sound card advice

Nov 6, 2008
Hi, I need some advice for a soundcard with optical out and 5.1 surround sound.
I have a creative labs xi-fi gamer but it does only stereo through optical. Any advice?

I am used to playing games on ps3 and xbox and they all have surround sound. Do PC games also have surround sound?
Feb 19, 2007
short answer
most of them yes ;)
depending on the game....if it is latest shooter games, then there is a surround sound
but if it is games like Race series, rfactor or ARCA, then no, they are only stereo (it does uses all 5 speakers, but not really surround)

as for new sound card, depends on your budget ;)
Oct 2, 2009
Personally id go for the xfi titanium or the asus xonar, sure its expensive but ive come to learn that waiting that extra month or two for better quality always produces better results.

Tobias Kluge

Aug 30, 2008
Firstly it is a limitation of the digital S/PDIF protocol, it doesn't allow more than stereo signal when using a simple uncompressed PCM signal. In case for your X-FI card you have to activate (some X-FI bundles are shipped with that license) or buy a DolbyDigitalLive license from Creative ~5$ to use the Dolby or DTS compression for a full 5.1 digital output.

But you can always use the analog output to get at least the same quality, because the Dolby/DTS compression is lossy codec with only about 640Kbps for all 6 channels.