hi i wanted to know if i connected my soundmax sound card to a av receiver and connected my Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System to the receiver will it give me better sound quality or am i better off with my sound card?
my pc specs:
(As mentioned above)Logitech X-540 5.1 Speaker
Asus P5E motherboard with soundmax onboard soundcard with AD1988B chipset ( Supreme fx ii)
PS: i actually don't know much about A/V receivers so...
I think if you want to do that then you want to connect the sound card to the reciever from the digital out port on the sound card not the speaker ports. It mostly depends also on what you have for output ports on that sound card because in the end you want the reciever to do the work and the sound card to just output the signal. I have actually done that before with a Sony Av reciever and it does work and I was able to use much bigger speakers.
Adding more "steps" in the soundprocessing stage will NEVER make the sound better. Every time you add another product in the sound signalway, sound quality is reduced. If the signal is digital, the impact is far less audible though.
You would connect your Receiver to your computer using a Digital Audio connection through Coaxial or TosLink. Your onboard audio and processing would be bypassed. The receivers pre-amp system will be doing that work for you I believe (I might be wrong about the bypassing on board audio though, but it makes perfect sense.). A good receiver will show tremendous improvement assuming your speakers and source can complement it, not bottleneck it.
blackhawk is pretty right on. lots of people are having trouble getting a good setup with the equipment that they have currently only because they either don't know how to set it up correctly (which can definitely be a pain) or end up using cables which dampen the quality.
if you can, take some time into reading up on the equipment that you have, you may find someone who has something similar if not identical and from there you can gauge if its a good idea. sometimes you might have to upgrade different components, but i wouldn't look too far ahead just yet.
i've found a few good reviews at http://www.avreceiverreviews.com/ which has lots of people talking about different types of setups. you don't have to have a uniform setup to always have the best sound, thats just what a lot of companies want you to believe.