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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: Analog, your grandfather's audio connection
By hellokeith on 3/20/2008 5:03:19 PM , Rating: 3
The vast majority of PC users also use PC speakers.

And if you want the best audio fidelity + not having to deal with lossy codecs, jitter, and HDCP handshaking, then analog is still king.

By lexluthermiester on 3/20/2008 5:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. And most people that use pc speakers use crappy ones. But for anyone who wants clear, crisp, warm sound from their PC, uses a premium sound card of some type. This ASUS card is a good card for that purpose. The Creative X-Fi is better, and I wouldn't trade mine for anything, but ASUS has produced a winner with this card.

RE: Analog, your grandfather's audio connection
By Hare on 3/21/2008 3:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
but ASUS has produced a winner with this card.
What makes you think so? There's no info about the quality of the analog outputs, op amps etc.

About the PCI version of Xonor.

"The RMAA results of the Xonar is certainly disappointing compared to the rest of the cards tested" - VR-Zone

By lexluthermiester on 3/21/2008 6:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
Notice in that review they didn't compare any onboard sound solutions. I also have to question the the testing methods. They used a loopback pci card instead of using an external audio analyzer. There are inherent problems with that kind of set up, ones that VR-Zone failed to take into account, or even comment on. Of course, thats assuming they knew.

But even by those results, the Xonar still faired better on a sound reproduction level than ANY onboard sound chipset[the only exceptions being the very few Turtle Beach and Creative Labs chipsets that are used buy a few manufacturers]. Even the newest onboard sound sets, pale in comparison to quality discreet sound cards.

So my previous statement stands as valid.

By Orbs on 3/21/2008 6:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
That is not the same card. The D2 doesn't do EAX (according to the VR-Zone article) and the DX does.

By 325hhee on 3/21/2008 1:36:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, I'm not giving up my Z-5300 that I paid $200 bucks for, and it doesn't have digital out. And I really can't afford to throw away a set of $200 speakers, nor do I have the room to use regular sized non computer speakers.

I'll be on analog for a very long time, and these new drivers Creative just released still hits me with some BSoD. On XP and Vista, Creative sucks now, they used to be good, about 8 years ago.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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