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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My basement looks to be finished within a month or two, and it's time to get the home theater planned out.

My plan is to take my current gaming PC and turn it into an HTPC (so I can build a new gaming PC
). It's a very capable PC with an Opteron 160, Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe MB, and ATI 3870 video card. So, it should do the trick.

I'll definitely need a new soundcard to complete the transition. I will be running this unit as a dedicated Pre/Pro directly to a rack of pro audio amplifiers. I'm getting a bunch of mixed reviews on doing this, and am rather confused on the capabilities of today's sound cards, and running all the audio through the digital domain.

Now, I'm anti-audiophile. I feel audiophile is a term that has been reduced to nothing more than a salesman's tactic to sell you thousand dollar cables. That being said, I do want a card capable of reproducing the best recordings out there. I design and build all my own loudspeakers and subwoofers, so I do have a vested interest in getting great quality.

Now where the real question comes in is, which card(s) are the most capable in terms of features for things like setting bass management, high pass filters for your speakers, delay for speakers not set equidistant to you, etc, etc. In other words, all the things a dedicated receiver would normally do for you.

I would prefer to run XP for an OS, though I'd love to build a Linux machine (if somebody told me I could do what I wanted with Ubuntu).

So, this is not a "best" thread, but rather, what cards come with full featured software suites that would allow me to do this, without cluttering up a PC with a slew of different plug-ins from different vendors/software designers.

In other words, "simple".
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