Which audio output from PC?

Darkchii01

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May 29, 2017
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First, the relevant components:
Creative Sound Blaster ZxR
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
MARANTZ SR5011 Receiver

So at the moment I've got my PC hooked up to the receiver with an optical cable from the sound card. However, I just read that HDMI can pass higher resolution audio than optical. Unfortunately my sound card only outputs optical. My GPU outputs HDMI, but I'm fairly certain that bypasses the sound card altogether.
So which would be the better option for hi-res music? Because it seems I'm limited either way. Limited audio with a better output from GPU or better audio with a limited output from the sound card.

ALSO, I've never used it for this, but my receiver can connect to my PC through my network. Would this be a better option for hi-res audio files vs either of the above wired options?
 
HDMI will be better for high res audio files. Optical usually won't pass higher than 24-96khz There are other options.
You may be able to attach a USB drive directly to the receiver and access your files that way. Since they should be backed up anyway that can be your backup.
You should also be able to access them over the network but hires files may not stream well over WIFI. Ethernet would be better,
 
Do a test:
- connect your PC to the receiver thru HDMI
- connect your monitor (or watch it on tv) to the receiver

Play some "hi-res music". Forget about MP3, you're talking FLAC here, and then some. Can you hear the difference between optical and HDMI?
As for "wireless": I suppose your receiver can pull music from a DLNA server, and your PC can act as such. If your receiver can play FLAC (or other non-compressed media) - do the test again.
 

Darkchii01

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May 29, 2017
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With the speakers I'm currently using, I probably wouldn't be able to notice a difference since they're just a cheapo temporary solution. I'm upgrading them within the next 2-3 months though and I wanted to know which option would be sending the best signal so I can have everything ready to go when the new speakers are all set up.
I've got a few SACD rips and a bunch of DVD-A's and I'd like to finally be able to hear them without my setup messing things up.

 
HDMI will be better for high res audio files. Optical usually won't pass higher than 24-96khz There are other options.
You may be able to attach a USB drive directly to the receiver and access your files that way. Since they should be backed up anyway that can be your backup.
You should also be able to access them over the network but hires files may not stream well over WIFI. Ethernet would be better,
 
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