Originally Posted by DeadmanInc
No, unfortunately that board will only pass DD/DTS and 2 ch PCM to your receiver. If you don't care about bitstreaming DD TrueHD and DTSHD-MA then you can either buy that board and a Radeon 4xxx card or go with a board based on the Nvidia 8200/8300 board, which can send 7.1 PCM through HDMI.
Well. This is not 100% true. There is another way to pass both TrueHD and DTS-HD..... analog.
I know it may sound strange to say that, but depending on what software you are using, it will decode and send these formats out your analog out to your reciever via the analog in.
Nero 8 does a great job decoding TrueHD, not DTS-HD (won't decode). It has playback issues though on many disks. WinDVD 9 will decode those as well.
I had an onkyo HD805 and used the 5.1 out to my 304 receiver via analog and there was a noticeable improvement over optical (as I didn't have HDMI in). Same on the HTPC. It depends on hardware. Not whether the soundcard can HW decode as much as what how much love it can kick out.
Mine is at 96Khz now. I may upgrade to a 192Khz Zonar later this year.
Not saying it is better than bitstreaming, but it is also an option. There is a difference that is noticeable. It also helps to eliminate any timing or handshake issues in my experience.