For internal cards, I would say the Xonar DGX is the cheapest route. I'm not sure why PurpleAngel is recommending the Xonar D1. He's more familiar with Asus cards, so maybe he knows something I don't, but AFAIK both cards feature the SAME Dolby Headphone DSP and both have optical outputs. The DS1 costs twice as much as the DGX though. If your going with the Magni, it makes sense to go with the cheapest soundcard option as you don't want to waste money on it's internal amp. You'll only be using the soundcard to do the processing, not the amping - if you already have a Magni.
If you go the Magni route, don't forget about the FiiO D3K. This is an external optical DAC that you would put between whichever soundcard you get and the Magni. It lets you take a straight digital signal out of the soundcard to feed the amp. You can skip it if you want, but it may improve the sound a tad over taking an analog signal straight from the soundcard.
- If you get the Q701, I would get what I said before, which is Q701 + Magni + FiiO D3K + Sound Blaster Z (OEM version) OR Xonar DGX. You hook them up in that order.
- If you get the PC360, I'm not sure I would get a Magni as a soundcard may be good enough to amp them by itself.
- If you want to get a soundcard that you can use also use on laptops, then you should look at the Xonar U3 (Dolby Headphone) or the Sound Blaster Omni (SBX Pro). These are little USB soundcards that offer the same virtual surround sound. They have wimpy amps though, so you'll probably want a FiiO D3k + Magni to go with them.
Keep in mind I'm not going to tell you which surround sound DSP to go with, because that's highly subjective and up to your personal preference. I would listen to some Dolby Headphone or SBX pro demos to see which you prefer.
I'll go for Dolby Headphone because it's apparently better for fps games, in this case i'd rather go Xonar DGX or Xonar U3 (because of the price), checking on those sound card, dont i need a 7.1 card? Maybe that's why he picked the D1
If i go with a D1 card i wont be able to buy the FiiO D3k (no money), unless i go DGX or U3, but can you clarify the difference in soundwise between a 5.1 card and a 7.1 card.. remember my goal here
Edit: Btw does my card suck so much? This is the onboard one.. I can make an effort to get some more bucks to buy everything that you're advising me, but can i get anything good from this board or nope?
Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- DTS Ultra PC II
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
Thanks for all the help man!
Edited by Railius - 12/23/13 at 8:10pm