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NrthnStar5
02-23-10, 01:14 PM
Hello,

Just a quick question. I have the Logitech Z-5500 speakers for my computer, currently hooked up via analog with a Soundblaster X-FI xTreme music.

Was curious whether it might be better to connect my speakers via optical with my onboard audio (VIA1708S 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC ). I've always liked the idea of onboard audio, one less PCI card to have in my system.

Do you think it the audio quality would be less using Optical with the onboard vs. analog and the X-Fi?

CaptNKILL
02-23-10, 02:58 PM
You most likely won't get surround sound from games with the onboard sound over optical.

Digital connections require an encoded signal to carry any more than stereo sound. The Z-5500 can decode Dolby Digital and DTS, but if your sound card can't encode the sound, you will only get stereo output.

The only exception is DVD movies or video files with pre-encoded audio tracks. These will pass through to your receiver and will give you surround sound.

As for the quality, I can't speak for the VIA audio chip you're using but I have the same X-Fi as you and I'd never switch back to onboard sound.

I was using Realtek onboard in my HTPC and I actually bought a second hand X-Fi Xtrememusic to replace it because it was just lacking in some areas.