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Realtek HDA Onboard vs ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1 Card?

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July 27, 2011 5:43:42 AM

Basically,

Realtek ALC662 5.1 Channel High Definition Audio Codec

vs

ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Xonar DG Sound Card

I've only used onboard audio with my systems in the past, and imo I barely noticed much of a difference between them (from SoundMAX to Realtek to IDT and etc). I've heard that sound cards sound "insanely" better then any onboard, but I wouldn't know.

I mainly want to use my 5.1 audio system with SPDIF. I can get the SPDIF PCI bracket for my onboard Realtek chip for $12, but I have $30 lying around, and I saw that Xonar sound card. My question is, is it worth it?
July 27, 2011 3:23:25 PM

Xonar is probably a better audio system, but unless the your 5.1 is of comparable to a high quality studio setup, the Realtek + SPDIF will be more than enough.
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July 27, 2011 6:29:14 PM

Na my system is just a simple DVD player that can accept input via RCA and 1 optical basically. Cost me $30 but it's probably a tiny bit more or less retail.
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July 28, 2011 6:43:07 AM

So anymore feedback? I would probably have to look into another sound card if I did get one, because that Xonar I listed apparently can only do PCM Stereo via Optical.

If I did choose another card, should I go lower in price (below $30) or just get the SPDIF bracket for $15?
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July 28, 2011 12:12:39 PM

I wouldn't use the DG for optical, as its a waste to use if you do not plan to use its built-in amp.

For optical output, most cards are created equal, the only thing that matters is DDL/DTS-C support. My top three choices:

1: HT Omega Striker
2: ASUS Xonar D1/DX [DD encoding only]
3: ASUS Xonar DS [DTS encoding only]

That being said, I do believe the DG supports both DDL and DTS-C, so that might still be a better buy if you want both formats supported...
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July 28, 2011 6:48:14 PM

I don't exactly care for those audio formats, I'm mainly looking for something just to make games sound a bit better, and if my limited understanding of audio is right, DDL and DTS-C are for movies and some music :p 
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July 28, 2011 7:40:39 PM

^^ And also the only way to get a 5.1 signal out of the optical port. Otherwise, its far better to use analog outputs instead.
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July 28, 2011 11:30:48 PM

Hmm, is there any way I can convert my speakers to be able to use the analog ports? Like from what I'm seeing, it accepts a standard 3.5mm jack, however, my speakers are basically just wire's on the end...
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