Choice between two 7.1 sound cards with optical out ($50-$150 range)

NexTerren

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Dec 10, 2012
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I'm looking for a Dolby 7.1 sound card with optical out (optical in would be nice as well, but that's not a requirement). This is for interfacing with an optical-based sound system to be used for both watching movies and gaming. I don't have any plans for doing professional sound recording/editing at this time. I can't think of any other requirements that I'm looking for out of a sound card.

My system is relatively modern, 32 GB RAM, 4.0 GHz Devil's Canyon, GTX 1080, Windows 10, so I don't think the rest of my hardware will be a limiting factor.

Based on my research currently I'm considering:

ASUS PCI-Express x1 7.1 Channel Sound Card XONAR_DX/XD/A/90-YAA060-1UAN00Z (And here is the ASUS product page)

And

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 7.1 Sound Card (And here is the product page)

Based on what little I know about sound cards, the ASUS seems to have the better pedigree of features, and the promised conversion of 5.1 to 7.1 seems like a nice feature (Supposedly also stereo to 7.1, but this doesn't seem possible?).

However I'm certainly willing to look at other options; I'd be willing to go up in price some (let's say to the $150 range?) if there's just an obvious better choice and would offer meaningful features that I shouldn't live without.

What's my best option?
 

Hlsgsz

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Feb 29, 2016
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Seeiong as you will be using optical to output digital to your receiver, the soundcard is absolutely inconsequential. If you have a MB with optical out adn 7.1 just use that. If not, get the cheapest card you can find that has optica out.
 

Hlsgsz

Commendable
Feb 29, 2016
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Seeiong as you will be using optical to output digital to your receiver, the soundcard is absolutely inconsequential. If you have a MB with optical out adn 7.1 just use that. If not, get the cheapest card you can find that has optica out.
 

NexTerren

Honorable
Dec 10, 2012
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Hlsgsz: The Motherboard has optical out, but it's going to a headset (specifically designed for 7.1) that uses an optical in, so I'm not using a receiver anywhere with my setup. I couldn't get the surround to work, and after research it appears I require a sound card for the headset.

So honestly just as cheap as possible card, as long as it supports 7.1 and I should be good to go? Don't worry about the other features the product pages brag about?
 

Hlsgsz

Commendable
Feb 29, 2016
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Yes. 7.1 and optical out. Everything else is inconsequential as the card will be doing no analogue operation whatsoever.
 
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