Connecting desktop to surround sound receiver


Oct 21, 2016
Hi all. I'm looking for the best possible audio connection between my desktop PC and my Denon AVR-S920W. The receiver is 7.2 and I want to be able to utilize all 7 channels. Also, I do have a USB DAC, the Mayflower Objective O2 Headphone amp, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to run it with surround as there is only 2 channels. I have my PC connected to monitor via DisplayPort for video, and USB DAC for audio.

I did some research and it looks like my options are:
1. HDMI Out from GTX 980 gpu to HDMI in receiver
2. 3.5mm Out from DAC to RCA analog in receiver
3. 3.5mm Line/Headphone Out from motherboard to RCA analog in receiver
4. Optical TOSlink Out from motherboard to Optical TOSlink in receiver

Which of these will be able to utilize the full potential of a 7.2 setup without interfering with the DisplayPort video? Some have recommended HDMI, but I'm afraid it will interfere with the video and try to bring it to the HDMI of the TV.
Even though HDMI has the highest potential sound quality it seems to be hard if not impossible to get HDMI to do audio only on a computer. You could connect a small TV or monitor to the receiver via HDMI and set it as a second screen. Might be useful to have an extended desktop.
Except when playing bluray discs with lossless audio codecs you should be fine with the optical connection. Make sure that you can output surround sound through it.
An audio routing program like on of these
might prove useful in using the USB DAC and the receiver for audio.
You could try using the receiver as your DAC/headphone amp and see if you like the Mayflower better or not.


Oct 21, 2016

I decided that I'll just HDMI, and have a separate TV as the HDMI out. Perhaps extending my display or duplicating it will prove very useful. As for the DAC, I think I'm going to keep it connected to USB, and just switch between that and HDMI in the control panel settings, or via CheVolume whenever I want to use the headphones.
Thanks a bunch for the information as well as the audio routing program suggestions. I had no idea they existed, and I found CheVolume to be EXTREMELY convenient with my setup.
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