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Would you recommend Asus xonar 1.3 HDAv

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May 5, 2009 11:37:38 PM

Hi im looking for anyones insight into the Asus xonar 1.3
I wasnt particularly looking to buy a new sound card but this new card fufils the protected audio path

i have the Creative xfi gamer card in my system already used for games and music, would the xonar offer any major improvements? < enough to warrant spending £150

im outputting bluray video and audio via my ATI HD4870, the audio is downsampled to 16bits 48khz i believe? correct me if im wrong
i also rip my blurays to my harddrive and encode the audio with flac (all in MKV format) i believe this is still downsampled to 16bits,
again correct me if im wrong.

the new xonar 1.3 will let me output bluray audio at 24bit 96khz both when playing the actual bluray disk and also my .MKV files using LCMP.

the main question if im correct on all the above is, is the 24bit 96khz audio a noticible/huge difference to 16bits 48khz or is it an audio equivlent to the 40fps vs 200+fps in games ie are the human ears unable to detect the better audio.
May 5, 2009 11:45:16 PM

thanks for any answers, i dont want to spend £150 for only a slight difference :sarcastic: 
May 5, 2009 11:47:09 PM

Hi

I bought an ASUS Xonar D2X to replace my driver problem plagued Fatality. The Xonar is all that and then some. The Vista era was a nightmare for my X-fi which I purchased pre-Vista. Surprisingly my X-fi has been performing okay under Windows 7, the card was on the shelf for approx a year. The ASUS Xonar out performs the X-fi (just my opinion), stable driver's, and no bloated software package.
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May 6, 2009 1:09:16 AM

I haven't run one, but I wouldn't upgrade unless you have major driver issues or a wicked sound system. The Xonar is a top-of-the-line card, but the Xi-Fi is very good as well.
May 6, 2009 1:46:00 AM

I agree with smithereen, if you are having no problems there is no need switch cards. I have two boards with nVidia chipsets, users with Intel chipsets seem to have less issues with the X-fi.
May 6, 2009 7:17:46 AM

my xfi runs fine, i dont think ive ever had problems with it but as you say starams, my board is a asus P5Q so runs the intel chipset, does anyone know if the 24bit 96khz dolby truHD and DTS HD are a vast difference to 16bit 48khs in bluray movies?
May 13, 2009 8:09:30 PM

So far as I know, the sound processor on the ATI cards is just a (perhaps somewhat modified) Realtek HD chip. Realtek HD will output in 24-bit 96 khz if all settings are correct, so while interference and crappy hardware would still be an issue, I don't think you'd be upgrading from 16 bit to 24 bit or anything...
May 18, 2009 10:22:40 PM

starams5 said:
Hi

I bought an ASUS Xonar D2 (same as a D2X except it's PCI not PCI-E, other than the slot type, they're identical) to replace my driver problem plagued Fatality. The Xonar is all that and then some. The Vista era was a nightmare for my X-fi which I purchased pre-Vista. Surprisingly my X-fi has been performing okay under Windows 7, the card was on the shelf for approx a year. The ASUS Xonar out performs the X-fi (just my opinion), stable driver's, and no bloated software package.


I replaced an X-Fi which would pop like it's going out of style, and eventually would cause blue screens after enough use with a Xonar and haven't looked back. Sure, I don't get sound acceleration (really minor detail, honestly) but every single driver for the Xonar since the card's launch has been more stable than anything Creative has done in years, and also, they actually periodically update the drivers -- Creative has not updated the X-Fi drivers for XP since the cards launch in 2005 (the updated drivers are actually updates to supplementary software, not the driver!).

Note: I was using a Nvidia chipset with the X-Fi, and Nvidia video cards as well. Users with an AMD/Intel chipset and/or ATI video cards are less likely to experience problems (for the record, with nvidia video cards, using any video drivers past 77.77 seems to cause issues with the X-Fi). Also sometimes using a PCI card instead of a PCI-E card, or the other way around can help prevent popping.

The sound quality on the Xonar is also top notch for a consumer grade card, so anyone using this card for audio listening will be very pleased with that aspect.

If you do not have problems with the X-Fi, I would only recommend upgrading now if you are an extreme audiophile.

