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Cheap Sound Card

Last response: in Components
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June 24, 2009 1:07:32 PM

I have an older HP PC that i'm upgrading to play HD video on my 50" plasma. The onboard sound is crap to say the least. I'm looking for the cheapest sound card (PCI Slot) with a SPIDF (cable-not optical) output that can pass through dolby digital surround sound to my receiver. Any suggestions?

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June 24, 2009 4:44:56 PM

hmmm, so you need a Coaxial cable instead of the far more common optical one? Your best bet for that would be to use a converter after the fact, something like this:
http://www.parts-express.com//pe/showdetl.cfm?&Partnumb...

I'm not sure if you need to go the other way or not (depends on setup), but I don't think most current sound cards have a coax out anymore.

As for PCI cards, you essentially have 2 options:
Creative ExtremeGamer
ASUS Xonar DX

The DX, as far as I'm concerned, is far and away the superior card. You also get the benifits of DDL (Dolby Digital Live) without having to pay extra to unlock the feature in Vista.
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