Soundcard capable 5.1 audio over optical/spdif - gaming

I've been searching for an inexpensive ( < $50 would be great) sound card that is capable of outputting 5.1 audio over optical or spdif to a dolby digital receiver to be used for gaming. (current SB Audigy4 does movies only - not games)

I have searched and searched and every time I think I have finally found one I then find conflicting information about it.

I was hoping someone here had a suggestion.

Thank You.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about soundcard capable audio optical spdif gaming
  1. Best answer
    Any soundcard with Dolby Digital Live encoding would do the trick.

    The ASUS Xonar D1/DX is the cheapest I know of. Nevermind its one of the best cards on the market anyhow...(~$75). The cheaper DS/DSX offers DTS encoding, but if the receiver can handle DTS, that may be a better option as its at around $50 or so.
  2. Thank you very much, I will look into that card.
    Te receiver can handle DTS - you suggest I go that route over Dolby Digital in general? Or is it a better option to save the $20 and be around my initial $ goal?
  3. DTS is considered a slightly superior format due to a higher bitrate, but given how both are lossy to begin with, its splitting hairs. The DX is a more capable card, but if you are using SPDIF, you aren't going to get the full benefits and that makes the DS(X) more attractive due to its lower price.

    As a note, if your receiver takes HDMI inputs, the better option would be HDMI from the GPU, and letting the GPU pass over the audio signal. Im guessing from your description it doesn't, but still worth checking.
  4. Thanks again for your help. I've been looking at both and am actually leaning toward the DX at this point. I like the idea of the dolby headphone feature that it offers.

    And you are correct, HDMI at this point isn't an option. The receiver has HDMI inputs, but I have only a NVIDIA GTX 275 and neither that or my mobo have HDMI.
  5. Best answer selected by GlennFrank.
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