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ASUS Launches Xonar DX Sound Card

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#1
In order to provide an alternative to flat and murky sounding onboard audio, ASUS has today released the new ASUS Xonar DX audio card. Impeccably designed for fine-tuned audio quality with 116dB SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio), it is equipped with innovative technologies like Dolby Home Theater Technologies and DS3D GX to provide crisp and clear audio quality and rich gaming sound effects.



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#2
As most onboard audio only provide 80~86 dB SNR audio quality, background noises are easily heard while listening to music or playing games. By adopting the CirrusLogics CS4398 audio DAC (120dB SNR & 117dB THD+N) that is often used in Hi-Fi devices, the Xonar DX provides at least 30% better quality sounds than the average onboard audio.
That's a bit over the top. Background noises ? Yea, right, that was 5 years ago. Really, I used an on-board solution extensively for everything before I got myself a DMX 6-fire and it was doing just fine. I swear to god I can't even find many differences between a lowly Realtek 883 and the Envy+AKM powered DMX 6-fire. For those of you who might wonder... I'm not deaf and not 60 either (no disrespect to old people, but we all know what happens to our ears by that time).

There are subtle differences, but they're just... well, subtle.

Let's not forget that on-board is free, while Asus' solution is going to set you back a few bucks (CS4398 is pretty top end, so I'm guessing the rest of the componets will be as well. The X-FI elite pro uses this DAC).

We're all free to choose, but hastily demolishing someone's product is not the way to successful marketing.
 

WarEagleAU

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#3
I wonder how this compares to the DS soundcard. Im hoping the price will be lower as well. Doesnt feature that nifty heatsink fan deal like the Xonar DS. Maybe that will make the price lower. Im still hesitant on how a sound card can have background noise. I know several folks who chatted with Ventrillo and used onboard sound. When they used the mic, you could hear music that was playing but muted and several other things. Not to mention it was poppy and hollow. I can tell a difference between my realtek on board audio and my X FI Fatal1ty.
 
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#4
Hmm PIC-e card! Might be able to go back to dedicated sound card if thats the case. Miss the X-Fi upsampling, although on board is livable. If price is right I may just consider this card.
 

OnBoard

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#5
My onboard soundcard (AD1988A) lets through other computer noises, like whines and squeals, other than that it's fine. That how even is quite a biggie, even though this is 95db snr. Audigy 2 was 105db snr, but being separate card, it was absolutely silent always.

"With support for the innovative DS3D GX 2.0 technology, the Xonar DX automatically supports the latest EAX and DirectSound HW after installation without the need to search for additional drivers or OpenAL – as most games are DS3D/DirectX compatible."

Anyone used that DS3D GX with previous xonars? Reason why I took audigy 2 out, was because sounds in Battlefield 2142 just didn't work with it in Vista. Titan explosion sounded horrid, even if it's supposed to be an OpeanAL game, but creatives drivers are what they are.. Not that the game is solid for more that 30min in Vista either :p

Crysis on the other hand sounds great, so it more of an pre vista games issue. This says it supports EAX5.0, so would the X-Fi icon be selectable with it in BF2142, or does the game really check for a X-Fi card? If it's cheap I might be tempted.

EDIT: Xonar D2X beta driver V8.17.31
b. Add EAX5.0 in GX function. Upgrade to DS3D GX 2.0

Seems like older Xonars get the EAX5 support as well.
 
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#6
35 Times Cleaner Audio Quality
The Xonar DX is capable of delivering 35 times cleaner audio quality with 116dB SNR in comparison to most motherboard onboard audio with only 85dB SNR. While noise is unavoidable, the Xonar DX dramatically reduces the amount of background noise, and it is this distinction that allows the Xonar DX to produce as little as 1/32 (-105dB) of the total harmonics distortion versus traditional motherboard audio (-75dB). As most onboard audio only provide 80~86 dB SNR audio quality, background noises are easily heard while listening to music or playing games. By adopting the CirrusLogics CS4398 audio DAC (120dB SNR & 117dB THD+N) that is often used in Hi-Fi devices, the Xonar DX provides at least 30% better quality sounds than the average onboard audio.
Impressive, those specs are par for par with the X-Fi Elite Pro.

Latest DirectSound & Ability to Play EAX 5.0 Titled Games
With the new audio architecture in Vista, users will sometimes be unable to achieve multi-channel sounds, DirectSound; and EAX 5.0 sound effects in EAX 5.0 Titled PC games. With the ASUS Xonar DX, all these problems will be solved. With support for the innovative DS3D GX 2.0 technology, the Xonar DX automatically supports the latest EAX and DirectSound HW after installation without the need to search for additional drivers or OpenAL – as most games are DS3D/DirectX compatible.
hmmm . . . seeing as how EAX 3-5 is Creative's property . . . I wonder if Creative issued ASUS a liscense for EAX5.0 support; or, perhaps ASUS devised a driver that emulates a EAX 5 capable card or something of that nature. I'm really curious to see how they pulled it off. Although, I get the feeling it does much the same as Creative's ALchemy drivers, allowing EAX withing Vista without the application having to interact directly with the hardware. A software solution, hmmm . . .

Dolby Sound Technologies for Ultimate High Quality Audio
Besides delivering impressive audio quality, the Xonar DX, like other members of the Xonar family of audio devices, is also packed with multiple sound technologies from Dolby to deliver outstanding entertainment experiences. These include Dolby Digital Live, which converts PC or game audio content into Dolby Digital in real-time; Dolby Headphone, which creates a surround sound listening experience when using any set of headphones; Dolby Virtual Speaker, which delivers a vibrant surround sound listening experience from stereo speakers and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, which creates up to 7.1-channel surround sounds from stereo or 5.1 sources.
Truth be told . . . this is really the only sales point I see this card stouting over other audio hardware currently on the market. I wonder how much these cards will enter the market at. I wouldn't expect them to be priced anything over $130 if they want to actually be considered by the consumer market. We'll see . . .