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Ausus Xonar DX PCIe 7.1

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December 26, 2010 2:21:39 AM

I'm setting up my first build, a real beginner so I'm taking my time. I have an asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB 3 motherboard. Would you think it unnecessary to get an audio card? I'm considering the Ausus Xonar DX PCIe 7.1
Thanks for your time.

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December 26, 2010 8:00:55 AM

The onboard ALC 892 is very good, only if you are an audiophile and have some decent headsets/speakers you can buy a sound card. That's a crossfire mobo, do you plan to run two video cards?
December 26, 2010 1:06:44 PM

Thanks for responding, I'm not an audiophile, I have pretty good speakers not the best, I'll probably leave it as is, I haven't set it all up yet, still gathering. I'm not going to run two cards just one, the XFX HD585XZAFC Radeon HD 5850
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December 26, 2010 1:18:58 PM

improvingathenos said:
I'm setting up my first build, a real beginner so I'm taking my time. I have an asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB 3 motherboard. Would you think it unnecessary to get an audio card? I'm considering the Ausus Xonar DX PCIe 7.1
Thanks for your time.

It really boils down to what you will be using your build for and how you personal taste is when it comes to sound.I have three different sound cards in different builds and have used everything from on-board sound to Asus Xonar D2X and was not impressed with my Asus Xonar D2x-it was hard to get working with driver issues etc....If you just want basic sound that works well for gaming on board audio worked for me,unless,like I said,you can notice sound flaws then go with a sound card.There are a few out there for under $100 that are nice products with better than quality sound,just do your homework and take into account about all the pros and cons that way if you have any issues you will be prepared,unlike me,I dove in feet first without knowing too much and of all the components I install,I have the worst time with soundcards.Go figure.A card that I will recommend is <><>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;><>but for some reason I have had better luck in the past with PCI soundcards<><>http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;><><>Also if you get a soundcard and it seems like it will not work,chances are that it is the drivers.I have had alot of issues recently with my soundcards and I started over from the beginning with re-installing all my components and what worked for me was-I installed my soundcard before I installed my 3 GTX 480 set up.There was a problem with the drivers,apparently with the soundcard and the 480 drivers.
December 27, 2010 3:35:17 AM

I run a Xonar Essence, which is the granddaddy of Asus' lineup. Previously, I used to think onboard was perfectly fine, but after I took the plunge on the card, I'm wondering why I didn't get it sooner.

If you have decent audio hardware, and your music collection consists of high-bitrate (320kbps) or FLAC files, then onboard will not provide the best sound. A good soundcard can really bring out more 'fullness' from the high-end, as well as controlling the lows. Details that were either muted or drowned out will be fleshed out. And people who claim on reviews that they can hear footsteps clearly in video games are not exaggerating either; gaming can benefit from a good card as it will help immerse you further.

However, my equipment takes advantage of the better quality; if your speakers or headsets aren't the best, then you will likely not find too much benefit from the dedicated card.

Still, the Asus suite which has Dolby Headphone is great for gaming and movie watching with even relatively cheap headphones. It simulates surround sound, and does a really good job of it, and provides a lot of flexibility for tweaking the 'position' of the simulated speakers, in addition to the obligatory EQ settings and other tweaks.

Driver-wise, I haven't any issues with Asus' drivers on my Win7 64-bit system. I know that Essence drivers are not terribly well supported, and have been in beta for like, forever, but the DX should be better supported given its wider use. Poking around on Google should give you an idea of what's in store for potential worries, or updates.

Looking on Newegg.com, you can snag the DX for $79.99, and that's before a $20 rebate which will make it $59.99. That's a very nice price for an excellent card.
December 27, 2010 7:48:38 AM

These days, if you have a set of really good speakers, you'll still be shocked at how much better the audio is with a soundcard. Its not even signal quality either, its just the extra processing that the card does. But for 99% of people out there, onboard is more then enough.
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