Whould I benefit if I buy a sound card?

danker8

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I was thinking of buying a x-fi forte or an Asus ROG Phoebus, but I don't if I would benefit from it, because my computer is connected to an amplifier, and the stereo speakers are connected to the amplifier. Is the amplifier already a sound card, and is it worth buying a sound card? I have onboard Realtek ALC888
7.1 channel High Definition Audio.
 

RealBeast

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I would suggest that you NOT get an add on card, rather use the optical output with a Toslink optical cable to your amplifier, which I would assume that you are already doing. A third party card will not improve the sound over that setup.
 

danker8

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what is an optical cable look like, i'm now using a green 3.5mm cable with a red and white male on the other side.
 

RealBeast

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Oh no, those are just copper audio cables, for great sound you want a Toslink optical cable and they look like this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10229&cs_id=1022901&p_id=3395&seq=1&format=2 OR this (click on the pic to enlarge more): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812120147

Check to insure that your motherboard and receiver have the correct optical (square looking) ports -- but most do for the past 5 years or so. This takes the raw signal to your receiver to process and works with stereo or any type of surround sound. It was a big improvement over my Klipsch THX 5.1 system.
 

danker8

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My amplifier doesn't have digital. Do I have to buy an adapter, or is it not worth it then? And I also don't see on the computer it self.
 

RealBeast

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No adapter, either has it or not. As for your board, do you see a small square looking port on the back, usually with a grey plastic center.

A new card wouldn't do any good if your receiver has no input.
 

danker8

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I saw this on the site from where my computer came, is this it: S/PDIF Optical out
 

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