As a marketing tool, ASUS created a line of gaming products referred to as "Republic of Gamers" or R.O.G. It's a line dedicated to gamers and overclockers - much like the Abit Fatality and Abit MAX series of boards. Part of the R.O.G. line is that new sound card. It's like the audigy line in that it is 24bit/192khz and is capable of handling 7.1 speaker systems. I am quite certain that it is decent and the average user might not be able to distinguish a difference between it and the Creative line of products. But, nothing beats Soundblaster.
Anyway, the R.O.G. line of products is still fairly new so you may find it difficult to locate other people who have it just yet. The card, though, is made by ASUS and they do make good products so I don't think they'd put out a piece of crap.
Well, it's a gamer's board, so Asus is expecting that the user will want to use the best parts, like a sound card. It should be decent, but any integrated audio will use CPU cycles, unlike a sound card with its own audio processor. I would recommend using a sound card anyway.
That looks like a nice motherboard ( http://usa.asus.com/news_show.aspx?id=3610 ). I'd go ahead and try that SupremeFX audio and see if you like it before rolling off to a dedicated audio board, unless you already have the Audigy and can do comparison testing. Though I typically would not dare suggest this that they do advertise high-quality crystal clear sound. If you listen to it and don't like it, you know you've a nearly endless array of upgrade options.
When I look @ the "specs" for this board on Asus' website I can't find anything that would lead me to believe the M2N-E's onboard sound compares well to any contemporary audio card. Especially not something at the X-Fi's level. Go with a dedicated card. Lots of choices, not all of them expensive. You'll likely get better quality, etc.
I'm sorry. I thought an example/explanation would be rhetorical given the amount of posts on the topic. The X-Fi competes nicely with other Creative cards for gaming, due to the always-discussed APU it brings to the table. However, for those of us who care notta about gaming, and just want high quality audio for movies/music. There's lots of other choices that likely have less driver headaches and none of the "Rice Crispy" effect that the SoundBlaster line of cards lay ownership to. What card manufacturers are these?
and so on, and so forth.
I like the X-Fi, obviously, I have 3 of them but since I'm not a gamer it probably wasn't the best bang for the buck for me. The 24bit Crystalizer is pretty much garbage to those caring about audio purity, but its easily selectable and can be almost telepathically disabled. The CMSS3D thing is hit or miss, and its a miss for me. Given my slowly rising desire for the purist sound, the X-Fi's re-sampling of EVERYTHING is less and less attractive, but at least I'm not using its DACs on my audio rig, which are not bad, by comparison to other contemporary cards. ...and there's the other issues concerning multi-channel digital output, these don't affect me, and I won't even pretend to be versed in those issues, but there's plenty of posts by the venerable Astrallite, Choirbass, and many others that know their business quite well who can better inform you on what the X-Fi isn't doing quite right, in that area.
So, IMO, the X-Fi XM is a great card for gamers. The Platinum and Fata1ity are way overpriced for what is offered. ...and the Elite Pro is great, but overpriced.
With that said, the X-Fi doesn't "own" "pawn" anything for me, I'm not a gamer. It's just a nice card (a powerful card too) with bells and whistles that complicate it drivers (and have likely lead to some of the audio issues associated with it (thank goodness, I've not really experienced any of these myself, but I handily believe they exist). When they drop the price, for good, by $40 it'll be in a better position as far as I'm concened.
Now you see, I could have just stuck with, "No." as your opinion of the X-Fi has not likely changed. For the purist, the X-Fi is not the card to be had. I just don't have any excuse to replace mine as they've worked great for my needs.
Do I have "buyer's remorse"? Yes. ...but that's what I get for foolishly believing the hype and not doing my homework. One must crawl before they can walk, however.
The slot it pulgs into, it looks like a PCI-E X1 to me. But Asus doesnt advertise it as such, it might be because only really short cards like this one could fit because of the heatsinks right next to it!
And if its a whole "sound card" instead of just onboard wouldnt it be possible for it to have at least a small audio processor?
I also have the P5N32-E SLI w/SupremeFX Audio. Sofar i have had some issues in game. In BF2 i cant use Squad Chat because i always get the RED Chat icon, in options i cant seem to get it to test out right, on TS it works fine, in game i get for a lack of a better term "sound artifact's" i can hear the Arty and Choppers no matter where they are on the map....Drives me Nuts lol cant seem to find a driver update...is there one any one else have this issue in game, and found a fix.....if need be i will get a new sound card, i was hoping this card was what they made it out to be so i could keep the bottom of my GPU open without adding in a sound card