Friday, September 26th 2008

ASUS Preparing New Gamer and Audiophile Sound-Cards

ASUS has sensed that there is a sizable market for discrete high-end sound cards, and is now out to grab its share. There are primarily two kinds of high-end sound card segments: gamer-grade and audiophile-grade. ASUS has created a new sound card to cater to each segment, though there could be more SKUs carved out of these sound card designs. The gamer-grade card, called Xonar Essence. From what the picture vaguely shows, the card continues to use the AV200 audio chipset, also seen is the bus translation logic, made by PLX. The card uses PCI-Express x1, though interestingly, requires that you collect a Molex connector to fuel it. It is said to carry industrial-grade Japanese capacitors. The portion of the card that houses vital DAC/ADC circuitry is covered by a fancy EMI shield. It is said that this card comes with a signal to noise ratio of 124 dB.

On with the audiophile card, ASUS has introduced the Xonar HDAV series sound cards. There are two cards: HDAV 1.3 and HDAV 1.3 Deluxe, depending on the presence of a daughter-card that expands the card's connectivity. The card uses RCA connectors for both digital and analog outputs. It also features two HDMI 1.3 ports for both output and input (for recording/mastering), is HDCP compliant and allows audio pass for protected Blu Ray content. The Xonar Essence awaits launch while Xonar HDAV 1.3 has been launched, and product page published. Pictures (in order) for Xonar Essence, Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe, its connectors and package are provided.

Source: PC Watch
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14 Comments on ASUS Preparing New Gamer and Audiophile Sound-Cards

#1
KainXS
(Gaming mode requires ASUS graphics card)

does that mean what I think it does. . . .
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#2
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Where did you read that? On the product page? The Xonar is a nice card, waaaaay over priced and not exactly EAX 3.0 and up compliant. Not that I Care about that though.
Posted on Reply
#3
Mussels
Moderprator
by: KainXS
(Gaming mode requires ASUS graphics card)

does that mean what I think it does. . . .
i cant find that written anywhere, not in the press release or the product pages.
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#4
IcrushitI
Does that mean Creative can be left alone to die a slow death, painfully of course.
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#5
ktr
by: IcrushitI
Does that mean Creative can be left alone to die a slow death, painfully of course.
Only till Creative releases rights to EAX 4.0+
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#6
tigger
I'm the only one
When they start losing card sales,they will release the rights coz they will need the dosh :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#7
soldier242
damn this 'll be a fine card for an htpc ... someone selling a XPC SN25P or SN26??? >_>
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#8
Lillebror
by: WarEagleAU
Where did you read that? On the product page? The Xonar is a nice card, waaaaay over priced and not exactly EAX 3.0 and up compliant. Not that I Care about that though.
Actualy, asus never said it did support anything more than eax 2.0! But with the gx thingy they have, they emulate eax 5.0! not 3.0 or 4.0, but 5.0. So it only really works with games designed for eax hd 5.0

Asus should really step up producing drivers for the other audio cards they have. They are nearly as bad as creatives :(
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#9
Hayder_Master
asus sound's card's is really good , i see it is maybe be the best chose cuz they reach best of creative card's but in cheap price
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#10
imperialreign
by: Lillebror
Actualy, asus never said it did support anything more than eax 2.0! But with the gx thingy they have, they emulate eax 5.0! not 3.0 or 4.0, but 5.0. So it only really works with games designed for eax hd 5.0

Asus should really step up producing drivers for the other audio cards they have. They are nearly as bad as creatives :(
I've noticed more and more complaints recently about ASUS' drivers as well . . . funny, they, too, revolve around the Vista OS

As to the EAX - ASUS loosely, and I mean very loosely, emulates it. This does not mean their cards are EAX compliant, nor supportive. The best I understand how it's done, it's a backdoor workaround through use of OpenAL - much like how Creative's ALchemy software translates EAX on Vista.




The new HDAV looks nice on paper - 4 DACs, one per channel, and good quality DACs as well. No minijacks, either - all RCA . . . nice, but in the PC market, only audiophile stereos use those connections (and most avid audiophiles would probably be running optical connections instead of analogue). Even more strange to see RCA connectors on their "gaming" card - I don't even think most gamers would use that kind of audio equipment, they tend to stick to the high-quality 5.1 packages, or headphones (and I might be wrong, but I don't see an AC97 header on that gaming card :wtf:). The average joe would have to purchase adapters. Kinda crazy to have the individual channels on a daughter card, though.


Personally - they look like great cards, superb audio quality . . . but I get the feeling ASUS went a little overboard, especially with the "gaming" card. Either way, I look forward to the in-depth reviews on these beasts :)

Oh, and I expect these to enter the US market somewhere between $170-$250 . . . we'll see on that.
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#11
Mussels
Moderprator
the RCA adaptor on the gaming card could be a coax/SPDIF digital out (and/or input)
Posted on Reply
#12
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Use minijack adapters with the gaming card.
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#13
Specsaver
by: Lillebror
Actualy, asus never said it did support anything more than eax 2.0! But with the gx thingy they have, they emulate eax 5.0! not 3.0 or 4.0, but 5.0. So it only really works with games designed for eax hd 5.0
They actually claimed full hardware support for EAX HD but once people found out it was a blatant lie ASUS moved back and started using a word "emulation". Btw. ASUS folks are notorious liars. They intentionally lied to the reviewers by giving them Eee PCs with bigger batteries then those in the actual shipping version. Or do you remember ASUS EPU logo BS? As for sound cards they set off with false claims regarding EAX and now they go on with their BS about PCI-Express.

by: btarunr
The card uses PCI-Express x1, though interestingly, requires that you collect a Molex connector to fuel it.
This is not a PCI-Express card then. Sure you can put that into the PCI-Express slot but if it requires extra power it hints that the card uses PCI-to-PCI-Express bridge and not PCI-Express chip. Same as with Xonar D1 and D2 series ASUS lie about PCI-Express. It is not a real PCI-Express as it uses limited and shared bandwidth of the PCI bus only. Meanwhile, love it or hate, the X-Fi Titanium is the only real PCI-Express card and it also happens to do full EAX and it does it in hardware.
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#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Specsaver
This is not a PCI-Express card then. Sure you can put that into the PCI-Express slot but if it requires extra power it hints that the card uses PCI-to-PCI-Express bridge and not PCI-Express chip. Same as with Xonar D1 and D2 series ASUS lie about PCI-Express.
Technically it isn't a PCI-E card, the AV200 has a PCI host interface, but the card itself is PCI-E purely for compatibility reasons and to make it look future-proof. For today's sound cards PCI-E x1 is no improvement over PCI.
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