a simple question, i'm planning to build a mid range/hi end htpc wit mini itx motherboard and z87 socket.
and i want to connect my htpc to my amp, wich is better? pci exprex soundcard? or a dac like music streamer pro?
Usually an external DAC as far as I know, should provide much better processing of music.
A quality pro sound card will give you a really top notch sound, (Studio quality) however they are expensive and quite large, and therefore as you are building a small format PC I would go for an external DAC.
NOTE: A lot of pro DACs use a fire wire interface instead of USB so if you decide to go for one of these you will need to add in a fire wire card. (Fortunately they are very small in size)
Hope this helps
Assuming your music is in lossless - eg FLAC then any 24bit soundcard with an optical out will give the best possible quality.
Something like an ASUS Xonar DS for £35 will be all you need.
If you have a Radeon graphics card that supports HD sound then you could also use that for the sound via either DVI(with the dongle that came with it), or HDMI.
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