My chain is
Realtek ALC98 > Mini-plug-RCA > Source Switching Box > AudioSource AMP100 > Speakers
The AMP100 contains volume and balance controls so no need for a preamp. I'm on a fixed income so if external DACs are just snake oil please let me know. I'm a member of AudioKarma and folks there talk constantly of the noise problem in desktops.
Of course I could also just throw the ProFire in the chain and let it do the job. I have a new PC with Windows 11. I used to be a Linux user and the ProFire wasn't well supported under Linux.
Thanks so much.