1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Connecting PC to hifi

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by unclebob123, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. unclebob123


    Joined: Jul 28, 2007

    Posts: 634

    I'm about to buy a new PC and I am wondering what will be the best way to connect to my stereo. I have a Cambridge audio cxa60 which has toslink and digital coaxial. It's my understanding that digital coaxial is probably the best option?

    My question is would I benefit from including a sound card in my build or would that offer no benefit over on board sound so the DAC in my amp will be doing the decoding?

  2. Marsman


    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,318

    Toslink is better because it can avoid any unwanted noise due to having no electrical wiring, unlike coaxial, which does.

    If your motherboard has toslink, then no point in getting a sound card, unless you plan to play games using headphones; in which case a sound card will be of benefit.
  3. unclebob123


    Joined: Jul 28, 2007

    Posts: 634

    But isn't toslink more suseptable to jitter than digital coaxial? It was also my understanding that digital coaxial has greater bandwidth.
  4. Doug2507


    Joined: Sep 13, 2013

    Posts: 759

    Location: Aberdeen

    All depends on the source and dac. Cheap enough to get toslink and coax to compare in your setup.

    The only benefit a soundcard would give is giving you the coax output to test along side the mobo toslink. (Assuming the mobo doesn't have coax)
  5. EsaT


    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,481

    Location: Finland

    Both use exactly same S/PDIF interconnect standard.
    One just sends those bits through electrical connection (with its vulnerability to ground loops and EMI) and other optically.

    And it's optical fibre which has vastly lot more bandwidth capability.
    How do you think optical fibres would have otherwise completely replaced copper in backbone networks of telecom operators?
  6. JasonM

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,113

    I notice no jitter from my realtek spdif out, and this is compared to my Asus St that has an precision clock to reduce jitter. So connect to your motherboard TOS link and you will be fine.