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I hope this post is in the appropriate forum. I have searched online, including these forums, but I am still somewhat confused as to which method will provide the best quality audio. I don't necessarily care about the number of cables, just the best sound. The options for connecting my computer to receiver are below:

 

1. Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 motherboard with an optical SPDIF out

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271

 

2. Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD with an RCA SPDIF out.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102033

 

3. Video card: Gigabyte 7950 video card with HDMI out

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125414

 

I am assuming HDMI > optical SPDIF > RCA SPDIF. My computer sits to the right of my home theater system. I want to be able to easily play music on my computer through my home theater system and revert back to PC audio using my sound card whenever I play games. I have a crappy 2.1 Logitech system that is enough for me. 

 

My receiver is the Yamaha RX-V375. It will be paired with Polk Monitor series II 50s floor speakers and CS1 center (I'll get a sub later).  http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V375-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B00B981F38

 

Thanks!
 

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I have that sound card and it's really nice but if you are going with a nice receiver, you don't need it. Just run the audio off of video card's hdmi. A good receiver will do everything that card does and more, and it would kind be like, redundant.


So if where you, I would take what you where going to spend on the audio card, and invest more into your receiver. That's just my opinion.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by moedank  /t/1521992/which-is-the-best-way-to-connect-my-pc-to-my-receiver#post_24466768


I hope this post is in the appropriate forum. I have searched online, including these forums, but I am still somewhat confused as to which method will provide the best quality audio. I don't necessarily care about the number of cables, just the best sound. The options for connecting my computer to receiver are below:


1. Motherboard: Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 motherboard with an optical SPDIF out
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271

2. Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD with an RCA SPDIF out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102033


3. Video card: Gigabyte 7950 video card with HDMI out
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125414


I am assuming HDMI > optical SPDIF > RCA SPDIF. My computer sits to the right of my home theater system. I want to be able to easily play music on my computer through my home theater system and revert back to PC audio using my sound card whenever I play games. I have a crappy 2.1 Logitech system that is enough for me. 


My receiver is the Yamaha RX-V375. It will be paired with Polk Monitor series II 50s floor speakers and CS1 center (I'll get a sub later).  http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V375-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B00B981F38


Thanks!

I'm assuming the options are what's already in your PC? In that case, i'd have to go with the classic "try them and see which you like" response. The cables are all really cheap at monoprice.com - just hook each up and see which sounds best. The hdmi would be able to send video and audio, so if you're going to be watching things on your PC, but want to send them to a TV instead or also, that would be a good option. My totally uninformed guess is that you'll get the best sound off the soundcard.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonainpdx  /t/1521992/which-is-the-best-way-to-connect-my-pc-to-my-receiver#post_24467084


I have that sound card and it's really nice but if you are going with a nice receiver, you don't need it. Just run the audio off of video card's hdmi. A good receiver will do everything that card does and more, and it would kind be like, redundant.


So if where you, I would take what you where going to spend on the audio card, and invest more into your receiver. That's just my opinion.

+1.
 

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Optical SPDIR = RCA SPDIF. One is not inherently better than the other.


HDMI audio will only be better if you're sending TrueHD or DTS-MA from blu ray movies or games that send uncompressed lossless audio.


If you're only doing 2 channel music then take your pick. they'll all work well.
 

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I don't see any reason not to just use HDMI. That's what I use, straight off my graphics card and into my receiver. It works like a charm.
 

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All your listed options are perceptually equivalent from a 2 channel audio quality perspective.


I like configuring both HDMI and a SPDIF output. This is so that I can display another source while playing audio from the PC. Most receivers will not let you route audio from one HDMI input while displaying another video output. However, many receivers will let you play an audio input while showing video from another input. Another benefit of dual cabling is that you can configure the HDMI input to a DSP Cinema setting while configuring the SPDIF output to All-Channel-Stereo (or Direct Stereo) so you don't have to toggle through a bunch of DSP settings to get your favorite multichannel and stereo settings set.


One thing to note is that the real-time Dolby Digital encoding that is supported by the X-Fi card will hurt audio quality since the DD-Live is a lossy encoding. Your best quality multichannel audio will be via HDMI or streaming pre-encoded audio through one of the digital connections.


I think from what you described, you'd be happiest with doing ALL the following:

1. Connect your motherboard TOSLINK to the Yamaha AVR, configure as a 2 channel audio source with 24bit 44.1khz default audio output

2. Connect your X-Fi RCA analog to the Logitech 2.1 for gaming

3. Connect your HDMI to the Yamaha AVR, configure as 5 channel audio source with 24 bit 48khz default audio output

4. If you want to play games with sound through your home theater system, you can also connect the X-Fi's SPDIF connection to the Yamaha (assuming you don't play games on a TV/Monitor connected to the Yamaha via HDMI, in which case #3 has you covered already.)


With this, you can play games with EAX audio and have the audio go to the logitech 2.1 (and/or the yamaha if you setup #3 or #4 too.)


Movies you can play from the PC to the Yamaha using HDMI


Internet radio or MP3s, etc, you can play to the Yamaha using the optical.


More cables == more complexity and more flexibility. So it depends on your ultimate goal as to which of the many options you will be happiest with.
 
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