(Wasn't sure where to post this question, so I'm putting it here too)
So I don't know too much about audio (I'm about as far away from an audiophile as you can get), but I'm curious - how can you get true 5.1 surround sound out of your PC?
My specs are in my sig, and I'm using the motherboard's digtial optical-out, which I thought should give me surround sound. However, on my speakers (Logitech z906), it always just lights up for Stereo and not "Decode" which is what lights up when it's receiving a true surround signal.
Do I need to buy a dedicated sound card? Do I need to revert to using the 3 3.5mm outputs? I'd prefer to keep using a digital optical out because the sound goes PC --> Razer Chimera 5.1 --> z906. I know that the Chimera passes the input through cleanly because I have my Blu-ray and Xbox 360 also hooked up the same way with no issues.
Advice would be appreciated... I'm a bit frustrated that I'm not getting real surround sound from the motherboard. It says my audio drivers are up to date.
You need three things for 5.1 surround sound like you want:
1: An audio source with 6 discreet audio channels (such as a DVD movie)
2: A sound card with some kind of digital output (toslink optical or digital coax)
3: A 5.1 speaker setup
That's what you need hardware wise, but where you are likely getting tripped up is that your software player isn't set up to do SPDIF passthrough. Which is basically saying that if it encounters any kind of Dolby or DTS audio track, it just sends it on undecoded, since you're telling it to assume that there will be something on the other end that can deal with it.
If you go to the task bar and select the speaker icon you can then select mixer and then if a speaker dropdown is there you can select that and then select the digital optcal out. You can then go to the properties and make sure that it's set up there with the digital optical out for playback.