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So i have an asus maximus vii hero, it touts onboard audio but i know its a gimmick, i know its ALC 1150. I have a pair of AKG Q701's they sound nice but it's lacking, its not loud enough, somethings sound a bit muddled. I think the O2 combo would help but my question is if I had a dedicated soundcard would that sound better with the O2 combo than just the integrated motherboard solution ALC 1150 (SUPREME FX 2014)?
If you have a sound card then you have a couple options. You can buy just the O2 amp and use the sound card as a DAC. Or you can get this unit and do the same, but then you wasted money on an unused ODAC. You could also buy this unit and not use the sound card but then the sound card goes unused. The odac should be a good improvement from the MB's DAC because this is removed from the computer so no interference
I could be misinformed but I thought that using a sound card took the stress of audio processing off the cpu. Would the O2 do the same thing? What would be the best method to input signal, USB, RCA or 3.5mm?
Yes, you where able to get few fps more if you are into playing games with dedicated sound card, but i don't know if the margin would be even visible with today's cpu's. O2 is only amplifier, so it won't do digital to analog conversion - it can't take the stress of your cpu. That would be done either by your sound card or by Odac. O2 doesn't have USB input since it's only an amp, it only has analog RCA or 3.5mm and between those two it's pretty much the same imho. If you are planing to use this O2/Odac combo then it should behave like dedicated sound card. You would connect your PC to O2/Odac combo with USB cable. If you was planing to use two separate units O2 and Odac, then you would need to further connect Odac to O2 with RCA or 3.5mm.
yea when i was referring to O2 I meant the combo. So using the combo via USB would be best way?
It would be the best and the "only" way to use both Odac and O2. Odac by itself doesn't have any other input. If you connect it through RCA or 3.5mm then the DAC (Odac) part of this combo won't do digital to analog conversion. That would be done by the source (onboard audio, soundcard, phone or an external dac), meaning the only part of this combo that would work is O2 (amp) which is cheaper to buy separated then to buy this combo.