Hi all,I'm going to build an HTPC and I'm concerned about audio quality. The idea is to connect the HTPC to my Yamaha A/V receiver through HDMI, so I'm considering three different alternatives: - MOBO with a Realtek ALC889 chipset integrated and HDMI output - Setup an ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 HDMI in the MOBO - Setup an Auzentech HDMI 1.3 X-Fi HomeTheater in the MOBOThe question is, would there be any difference in audio quality playback when bitstreaming over HDMI between the three alternatives? I assume that using the analog outputs will make a great difference between all, but what about HDMI? I raise this question because all these alternatives seem to have the same specifications, so "in theory", there would be no difference when outputting through a digital HDMI.I would like to build a solution that stream bit perfect through HDMI, so I'm also concerned about ASIO/WASAPI support. I don't mind spending more money if that is translated to getting better quality. I don't mind audio recording, I'm going to use it only for playback.
Thank you very much for your fast response, Arnold. That's a very good point.For the first option (MOBO with realtek chipset integrated), I was thinking on getting the Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H. Dunno if this is a good card for my purpose.And for the two other alternatives, the HDMI port is integrated in the sound card, so it depends on the quality of the components each card integrates? I think the MOBO here does not make any difference in what respects to audio output.What would you recommend?Best regards,Álvaro
There shouldn't be a difference between the options, but... What OS? Will you be gaming much on the machine? I would check out your software playback options for any "gotchas" with the options you're considering.Would you buy a different motherboard if you go with the sound card?
I have read that the Sonos audio quality for stereo seems to be far superior to any HTPC alternative. Is that right?
So if I understood well, if the sound chipset is integrated in the MOBO and the HDMI port belongs to the graphic card, then the sound will be converted from digital to analog to pass it to the GPU, mix it with video and then output it through the HDMI port, so there will be two conversions, one from D/A and another from A/D again. In this case, if there is a SPDIF belonging to the sound chipset, then this will be a better option than HDMI.