Onboard good enough for an S/PDIF-only setup?

Hello everyone!

I currently have a media box hooked directly to my TV (DVI to HDMI) and optical S/PDIF to a 5.1 receiver.

The motherboard has onboard audio with an optical connector on it (Realtek ALC850 chipset). I figure that since I am just passing digital sound to my receiver, it really doesn't matter what D/A qualities are of the chipset and so there is no needfor a better soundcard (X-Fi, for example) since there would be absolutely no difference in the quality sent to the receiver.

So my question is, is there any benefit of going to a separate soundcard for this setup, in terms of audio quality? Or is the quality for this setup 1:1, since it is all digital?

The reason I ask is because I am kinda anal and want to ensure that there are no bottlenecks in this setup, in that nothing is degrading any potential quality there may be.

Thanks in advance!
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More about onboard good pdif only setup
  1. Simply put all you are sending thru your optical cable will be 0's & 1's...all BINARY baby! ;) The sound quality will not be diminished due to no digital to analog conversion. So save a few bucks on buying another sound card and use your onboard S/PDIF :D
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