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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went back through the last two weeks of posts and couldn't find the answer...so ya can't say I didn't try :)


I just bought an Onkyo DS797 6.1 THX receiver and want to know what I need to get the best sound out of my speakers (Diva by Swans) for both games and DVD from the PC. I am assuming I want my receiver to do the decoding. So my questions are:


1. Which sound card? Do I get both M-Audio and a SB Live II or are the new drivers for Hercules Maxi Game theatre XP enough?


2. What kind of cable (i.e digital, optical, other) do i need to go from the sound card to the receiver?


3. Are there any other connectors/mods that I need to buy to go from the sound card to the receiver?


Thank you ahead of time, and if you know of a link to a thread please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right now I have an old Intel 800 Mhz processor but will likely be upgrading in the next 2-3 months. I'm currently using Windows 98.

Regarding price, under $300 dollars would be preferable for the sound card, but if it's a little more I can do it as well.
 

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Hi Mikhail:


___Why upgrade your system when you have almost all the performance you need with today’s HTPC SW? Only DScaler can take an optimized 800 MHz PIII down as far as I have seen to date. The PIII’s can also be made to output literally no sound in a case with a few of the cooling options you have available to you. I will get off the pulpit now …


___Back to your question. The M-Audio AP2496 can be has for just $160.00 from DC if you care to own one of the best HTPC sound cards to date. S/PDIF output via COAX to your Onkyo should take care of the HQ HTPC sound decisions you are currently considering. The new M-Audio Theater card w/ 8 analog output is almost upon us but I have no idea what that card is going to cost just yet. For the gamer, you can pick up a Live Value II for

___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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I would agree with everything that xcel suggested above.


I would like to add that just short of having two different cards in your setup, I would recommend the Game Theater XP from Hercules. I imagine that buying a AP2496 or Delta Theatre card would be the best audiophile HT experience, but only if you are interested in spending more money for it, and dealing with using a separate audio card for gaming applications.


The GTXP has new support now for 6.1 speakers. As far as DVD playback is concerned you will need to use Power DVD 6.1 to run them which isn't out yet, but that point is moot when considering that digital out (or AC# passthrough) is the best option anyways.


Where the GTXP really makes an impression is the fact that it offers playback of almost all of its sources to any speaker config up to 6.1. It uses all of the speakers, much more than any receiver DSP field I have ever heard. So CDs, games, windows sounds, external inputs, software decodedDVDs, are output through all of your speakers up to 6.1. THis is via its 6.1 outputs, and not its didgital outputs. The best that digital out can do right now is dolby pro logic, but the new nForce motherboards may increase this capability to real time Dolby Digital encoding, but it still remains to be seen how "real time" it is.


I would like to also point out that the GTXP is not as perect with games as a Creative product. But Creative would be the worst support company in the audio card industry, with Hercules GTXP not being much better. This point is important for very hard core gamers, but for me I don't ntice any of these game incompatibilities.


If you would be using your computer for DVD and AC3 passthough as well as the highest quality CD playback I would stick with a Midiman product


if you would be adding gaming to the mix, I would go with a cheap audio card (like creative) coupled with a Midiman product.


If yourr ears are not trained ilke some of the audiophiles around here, then I would simply go for a GTXP. You can get them for around $100. checlkout hercules.com for more details. I would not recommend any of the other Hercules products. But the new drivers for thisi card make it very useful for all applications.
 

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Get an M-wave card. I was very surprised when the sound quality was the same as my top of the line Sony DVD (now being used as a CD transport for 2 channel ). I picked a 24/96 up on Ebay for $149+shipping. You won't regret buying one for a second, once you hear it :)
 
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