD5770 shows up as an option so I think we're right John.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:57 PM   #6
Vauba Vauba is offline
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I'm mostly concerned about gaming. I thought I was understanding that a sound card processes sound placement and other effects so there are benefits to a purely digital output as well.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vauba View Post
I'm mostly concerned about gaming. I thought I was understanding that a sound card processes sound placement and other effects so there are benefits to a purely digital output as well.
HDMI is purely digital also and as long as you're digital the receiver will do the work. Where a surround soundcard would change is that it would have analog outputs to connect to analog inputs on your receiver.
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