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ASUS Xonar DX  (Source: ASUS)
New ASUS Xonar DX offers more than the competition for less money

ASUS announced its new ASUS Xonar DX PCI Express 7.1 Audio Card earlier this year. The company claims that the new sound card delivers 35 times cleaner audio compared to onboard audio built into your mainboard.

The new Xonar DX card is tuned for audio quality with 116dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and features other sound enhancing technologies like Dolby Home Theater and DS3D GX. To compare ASUS says that the typical on-board audio solution has 85dB SNR.

The Xonar DX uses the CirrusLogics CS4398 audio DAC that is typically used in Hi-Fi devices. The card is also able to take advantage of the latest DirectSound and EAX 5.0 sound effects in PC games for Windows Vista. ASUS also integrates its VocalFX technology that allows for users voices to be integrated into games via VoiceEX and to emulate background scenes in online chats (ChatEX).

Other features include support for Dolby Digital Live, Dolby Headphone, Dolby Virtual Speaker, and Dolby Pro Logix IIx. The audio processor used for the card is the ASUS AV100 High-Definition Sound Processor. The analog playback sample rate and resolution s 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz at 16/24 bits. The analog recording sample rate and resolution is the same. A digital S/PDIF Digital Output is featured as well with Dolby Digital and DTS.

The best news for PC users that like the specifications of the Xonar DX is that the card will retail for only $89. The new Xonar DX will fit into the ASUS line alongside the previously announced Xonar sound cards including the Xonar U1 external audio processor, Xonar D2 and the Xonar D2K.

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RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By FingerMeElmo87 on 3/20/2008 4:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
thats the only reason why i havent decided to get a x-fi sound card because creative vista drivers blow. seeing how this thing is better on paper, its only $89, and it works with vista without the cumbersome "alchemy" type drivers, im down.

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By lexluthermiester on 3/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By GoodRevrnd on 3/20/2008 5:18:58 PM , Rating: 5
Why should I have to hold my OS and the rest of my computer back just so I can accommodate a company that has a choke-hold on the market so I can play my games flawlessly? What about a year or two from now? I doubt Creatives initiative to roll out proper drivers when they can just sit around on their hobbled together shit that basically "works" as it is now.

By ChronoReverse on 3/20/2008 5:52:11 PM , Rating: 4
Indeed, the only reason why nobody else has EAX3+ on their cards is because Creative refuses to license it out lest they lose their market when everyone realizes the crappy support they have.

By marsbound2024 on 3/20/2008 8:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Amen, Revrnd!

By goku on 3/21/2008 2:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
Why should I have to upgrade my OS just so I can accommodate a company that has a choke-hold on the market so I can play my games flawlessly?

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By lexluthermiester on 3/21/08, Rating: -1
By rdeegvainl on 3/21/2008 8:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
I have a laptop thats over a year old that runs Vista flawlessly. Considering that you can get a quad core desktop (INTEL Q6600), with 3 gb of ram for $1000 dollars (Best Buy), I want to know what NEW system doesn't run Vista Basic at full tilt. You then tell people who had problems with creatives drivers to go cry in their milk, and then complain that you had problems with Vista and are far from alone. LOL at the hipocrisy. And if you aren't concerned about your rating, why did you feel the need to write a whole paragraph about it? You know why people rated you down is cause "Not worth reading" directly applied to your post.

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By GoodRevrnd on 3/22/2008 2:45:52 AM , Rating: 1
You should have been around a few years back when a Creative driver install completely wrecked my XP install. That's all I'm gonna say.

By lexluthermiester on 3/22/2008 6:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to have seen that. I've had that happen to me before, not with Creative drivers though. It happened with Nvidia, ATI and modem drivers. Always turned out to be a problem with hardware, usually BIOS settings causing conflicts or with XP itself. Hasn't happened in a long while, and we can hardly blame the manufacturers for that kind of thing...

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By 1337cookie on 3/20/2008 8:32:37 PM , Rating: 2
Intel's current onboard audio beats the crap out of an old SB Live! And why are you advertising the X-Fi as having a lead over the rest due to it doing its own processing? All discreet sound cards do their own processing. Creative just like to make you think that they are really good even though they have gotten really slack over the years.

By Jedi2155 on 3/20/2008 10:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
Many discrete soundcards off load the processing to the CPU such as the old but popular Via Envy audio chips.

