What you'd want in a good reciever is a 24 or 32 bit DAC. (Digital Analogue Converter). This is what will take the digital signal from the mobo and turn it into actual sound. I have a Kenwood VR-705 and love it. Great sound, and a bounty of Digital In/Out options.
well the best you can get is a creative gigaworks, they are powerful and have amazing sound reproduction, the klipsch are awesome too... but these are the premier systems, i dont know much about the cheaper stuff for i dont bother with it..
My suggestion is if u planning to spend $200 $300 u mite aswell just buy a HOME THEATER in a box with speakers for 200 bucks from there u can use ur optical output to the optical input from the receiver. heres a sample http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1110263641433
This has a dts decoder so in the future is u ever wanna watch dvd thru ur computer monitor u can actually enjoy the DTS sound quality..
Don't forget that digital isn't better than analog. You want the best piece of equipment to do the decoding, so only use the digital output of your sound card if you feel that your new equipment can decode it better than your sound card can. I highly doubt any of the computer speaker systems have processing close to the caliber of the higher end sound cards. Almost all (if not all) of them have cheap IC's stuffed inside a "control module" with a volume knob. If you get a home receiver or integrated amplifier though, I would most definitely use the digital out. If you don't get a home unit, I'd let the sound card do the processing if you have a good one.
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