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New here, hate to ask questions that have already been answered but here goes. I reviewed the build guides but that isn't really what I want to do. I'm not that much of a videophile and my plasma is only 720P anyway. What I want to do is build a pc with the best audio available. I'll have all my music on the HD so really all I'll use it for is the audio (hooked up to my receiver) and surfing the net. My gaming pc is in the den and the few movies I do watch will be with my DVD player. Hence Im looking at a mobo with integrated graphis, right now the ASUS P5N7A -VM. How good is the reatek onboard audio? I'm also looking at the ASUS Xonar Essence soundcard since I must have an optical connection to my receiver, It has more coneections but I only have one optical left. I won't be doing any of the typical HTPC stuff, just wanna store all my music and get the best audio I can, thanks
 

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the simple answer is if you are using spdif audio (optical or coax) they are all the same.


to get the best audio, use a program with wasapi mode, and that will be bit perfect cd audio
 

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And if your not going to process the audio think about using an Atom based motherboard without fan cooling.
 

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I concur that if you're using a digital connection to your amplifier that it simply does not matter as your amplifier will be doing the decoding.


You may want to think about stepping up to a good quality sound card like the Asus Xonar Essence ST(unreleased right now) that will have the best analog sound quality available(once it's out, it's debatable for what's out now) and running analog audio to your amplifier. Very few amplifiers can match the SNR on high end audio cards.
 
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