I want to connect regular stereo speakers to my computer sound card. I understand that I will need an AMP to drive them and still be able to control everything from the computer. Someone mentioned in another forum that I also need a pre-amp. The reason they gave was that "the soundcard driver resets its settings and windows start-up sound plays at 100%. Without pre-amp it could play at same 100% volume to amp and then to speakers. depend on amp it could permanently damage your ears and speakers."
Is this true? Can I stop windows from doing this if it is?
Your pre-amp should be your Windows Audio control. Unless your drivers constantly resets itself, then you won't need a pre-amp. Consider something like a FiiO E10 if you are that worried. It's basically an amp, as well as a sound card in one, bypassing your sound card. Do note that you should not amp powered speakers, so if yours is powered, you shouldn't be using an amp.
I already have the sound card (HT Omega eClaro) and the AMP is on the way (ATI AT602). I was hoping to control the volume via Windows. I have been told that Windows automatically resets the volume to 100% on boot. If that is the case, I have to have a pre-amp in the middle of this unless I can somehow stop window from resetting the volume.
My problem is that the location I would have to put the preamp is out of reach and out of line of site, so every time I want to make an adjustment to the volume, it would take me a couple of minutes. Controlling it with Windows would be much better.
My Windows 8 (and basically all other PCs) keeps it's volume from where I preset it last time I restarted it. You might have a problem if that happens, but unless there is that issue, getting an amp should be no problem.