We tested integrated audio quality at 16 bits and 44.1 kHz to see how well each solution handled this common standard.
MSI’s discrete sound card is the only one to realistically reach 20 kHz, but Asus’ solution isn’t very far behind. The XFX nForce 790i Ultra reference design motherboard drops off at around 18 kHz.
The noise level charts look messy, but every codec had a -110 dB noise level throughout most of the frequencies. The 790i reference design motherboard’s codec suffered the greatest number of noise spikes.
The Dynamic Range graph shows similar results, and the codec with the most noise also has the least consistent range.
Even the total harmonic distortion graph looks nearly identical to the noise and range graphs, making each motherboard audio solution appear somewhat consistent in quality.