HTPC/LAN Rig Audio Question

Hi I am building a home theater PC which will also be my LANing rig with the following components:

Intel DP45SG Mobo
E2180 Pentium Dual Core CPU
4GB DDR3 Geil DDR3-1333 (9-9-9-24) RAM
2 Powercolor 4830 in CF Video Card

I plan to have the audio segment of the home theater running through Yamaha's RX-V663 7.2 Channel receiver. My question is, do I need to get a dedicated sound card or is the on-board fine (it has S/PDIF out)? Will the receiver be handling all the audio duties if it is getting the digital signal from the on board sound? Also the on board sound is listed as having 8 channels whereas my receiver supports 7 channels plus dual subwoofer channels. Will the receiver take care of this as well? Thanks for your help.
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  1. Intel motherboards are not so hot. You would do better with Gigabyte here. DDR3 is useless on a P45 board, there is no performance gain.

    The two graphics cards in CF will be so throttled by the CPU as to be worthless. Far better to have something like a E7300 and single 4850.

    The audio should work fine.
  2. I already have all of the other parts. My concern was with audio. I know the processor isn't the finest but it'll do for now until I can get my hands on another. This is going to be my Lanning rig. I have a tri-SLI machine which is a bitch to haul to a LAN. My focus on this build is it's usage as a HTPC and portability as a LAN rig (it's going in an SFF case which supports full size ATX).

    I'm sure that the audio is going to work what I am wondering is if it is up to the tasks of a HTPC. I want to know specifically:

    1) Is the SPDIF simply going to send the digital signal to the reciever and leave the processing to it?

    2) If no to #1, then is it up to the task of HTPC audio or do I need a dedicated sound card? What are the benefits over the onboard?

    3) My audio setup will be 7 speakers plus two subwoofers as my reciever supports 7.2 (7 channels + 2 LCPM) audio. However since my audio on board says it's for 8 channels (7 channels + 1 LCPM) does that mean it won't get the proper signal through? Or is this something the receiver handles (I'm assuming it does, I'd like conformation).

    Sorry I wasn't as specific as before.
  3. I still consider myself an HTPC newb after using one for about 1 1/2 years, but I'll try to help you out.

    First off the S/PDIF does not pass LPCM, you'll have to use HDMI for that. Second, I suggest you download either AC3filter or SPDIFer. They are pretty much the same program, but SPDIFer only lets you play around with SPDIF settings while AC3filter is more robust. Anyway, with those programs you can choose what audio streams are passed through your S/PDIF. You can have your receiver do the audio stream decoding by just passing through the sound track through your S/PDIF.

    If you're feeling adventurous, you can try FFDShow, which is a program that will give you control over just about anything media related... audio and video.
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