I have razer makos (2.1 speakers) in use with the rig below and don't plan on getting rid of them anytime soon. My asus deluxe 1156 mobo comes with some on-board audio features like DTS - Im no audiophile so Ill leave a link to the mobos description - maybe someone can tell me how good this onboard really is:
1) Would a sound card benefit my makos - or is my onboard just as good with my 2.1 speakers?
1a) If a sound card will benefit (and money is not a issue) - which card would you recommend?
[a card in one of my exposed PCI-e will block half of my gpu fan) where as I have a clear PCI slot even once i go Xfire]
I've been looking at the following but open to suggestions...
1. Its really only you can decide if your on-board is not good enough, it most likely is a realteck? chip, but almost everyone will tell you a soundcard makes a good difference.
1a. Any of the listed card are top choices and will do the job better than anything out there, so any Asus Zonar or HT Omega will work perfectly. Just do NOT buy a Creative card
2. The signal will be low power analog so I doubt the 3.5mm or RCA will have any noticeable difference to them, but the RCA due to the thicker and better shielded wires will be theoretically be better.
The first two links were very good. I have tried ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channels PCI Express and have great sound. If you are an audiophile you don't buy this - ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels or any RCA connection, try the SPDIF.