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If you have a MAC, you don't need a DAC
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Couple other people have touched on it, but the biggest issue is feeding the output to an external amplifier. It's fair to say the DAC portion of a MacBook Pro's audio circuit is pretty great, but the amplifier is pretty lame.
I have a hard time hearing a noticeable difference between most entry level solid state DACs, but if you've only got a MBP and you're trying to connect to an external amplifier, you'll have to go through the 3.5mm and thus the headphone amplifier circuit of the MBP. This is where the issue arrises.
If you could get a straight line level output from the MBP DAC, and attach that to an external amplifier, I'd agree that you don't need a DAC. However, as far as I know, there's no good way to do this, therefore you need a DAC. Something low-cost is fine, you're paying for the ability to get clean line-out to an amp, not massively better DAC performance.