If you really want a good sounding card though, M-Audio makes a card that's cheaper than the Xonar and I think it's even better quality but it has its quirks too - the windows volume control doesn't work with it and you have to use your own mixer. If you plug into a receiver, it doesn't really matter much... the card I owned was the 2496. They also make a 5.1 version of the card, but I only run stereo and that was the best sounding card I have owned to date. It's designed for recording, but works great for playback if you just want a good sounding entry-level professional grade sound card...
May 18, 2009 10:32:24 PM

Hi fps_dean,

I agree with everything you said 100%. My X-Fi has been working well now for 3 weeks with Windows 7 but after all the problems I had with X-Fi/Vista the verdict is still out. I'm not one of the people who is rooting for a card just because I have one, I actually own both cards side by side and the Xonar out performs the X-fi hands down not to mention the bloated software pack that comes with the X-fi (Xonar 26Mb).
May 18, 2009 10:42:20 PM

starams5 said:
Hi fps_dean,

I agree with everything you said 100%. My X-Fi has been working well now for 3 weeks with Windows 7 but after all the problems I had with X-Fi/Vista the verdict is still out. I'm not one of the people who is rooting for a card just because I have one, I actually own both cards side by side and the Xonar out performs the X-fi hands down not to mention the bloated software pack that comes with the X-fi (Xonar 26Mb).


I haven't looked at performance between the two to be honest -- I'm not all that concerned about the 1-2 fps, but when I got the Xonar, I was pleasantly surprised how much better the low mids are on the card which I always thought were lacking on the X-Fi, through the same pair of headphones.

The software wasn't too bad on the X-Fi if you didn't install it -- I only installed the Control Panel extension, and the driver itself, but on the Xonar I find the software is pretty basic and easy to use and doesn't waste a ton of memory with garbage you don't care about.

Now, a X-Fi on Vista is another story. I personally never ran Vista for more than a few days until it pissed me off and I went back to Windows 2003 Server, my OS of choice.
May 18, 2009 10:43:24 PM

"Note: I was using a Nvidia chipset with the X-Fi, and Nvidia video cards as well. Users with an AMD/Intel chipset and/or ATI video cards are less likely to experience problems (for the record, with nvidia video cards, using any video drivers past 77.77 seems to cause issues with the X-Fi). Also sometimes using a PCI card instead of a PCI-E card, or the other way around can help prevent popping. "


Very true, both of my systems have nVidia Chipsets, 750i and 780i.
May 18, 2009 10:47:53 PM

starams5 said:
"Note: I was using a Nvidia chipset with the X-Fi, and Nvidia video cards as well. Users with an AMD/Intel chipset and/or ATI video cards are less likely to experience problems (for the record, with nvidia video cards, using any video drivers past 77.77 seems to cause issues with the X-Fi). Also sometimes using a PCI card instead of a PCI-E card, or the other way around can help prevent popping. "


Very true, both of my systems have nVidia Chipsets, 750i and 780i.


I should have noted: I got it to work on a 790i by plugging it into a PCI slot that was on a different channel than the PCI-E slots ran off of, but on most boards that have the PCI and PCI-E slots and Nvidia GPUs, the X-Fis will pop and blue screen like it's going out of style.

On a side note, what do you think of Windows 7? I am moments from trying out the beta, but I am really scared as just about everything Microsoft has done since 2005 has been complete garbage - even Windows updates for XP/2003 have caused a ton of problems.... is it true that 2gb more than adequate for Windows 7 as it is for XP? Also, 32-bit, or 64-bit or does it not matter unless I have 4gb+ RAM?
May 18, 2009 10:59:07 PM

I was there for the entire meltdown of the X-fi. I bought my Fatality upon release of the card running XP, it was no doubt the king of cards. Then Vista came out, the driver's were so horrible I decided to stay with XP. Two years into Vista I decided to give it another shot with drivers 2.18.0004 I think it was. The sound quality was the same as it was with XP but my computer would hang really bad during shut down and occasional BSOD. At this point I had enough, sent the X-fi to the shelf and bought the Xonar. What a relief, everything worked.

Windows 7 has been performing very well, this is my first time running a beta OS as a primary. No looking back now.

!