I have a question I hope someone can answer.. I was using an asus matx mobo's optical out to my onkyo receiver and it gave me the option to choose "pass-through" so the signal had no fx or anything, just clean, and it sounded great.. Now I am using this USB X-Fi 5.1 Fatalty again and when using the optical out I do not have the option for "pass-through" and the sound is very bassy, sometimes but not often I also hear crackles.. I have all X-Fi features disabled and the sound is fine but once in a while whenever I close a web page or program I can hear a slight crackle... I just ordered a mini-toslink to toslink adapter bec. the laptop I am using, a 7811 fx, has the spdif output using that particular cable.. I'm going to try that because maybe it will be a bit cleaner than the USB creative junk.. im guessing... Ok, for my main question.. How is the quality of the sound coming from the HDMI output on Nvidia 9800M GTS? Would the quality be not as good or as good or better than that of the X-Fi or onboard SPDIF? I ask because I was thinking of buying a receiver with HDMI if it made a difference. I would love to just send the best signal possible from the laptop to the Onkyo with no fuss and no odd crackles and hiss.. Please let me know what you think I should do and how the quality of the HDMI is for music. Thanks!