What does this mean to the tone-dumb population as far as what is needed in PC?
They are saying not to use the DAC on your sound card. DAC = Digital Audio Converter. They are saying to use the digital output of your card. Then you have to have an outboard DAC or speakers that accept digital audio.
Most of it sounds cool, the biggest thing you'll notice is the software mixing and the floating 32 bit depth I'd guess. And that's a benefit for any output system. I would say any decent sound card would work fine. If you use headphones or speakers I know that a lot of companies make ones that take digital input like Spdif, AES, or optical.
What about onboard?
On board sound is usually made cheap and sounds just OK compared to a dedicated sound card. For most people it's fine unless you have an audiophile playback system and are really in to sound.
I would say the best option for on board or dedicated is to use the digital output. If you use a DAC that is on the motherboard it will prolly sound bad.
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