Just got into PC gaming after being out of the loop for the last 11 years or so (roughly). I just built a rig about a week ago, and right now, I'm using the S/PDIF output on the back of the PC for audio. Everything that I've heard so far from the PC is 2 channel stereo.
The motherboard that I'm using is an Asus P8P67. This is the regular version, not the Pro, Deluxe or LE versions. The Pro and Deluxe versions are higher end than the one I have, and the LE version is the extreme budget version, which is one notch below the one I have.
The back of my P8P67 has these 6 little audio plugs, that I can supposedly use for 5.1 and 7.1, by connecting it to the inputs on the back of my receiver. I haven't tried wiring these up yet, primarily due to the fact that I would have to run some pretty long wires (PC and Receiver aren't too close to each other). I could definitely run the wires, but it will kinda be a minor pain in the arse, so I've avoided it up to this point. My receiver is a Marantz SR7001.
I've also heard that with certain video cards, you can get high-def audio from the video card, I guess via the HDMI output. I have no idea if my Gigabyte 560 Ti SOC supports that or not. I've looked thru the manual for it, and it doesn't really mention anything about it. Right now, I've got the HDMI going directly to my computer monitor, but I could route that HDMI into my receiver and then run a HDMI from the receiver to the monitor.
I'm just curious as to which method is best, and whether I'm doing something wrong or not. I thought that I would be able to get some basic 5.1 sound with the Optical S/PDIF connector, but maybe I need to change some sound settings within Windows 7 or something.
Anyways, just looking for some suggestions from you PC veterans. Thanks.