I'm trying to understand something and I think it's a terminology issue that is confusing the issue for me.
I have a computer motherboard with both an optical SPDIF connector as well as 6 ports for audio output. The motherboard is an ASUS Sabertooth X58. Here is a photo of the ports:
The 6 connectors shown (Orange, black, grey, blue, green, pink) allow me to connect up a 7.1 speaker system. My first question is,
are these ports analog or digital?
Should I be looking at a surround sound system that accepts SPDIF or are the 6 ports digital and immune to noise like the SPDIF connector and therefore no sound quality difference should be expected? Or if the 6 ports are analog but SPDIF does not support 7.1 audio, am I stuck with analog only or can a combination of the two be used like stereo SPDIF for head phone use and analog for surround sound in movie watching?
If the 6 ports are analog, then how is it some of them can carry more than two signals? My assumption up to this point is each port is a two signals + ground.
Does SPDIF carry all 7.1 channels?
I would like to purchase a decent surround sound system to connect to this. I intend to play games as well as watch blue ray movies. Any recommendations for a decent setup?
Here is a what the user manual shows: