I normally only listen using headphones at work where I am running a USB DAC (Music Streamer II) connected to a PPA. At home, I just use cheap 2.0 speakers with a line out from my motherboard. I noticed my motherboard also has optical out and possibly digital coax out as well. I have a spare DAC (Super Pri USB DAC 707) plus a spare headphone amp (PIMETA).
I was thinking of getting the mid-range ASUS Xonar soundcard but if the idea is to get out of a noisy computer case, wouldn't running a digital like (optical) from my PC to the DAC + Amp combo work? Is there any reason I should add a soundcard and use the DAC from there? I figure digital is digital ...
Also, is there any difference between running a USB cable to the DAC versus running an optical cable?