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Asus Xonar Essence ST or STX

Hello Tom's Hardware Community!!

Quick Question, I am considering upgrading from onboard audio to a high end graphics mostly for gaming but also for some great sound quality through music. I have done alot of research and what i learned is that a gaming soundcard is mostly a marketing tool. Id rather have greater true sound than a muttered hallway sound given by creative =(

My decision came down to Asus Xonar Essence ST or STX

From what I understand they are exactly the same card.... but the ST doesnt jitter as much being a PCE slot, and the STX being a PCE express slot. Also the ST being a PCE card make take away from my SLI setup. I also hear that the ST can be upgraded to a Xonar H6(http://uk.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_H6/#overview). So each card has it pros and cons.

I am running a Asus p8p67 deluxe mobo with SLI EVGA GTX 560 Ti.

I have one PCE slot left but all of my other pce express slots are open.

I will be using mostly with headphones ( Astro A40s) and be playing games like BF3, LoL, WoW, SWTOR, Skyrim, etc..

Thank you!!!
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  1. Best answer
    Both cards are basically identical. Aside from the slot difference (PCI versus PCI-E), there are two key differences:

    1: The STX requires an extra power connector
    2: The ST adds a jitter clock, which ever so slightly increases overall quality.

    The differences between the two are negligable, so use whichever one best fits your motherboard. I believe both can be connected to the H6 card to allow full multichannel hookups, though if you need that, the Xonar Xense might be a better option for you.
  2. Thanks for your input. I decided to go with the stx mainly because i have an SLI setup. My last PCE16 connection is under the graphics cards which blows downward. Dont want any extra heat on the sound card.

    Thank you gamerk316
  3. Best answer selected by jmacri.
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