I've left the PC gaming scene quite a few years back when I decided to give up the constant upgrading cycles and just bought an xbox 360. This Christmas, I got a laptop that plays a decent amount of games at a decent quality and performance. Tie that in with the steam sale and now I'm loaded with games for pretty cheap. So far I've only been amping the HP jack so I can use my dt880/600s (Not ideal).
So here is my issue. I have a few usb dacs to play with. I thought my onboard soundcard was a Realtek so I would do the little usb output trick but now I don't think I can because my sound card is actually an IDT. There's very little mentions of this company on this thread and the advice found was to just get a ext usb sound card so I can output to an optical dac. Is that my only option? There's no software middlemen I can use? Trying to keep my chain short since I have limited desk space. Any suggestions would be great help.
So...you mean you've left the desktop PC gaming scene.
I'm not sure about middleware software (apart from the free Razer surround one), but for external soundcards with surround I think your options are the Xonar U3 or the Sound Blaster Omni.