Using a soundcard or receiver for digital conversion?

djl1010

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Oct 9, 2014
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Im building an HTPC and already have a surround sound receiver and speaker set up. My receiver is a sony str-dh750 and tge motherboard im using is a cheap micro atx with an amd a10 processor. What im wondering is would the DAC on my receiver be better than getting a Sound card with analog out such as the creative zxr or the asus essence stx II? Or would it be better to send a digital signal via the hdmi port on my pc to the receiver and let it do the decoding? Ive read there is no reason to get a sound card on other threads but my receiver isnt the best thing out there and the sound cards mentioned in those threads dont have analog outputs and im also worried of interferences using the onboard hdmi. So what do you guys think? I dont really know much about DACs do i have no clue what device would have better performance.

Thanks in advance.
 

ien2222

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Mar 28, 2010
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Use the HDMI connection.

First, you won't be able to do anything over 2.0 via analog (though you can still use a sub with bass management and use matrixed sound modes such as pro logic) with that receiver.

But even quality wise, a sound card isn't going to offer anything over what the AVR can do. About the only reason you'd use a sound card with an AVR (assuming using HDMI is an option you can use) would be if you game and the lag ends up being too great, or you play a lot of older games that use EAX and you want to be able to use it.

Personally, I'll never use a sound card again. Either I will run it via HDMI to an AVR, digital out to active speakers, or USB DAC to active speakers if the speakers do not support a digital connection(or MB doesn't) with miniDSP kit thrown in somewhere.

Without any particular information to suggest otherwise, I see no reason to use a sound card in your case.


 

ien2222

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Use the HDMI connection.

First, you won't be able to do anything over 2.0 via analog (though you can still use a sub with bass management and use matrixed sound modes such as pro logic) with that receiver.

But even quality wise, a sound card isn't going to offer anything over what the AVR can do. About the only reason you'd use a sound card with an AVR (assuming using HDMI is an option you can use) would be if you game and the lag ends up being too great, or you play a lot of older games that use EAX and you want to be able to use it.

Personally, I'll never use a sound card again. Either I will run it via HDMI to an AVR, digital out to active speakers, or USB DAC to active speakers if the speakers do not support a digital connection(or MB doesn't) with miniDSP kit thrown in somewhere.

Without any particular information to suggest otherwise, I see no reason to use a sound card in your case.


 

ien2222

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No problem.

I am assuming you're sending the video via HDMI too, so it's PC -> AVR -> Monitor/TV. If you are using something else like displayport, I'm not sure how the various OS's will handle the sound, may have problems, may not. But at least it isn't costing you anything to try it out first.
 
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