I would like to be able to push 5.1 audio from my PC to the receiver for games (BF3, Warcraft, etc). As for what I need cable wise and motherboards that support codecs or outputs that the receiver will need.. I am at a loss. I have the TV and receiver connected currently with HDMI and the sound quality is amazing. I understand the basics that video cards don't push HDMI audio and would need a different cable to run the audio (optical I think?).
Pretty much what I am asking here if anyone could recommend a awesome motherboard/cable/sound cards or anything I would need to achieve the best quality audio from my PC to my receiver with as little clutter as possible. I know the specs I give are vague and the computer specs are pretty much non-existent I would just like to wrap my head around this problem first so I can build around the motherboard to ensure everything is going to work. This goes for the video as well I hope that the 680 comes with some sort of HDMI support that I can simply plug and play with a higher end HDMI cord from the video card to the receiver/tv (whatever it needs to go to).
If you have any information from me that will help you help me.. just fire away and I will respond as fast as possible. If I posted this in the wrong area I am sorry and will re-post if needed. I appreciate any help and any feedback that could help smooth out my purchasing of this new PC build. I'm just trying to make the best of my home theater system and TV. Price doesn't matter (on the parts)
P.S. Yes I know some people don't like PC gaming on a TV I can understand that but for my purposes it's what has to be done! Thanks again. Cheers!
Sound is really easy. If you decode the sound in the PC then you need a quality sound card. BUT you are not decoding the sound in the PC.
If you use an external decoder (like an external receiver) all you need to do is get the bits from the PC to the receiver. Your PC/MB will had a digital audio out connector. It will be either a COAX connection or a TOSLINK fiber optic connection. Your receiver will have digital inputs. All you need to do is get the same digital connection available on both your receiver and your PC, then plug in the right cable (coax for coax connections, fiber optic for fiber optic).
Once you are cabled up you need to tell your MB sound to send sound out the digital rather than the analog output. Type SOUND in the win7 serach box, launch sound from the control panel. You should see a playback tab that lets you choose where to send the sound output.
On the receiver side you'll need to play with it to assign the digital input to the right button on the receiver. This will be documented poorly somewhere in your receiver manual.
Note, you are sending bits. A $10 cable caries bits as well as a $100 cable. There is no 'audiophile color' to digital sound cables. Get something that looks like it won't fall apart, but no need to spend big bucks.
Second attempt, I just read your receiver spec. It's high end.
Take the HDMI cable from your Video Card. Route it to the Receiver, not the TV. Use the sound function above in control panel to set your sound to come from HDMI. (The 680 and every other HDMI video card sends sound out HDMI as well as video. HDMI sound based on the chip in the 680 will show up as another option in the control panel sound display after you install.)
Connect your TV to the receiver via another HDMI cable. Use your receiver an an HDMI audio/video switch.
The video will go from the PC to the receiver then to the TV.
The sound will go from the PC on the HDMI cable to the receiver and get handled there.
Ah excellent so essentially all I need is going to be an extra HDMI cable to run from the computer to the receiver and the rest is just messing around with the settings in control panel. If so that's fantastic and will clear up some space. Now I am a sound dummy so I am just confirming that this should output 5.1? I understand that I may have to mess around with settings to get it to work but overall it is possible to output to 5.1.
Edit: Awesome tsnor.. I appreciate the quick response. As for the motherboard nothing needs to be done other then to make sure everything is compatible (common sense) and there is nothing else I'll need to purchase to make sure the audio is nothing but top quality.
"all I need is going to be an extra HDMI cable to run from the computer to the receiver" exactly.
"just confirming that this should output 5.1?" Yes. Your receiver will decode the signal. You'll be limited (grin) to the following formats: Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS ES, DTS HD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus. You can go 7.1 later if you want by adding speakers. I've never used 7.1
"As for the motherboard nothing needs to be done..." Yes, since the sound is coming from the sound card embedded in your 680 the MB sound chip is unused.
"nothing else I'll need to purchase to make sure the audio is nothing but top quality." You should be good with that receiver, i don't know the speakers. Consider also good headset driven from the receiver.