Hi, I'm building a new system, I've bought an Asus MAXIMUS VII RANGER mobo which apparently has excellent onboard sound via the optical out. I also have a Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X GPU which of-course supports HDMI sound.
Which should I use? I run my system through a Sony AV Receiver with 5.1 high quality speakers (possibly going 7.1 if I can be bothered to re-arrange my living room !).
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Optical has a bitrate limit that prevents any of the modern multichannel HD sound formats to work with it. Optical is really only useful for stereo, where it's perfectly useful.
So use HDMI if you intend to use multichannel sound