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PCI Slots full - USB Sound card? SPDIF Bracket? New headphones

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have the EVGA sr-2 motherboard. I have 3 gtx680s and a RAID controller card installed in the pci slots, so all of my pci slots are full.
I just bought some new headphones (Astro A40), and I didn't realize my motherboard did not have an optical SPDIF connection on the back.
I want to get the most out of my new headphones so I am trying to figure out a solution. Here are some solutions I have worked on so far:

Idea number 1:
I understand that my motherboard has connections for SPDIF, so I have been looking for a place to purchase a pci bracket adapter cable. I can not find one for sale online anywhere though.
Here is a link to a picture I found:
http://forum.videohelp.com/attachment.php?s=be48d65a6771212fe979d8252651e3d2&attachmentid=6334&d=1302109811

Idea number 2:
I have EVGA gtx680s and I understand they can send audio somehow. I am still researching how I could somehow connect an adapter to one of those hdmi slots or display port slots into the optical cable for the headphones.

Idea number 3:
I am looking into usb sound cards but I am not that confident about their performance. I definitely don't want to get a usb sound card that will be worse than my onboard sound.

Thanks for any wisdom and advice.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
x5660 @ 4ghz evga classified sr-2 1366 evga nvidia gtx 590 corsair xm3 12 x 4gb 
Power
antec quattro 1200 watt 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
x5660 @ 4ghz evga classified sr-2 1366 evga nvidia gtx 590 corsair xm3 12 x 4gb 
Power
antec quattro 1200 watt 
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post #2 of 3
Typically AV receivers are the only DACs that have hmdi inputs, because the hdmi licensing costs a lot of money.

If you want to use hdmi, pretty much any modern AV receiver would work. You can find top brand intro models for $200 or under on sale.
*edited my link because the deal died

Otherwise there are plenty of great USB DACs, but they don't have surround effects that you might care about. Personally, I play better without that stuff.

These would be my first recommendations.
Schiit Modi $99 http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=14

ODAC $150-160 http://www.jdslabs.com/storecat.php?fetchcat=5

If you're really stuck on having the proprietary surround effects, http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Recon3D-External-Enhancer/dp/B005FKT70O/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358341353&sr=8-4&keywords=creative+usb would give you CMSS-3D, but I have no idea how that sounds.
Edited by DrGroove - 1/16/13 at 5:50am
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Windows 8.1 and #! Qnix 1440p PLS Dell 24" Das Keyboard Cherry MX Browns 
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Samsung 840 Pro WD Blue WD RE CM Hyper 212 EVO 
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Windows 8.1 and #! Qnix 1440p PLS Dell 24" Das Keyboard Cherry MX Browns 
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post #3 of 3
don't buy the S/PDIF bracket. your on-board audio doesn't support Dolby Digital Live. buy the Asus Xonar U3 it has a headphone amplifier, Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Headphone, etc. it cost about $35. if you have the Astro Mixamp you can connect it to the Xonar U3 if not the Xonar U3 will still be better than on-board.
    
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Intel 520 60GB  Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Asus DRW-24B1ST Noctua NH-D14 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570k Asus P8Z77-V Pro Gigabyte GTX 670 2GB Windforce Edition  8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 520 60GB  Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB Asus DRW-24B1ST Noctua NH-D14 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Noctua NF-F12 Noctua NF-F12 Noctua NF-P12 Noctua NF-P12 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Noctua NF-P12 Noctua NF-P12 Windows 7 64-bit BenQ 24" XL2420T 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Cooler Master Quickfire Pro Corsair AX650 Corsair 550D Steelseries Sensei Pro MLG Edition 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Razer Goliathus Extended Mytek Stereo 192 DSD Graham Slee Novo Fostex PM8.4.1 Active Monitors 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Audeze LCD-3 Sennheiser HD600 Wireworld Ultraviolet USB Wireworld Oasis 6 XLR interconnects 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Wireworld Solstice 6 RCA interconnects Moon Audio Silver Dragon V3 Wireworld Solstice 6 RCA interconnects RCA Splitter 
AudioAudioOther
Decware Zen Taboo MKIII Burson HA-160 Furman PS-PRO II 
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