Need advice getting 5.1 surround connection out of my laptop



I have just got a Dell L521X and want to output to a 5.1 amp. I thought initially that I just needed an adapter but apparently the soundcard isn’t qualified to output 5.1 (or 5.0 for that matter) it has 'Intel High Definition Audio with Waves MaxxAudio4; I thought it would as I upgraded from a L502X (for sale if anyone’s interested), and after some research I’m lead to believe that I need an external soundcard. Therefore I ask…

1)Am I right in saying that I only get true 5.1 if I use a USB-out (i.e. the the HDMI or Mini Display port won’t do it).

2)If that’s the case, would this be OK? The fact that it’s cheap makes me a little wary of getting it.

Cheers guys!


HDMI transfers 5.1 aswell, no doubts!


[QUOTE=chef;2715081]HDMI transfers 5.1 aswell, no doubts![/QUOTE]According to the comparison page here: other laptops offer surround, one model even mentions surround via HDMI but contrasted with my model there is no option so the on-board sound must not support it therefore it looks like I NEED an external card so the question now is that if the signal is digitally transmitted would the cheap one be OK or do I need to spend more?