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Asus Xonar DX PCIe 7.1: Low-level or Mid-level gaming?

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  • Asus
  • Gaming
  • Components
  • Sound Cards
Last response: in Components
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August 11, 2013 8:37:04 AM

Hi,

As the title suggests:

1. Is Xonar DX considered a budget/value sound card with average/above-average gaming performance, or it's a low-end card?

2. Where does it stand, if compared to SB Z or other similar (not very high-end) cards?

3. As I won't be using any speakers at all, will DX provide 7.1 to the headphone (provided it supports 7.1)?

4. Is it true that it does not have a headphone-Amp? Why a headphone-amp is important?

5. If it's not one of the best for gaming among its category, what other similar options could I consider?


Thanks.

More about : asus xonar pcie low level mid level gaming

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August 11, 2013 9:35:19 AM

what motherboard do you have? adding a soundcard will not improve game performance only sound quality but it depends if your onboard audio is already decent to begin with or bad.
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August 11, 2013 9:46:09 AM

mauller07 said:
what motherboard do you have? adding a soundcard will not improve game performance only sound quality but it depends if your onboard audio is already decent to begin with or bad.


First of all thanks man.

And yeah I actually meant sound quality. The board for my new gaming rig is gonna be Gigabyte GA-B75-D3H. Do you think it could replace a sound card (with built-in headphone amp)?
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August 11, 2013 9:54:17 AM

yeah that asus xonar does not have a headphone amp the DGX has one thought in the stereo output which would be a good upgrade in terms of sound quality, the codec on that motherboard is not great.

it would be better to get a decent pair of stereo headphones than 7.1 channel headphones as the larger speakers in them will give you a larger frequency response and better bass.
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August 11, 2013 10:08:21 AM

mauller07 said:
yeah that asus xonar does not have a headphone amp the DGX has one thought in the stereo output which would be a good upgrade in terms of sound quality, the codec on that motherboard is not great.


You mean on codecs are not great on GA-B75-D3H, or on DGX? And I"m still far from understanding these terminologies easily. So sorry about that man. But I do need to understand in a better way what you mentioned about DGX's stereo output. Could you please clarify again why I should prefer DGX over DX?

quotemsg=11333299,0,357784]it would be better to get a decent pair of stereo headphones than 7.1 channel headphones as the larger speakers in them will give you a larger frequency response and better bass.[/quotemsg]

I'd choose a headphone after finalizing the most appropriate gaming sound card for my mid-level quality requirements and budget.
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August 11, 2013 10:29:01 AM

the DGX has a headphone amplifier in the stereo output, the DX does not. the surround outputs on the DX are higher quality than the DGX but it does not have the amplifier in the stereo output like the DGX, it is meant more for connecting to a surround system that has amplifiers built in.

when i mean codec i mean the Audio chip on the motherboard.
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August 11, 2013 10:56:03 AM

mauller07 said:
the DGX has a headphone amplifier in the stereo output, the DX does not. the surround outputs on the DX are higher quality than the DGX but it does not have the amplifier in the stereo output like the DGX, it is meant more for connecting to a surround system that has amplifiers built in.


Just compared the specs of DX and DGX and DX apparently looks more powerful.

So just like a surround system (with built-in amp), what if i use a headphone with DX that has a built-in amp (if exist and available)? Or what if I use something probably does not require and amp at all? Like Creative Aurvana Live... How do u think should that combo perform?
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August 13, 2013 6:46:25 AM

rlakhani11 said:
1. Is Xonar DX considered a budget/value sound card with average/above-average gaming performance, or it's a low-end card?


The DX can be considered midrange. Its a little old these days, but still a very solid entry.

Quote:
2. Where does it stand, if compared to SB Z or other similar (not very high-end) cards?


Spec wise, the Z is a better card. And unlike previous era's, I have not hear nearly as much grief about Creative's drivers. Currently, I'd recommend the Z over the DX.

Quote:
3. As I won't be using any speakers at all, will DX provide 7.1 to the headphone (provided it supports 7.1)?


Depends. USB headphones are their own soundcard, so buying a dedicated one adds nothing. And any "true" surround headphones are low quality due to sacrifices to fit the drivers into each earcup. That being said, the DX (among other cards) support Dolby Headphone, which allows virtualized 7.1 on any standard stereo headset.

Quote:
4. Is it true that it does not have a headphone-Amp? Why a headphone-amp is important?


Time for physics 101:

Voltage = Current * Resistance [For audio, Imedance = Resistance]
Power = Current * Voltage

Output volume is dependent on the power of the signal. There are two ways to get high power: High current, low voltage, low impedance (resistance), or High voltage, high impedance, low current. Due to PC design, most headphones are designed to accept low voltage, high current, and have very low resistances. However, low impedance headphones have to make design sacrifices, so high impedance headphones are generally considered superior.

A headphone amp basically applies a voltage boost, allowing the power to properly "drive" high impedance headphones. When high impedance headphones are not driven properly, you either get very low volume, or very poor audio quality. For these types of headphones, an amp is necessary.

Generally, headphones with impedance under 80 Ohms or so do not need an amp. [To put this in perspective, most consumer headsets have impedances under 8 Ohms)

[And yes, I simplified this a LOT.]

Quote:
5. If it's not one of the best for gaming among its category, what other similar options could I consider?


Higher tier cards that come to mind:

ASUS Xonar Phoebus
ASUS Xonar ST(X)
Creative Soundblaster ZxR

Frankly, the Z is more then "good enough" in my mind; its a VERY strong entry at its price.
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August 13, 2013 11:04:01 AM

Thanks man. You're help is greatly appreciated.

BTW I already ordered the DX, as that was the only best value solution I could consider. Z is a bit too much for me for now.
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