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alializadeh's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 09/10/2011 - 11:09
Posts: 86
soundcard or dac


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?

thank you

joelw's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 09/08/2012 - 19:51
Posts: 7
RE: soundcard or dac

Usually an external DAC as far as I know, should provide much better processing of music.

abacus's picture
Last seen: 4 days 6 hours ago
Joined: 24/09/2008 - 23:16
Posts: 1057
RE: soundcard or dac

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


AnotherJoe's picture
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: 10/06/2011 - 13:50
Posts: 784
RE: soundcard or dac

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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