Hello chaps and chappets, i'm searching for some advice on a good setup to have decent audio 5.1 surround maybe support for 7.1 in future on its current setup. Don't know if I should go for a premade home theater system and hook it up or buy individual speakers or get an AV reciever with speakers.
I would look in your graphics card manual and see what audio formats it supports over the HDMI output, if any. I think the newer AMD cards support quite a few formats.
I just finished my home "office" setup (basically a PC & PS3 - I don't do no stinkin' work at home for free ), and I have an Onkyo AV receiver with 2 Klipsch reference bookshelf speakers, a Klipsch subwoofer and the Klipsch Synergy Quintet II speakers for a 7.1 setup. I think that's probably about double your budget however, but I did get the Onkyo and Quintets at a discount on Amazon. The Onkyo itself was almost half-price, probably because the video processor got mediocre reviews on CNET and various AV review sites, but that didn't bother me as I just pass the video through to the Pioneer plasma TV anyway.
Unfortunately I have yet to find any BD movies with actual 7.1 surround-sound support - even Avatar is just 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, but BD does support that mode. As for PC games, I haven't really looked yet - too busy watching Avatar, Star Trek and various other BD movies now that I have a decent home theater - er, "office" as I explain to my wife .