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By BansheeX on 3/21/2008 1:50:02 AM , Rating: 3
Indeed. Creative inherited their reputation from back when games had MIDI audio and they were the proprietary de facto card to have. Soon as streamed PCM came along, they invented all this 3D-effect proprietary bull, made deals with game developers and major stores like bestbuy, and basically marketed the idea that they were the nvidia or ati of audio. But then CPU's got ridiculously powerful and 5.1 sound became cheap. No more do people flock to buy their cards to save a few fps at the cost of crappy sound and bloated drivers.

By jajig on 3/22/2008 2:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
EAX isn't 3D sound it's environmental audio e.g an echo in a large hall.

Straight from Wikipedia
EAX has nothing to do with actual 3D audio positioning. Positioning is done by Microsoft's DirectSound3D API.

By lexluthermiester on 3/21/2008 5:51:32 AM , Rating: 2
Intel motherboards use c-media, via or the like sound chips and are not, nor have they ever been better than a Live 5.1. Heck I'd rather have the lowest end Turtle Beach card than use onboard sound...

Really it's like talking to people with this[ ] problem sometimes...

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By omnicronx on 3/21/2008 2:57:32 AM , Rating: 1
Stop hating on vista, creative doesnt know the meaning of the word driver..

By lexluthermiester on 3/21/2008 6:06:11 AM , Rating: 1
I don't hate Vista! It's got some really cool things to it. But it's problems far outweigh it's qualities... And I feel no need to sort out all the issues myself. XP works well and runs fast. If I had not received my copy of Vista Ultimate free from Microsoft themselves, I would have taken it back and demanded a full refund.

As for your Creative driver comment, see statement posted above....

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By Hare on 3/21/2008 3:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
But any built on sound chip is going to suck compared to a good discreet sound card any day.

I use my motherboards digital output and there's obviously no difference between it and a 10 000$ sound card. Ones and zeros sound the same no matter what the source is. My amp does the decoding...

By Hare on 3/21/2008 4:09:56 AM , Rating: 3
My comment went to zero in a few minutes? Obviously someone here doesn't understand the concept of ones and zeros. Sound coming out of the digital output is ones and zeros (digital). Ones and zeros don't degrade in transfer and are identical no matter what the sound card costs (as long as the drivers don't resample or add any effects to the sound). Basically it's the same thing with hard drives. There's no way an mp3 can sound different from a Western Digital drive compared to Seagate.

Ps. Jitter and other Voodoo stuff can be disregarded.

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By Alexvrb on 3/20/2008 8:58:14 PM , Rating: 3
Sadly, the poor Vista drivers are not entirely Creative's fault, and Alchemy is the only way they can offer you hardware accelerated EAX sound on Vista. For once, MS really is to fault here. Still don't understand?

Read both pages of that article. EAX was nerfed by MS, and Alchemy is an EAX -> OpenAL wrapper to help overcome some of this problem. Eventually things will work themselves out, with newer Creative driver/wrapper releases and with games natively using OpenAL or similar.

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By BansheeX on 3/21/2008 1:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
EAX is needless complexity and I'm glad MS is trying to shove it out of the picture. Creative can go screw themselves, audio standards should be open and simple.

RE: Lets hope for consistant driver support!
By goku on 3/21/2008 2:31:48 AM , Rating: 2
That is where I hope openAL will fill in the void, unfortunately OpenGL and AL are out of date and need a serious overhaul to take advantage of newer graphics cards.

By robinthakur on 4/2/2008 5:20:22 AM , Rating: 2
Actually its all Creative's fault you tool. OUt of MS and Creative I would trust MS 100% of the time to write software which works and that's saying something. Your loyalty to Creative is misguided, they are one of the worst companies out there in IT for customer service and driver support. MS provided Vista to creative yesars before its release. That they didn't bother writing drivers which work for vista and purposefully obsolesce the Audigy down is reason enough to avoid them untill their company goes down (as it will)

By Myrandex on 3/21/2008 10:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
Are you retarded? Alchemy is not required. It is an option for those of you that don't want to listen to M$'s BS that audio cards can no longer accerate audio through hardware. You can use the X-Fi without Alchemy, and it would be the same as the Xonar. Under XP (or Vista with Alchemy), the X-Fi can accerate audio while the Xonar cannot. Sure Alchemy is a bass-ackwards solution, but it is the only solution under developers start using OpenAL for everything. The X-Fi and the Xonar are both good cards.

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