Definitive best 5.1 connection? optical/analog/hdmi?


Oct 1, 2013
So I have just build myself a gaming pc but am having trouble with the best way to connect it to the rest of my set-up. Previously I have been using 360/ps3 optical into my Sony amp and getting it all decoded (DTS, simple 5.1 etc) but now I'm confused by the options a pc offers.

So as my amp doesn't have an HDMI pass through should I...

PC--> analog--> Amp --> tv
PC--> Optical (spdif?)--> Amp --> tv
HDMI -->tv-->optical-->amp

I'm using it for gaming as well as tv and films and the speaker set up is 5.1.
What is the best software to use? will windows (7) decode every input or will I need to tell it what to do? I am currently using Rog sound manager that came with the mobo but this obviously doesn't work with the hdmi out (the ROG mobo is supposed to be very good for sound).
Finally would it be worth investing in a new HDMI amp? (such as: but with no analog connection.

equipment is:
gpu: gtx 770 4gb.

mobo: rog hero.

amp: an old sony str db780.

tv: sony kdl42w653a.

Thanks for your help in advance!



Oct 1, 2013
Hi reedo, so is that just for audio?
im curious as to how to get games working in 'true' 5.1. my current set up works but just doesn't quite sound perfect...


unless the game is coded in 5.1 you wont get true digital 5.1, the best you can do is turn on Dolby Pro Logic II decoding. Some games output descrete 5 channel sound, but only through analog outputs of your soundcard, unless you have a soundcard like the SBz that can encode the discrete 5 channels back to a digital stream for the amp to decode, but its best to use the descrete inputs of the amp if it has them.


First of all no games that I can think of are coded in true discrete 5.1 or beyond. The audio files would be huge. What games do is offer audio clues on the fly. For example, a company like Creative works with game manufactures to do add these audio clues. Movies or music that is coded to 5.1 use discrete channels of sound.

The only way to get true discrete sound is from the source that has it encoded and by using Display Port, HDMI or analog. Optical only sends 2.1 uncompressed and compressed 5.1. Optical needs to die except for 2.1 music.

Ok, not to confuse all. Boy we really need a sticky on this for the different formats(Display port, HDMI, analog,SP/DIF, Dobly and DTS)! I get tired of explaining this over and over again. end rant.

Big question is what speaker setup are you using?

The old Sony has analog inputs which will work well with your analog outputs from the mobo. To get the better encoded Dolby HD or DTS HD you will need a more updated the receiver. The problem is to get a receiver or a surround pre amp processor with analog inputs/outputs( , I have this one) it won't be cheap.

The Nvidia 770 has HDMI out for audio video, so the true discrete channel sound is solved for that, depending on what you're using it for. The 770 will send out digital information to the receiver for surround processor to decode.

Once again what speakers are you using?

In terms of receivers, you have to be very careful on what their true amp power is. As you can see from this link, you have to look at the specs. And probably the amps are putting out more like 50-60 watts when driving 5 channels at the same time.

Hopefully that answered some questions and confused you even more!

be seeing you, the Prisoner...

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