Right now I have a 2500k,250GTS, etc...
I have also an Audigy 2, which was connected to my graphics card using a interneal SPDIF connection. This gave me audio through HDMI to my TV.
I do not play a ton of games anymore, but will be upgrading my graphics card shortly, likely to a 7000 series or kepler card...
Now, I realise that the new graphics cards have sound on board, but I NEED DTS Connect or Dolby Digital Live for my surround sound receiver.
I wanted to get a Xonar Essence STX and use its internal SPDIF connector to connect to my current graphics card... but before I pay a ton of money for the sound card, Do the Newer(est) graphics cards have a SPDIF header? It would be useful in my case, as then I could connect my soundcard to my new graphics card to get DTS connect to my receiver.
I do realise that the newer cards pass audio via the HDMI cable, but I want to know if they internal SPDIF connection to pass my audio cards audio to the videocard to the receiver (and this way I can use DTS CONNECT or DDL).
So do the new cards have the ability to send audio from the soundcard...using a spdif cable
I don't think many/any i've seen have had that feature. I'm a bit confused, you needed SPDIF because you needed the audio encoded in DD+/DTS for decoding by your receiver? if thats the case then any new GPU's should be capable of what you want without an internal header for your soundcard. Anything newer than a GTX 460 or AMD 5000 series is capable of doing DTS/DD/DTS-HD MA/TrueHD bitstreaming over HDMI. It just depends on your audio source and playback software settings to make sure that the sound signals are being passed in the proper encoded format. If it is bitstreaming the encoded audio, no linkup with your soundcard is necessary because the receiver would be doing the decoding and digital-to-analogue conversion
Otherwise, is your receiver not capable of handling multi-channel LPCM? You might not get any fancy lights saying "DTS" on your receiver, but playback software can decode to PCM and pass 5.1 channels to the receiver over HDMI. Back when SPDIF was more common, the bandwith was insufficient for anything more than 2 ch stereo in an uncompressed format OR full surround when encoded in a lossy codec like DD/DTS. Thats why nVidia's soundstorm was such a big deal back in the day.. it would encode things to DD in real-time so you could have full surround over SPDIF for audio that wasn't pre-encoded.