PC!-e x16, Half Height Sound Card: OBVIOUSLY better?

This HP Slimline office computer


video and audio from it’s motherboard (no extra fan noise)

using headphone out to Integrated Tube Amp now, to restored AR2ax speakers. Sounds good!

streaming YouTube Music Videos and Pandora (free) Radio.

****You ought to know by now I ain’t streaming beyond these two free methods/quality. *****

Possibility of using the PCI-e x16 slot for a half-height sound card.

One with RCA out rather than using headphone out?

Is the motherboard audio codec ALC3863-CG still involved, controlling output quality to the PCI-e slot???

It’s gotta be OBVIOUSLY better sound or why bother


Teach me something?

Thanks as always for your help understanding this.




1. Yes it's a standard printer cord. Make sure the cable is rated for USB 2.0 speed to support playback of sampling rates higher than 96 kHz.


2. I would go for a longer USB cable and shorter RCA. USB 2.0 is limited to 5 m or ~16 feet. I think the Amazon Basics cable comes in a max length of 10 ft. which would probably work well in your setup.


3. Windows 10 is fine.


4. Thesycon is the driver for the USB interface on the DAC. It's normally unnecessary to install a driver if you're using Windows 10 / 11, but if you're having trouble getting the DAC to work, then installing the driver would be a possible solution.


If you're only listening to downloads that come with an LP purchase, Windows Media Player should be fine. If you ever want to listen to hi-res downloads (e.g. from HDtracks), then I highly recommend using foobar2000 with the WASAPI component added. It's free and works well.


I am certainly glad I asked and took your advice.

Topping D10s: windows 10 found/setup/selected itself, noting to do except listen!

Sound is OBVIOUSLY improved, exactly what I asked for, and the VOLUME output is considerably higher than the motherboard's headphone jack, very helpful to my 10 wpc Luxman tube amp.

I balanced these AR-2ax speakers by ear (tweeter and midrange volume controls). Now I will get my SPL mic, tripod, and test tone cd and calibrate accurately like I do in my main system.

all these were obviously better:






OH yeah!!!!


D10s is working from external powered usb hub now.

Half height card just arrived, I'll put it in later, plug into it directly.