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ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channel PCI Express Sound Card
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: ASUS
Source: ASUS
Purchase: PriceGrabber
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ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channel PCI Express Sound Card
March 13, 2008

Sound cards are one of those components that could really make a big difference in a computer's performance, but they are often overlooked during system builds or upgrades. Every motherboard comes with an audio solution built in, and for many people whatever the manufacturer has included may be good enough to them, especially since it doesn't cost anything extra. The launch of Windows Vista changed that attitude for many computer gamers as in-game surround sound and other technologies were lost with the architectural change.

ASUS addressed these issues and elevated sound card design above the standard fare with the item provided for this review. The Xonar D2X is a 7.1 channel sound card with a PCI Express x1 interface that offers a host of impressive features, a generous bundle of software, and a variety of connections and cables to help you get fully connected right out of the box.


The ASUS D2X is shown in the promotional image above, and immediately it can be seen that this isn't your typical sound card. The large Aluminum EMI shield gives it the appearance of a high end graphics card, while the PCI Express x1 connector finally gives you something useful to stick into those unused slots on your motherboard. Before taking a look at more of the sound card provided for review, let's take a look at some of the features and specifications taken from the ASUS product page...

Features and Specifications:

Audio Performance:

Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): Up to 118 dB
Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): Up to 118 dB
Output Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (A-Weighted): Up to 0.0004% (-108dB)
Input Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (A-Weighted): Up to 0.0004% (-108dB)
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input ): <10Hz to 46kHz
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: 2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p)
Sample Rate Conversion Quality:
    Almost lossless, high-fidelity floating-point filters, with:
    -140dB THD+N (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)
    145dB Dynamic Range (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)

Main Chipset:

Audio Processor: ASUS AV200 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24bit)
24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources: TI Burr-Brown PCM1796 *4 (123dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs: Cirrus-Logic CS5381* 1 (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)

Sample Rate and Resolution:

Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
S/PDIF Digital Output: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit, Dolby Digital, DTS, WMA-Pro
S/PDIF Digital Input: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
ASIO 2.0 Driver Support: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit

I/O Ports:

Analog Output Jack: 3.50mm mini jack *4 (Front/Side/Center-Subwoofer/Back)
Analog Input Jack: 3.50mm mini jack *2 (Line-In/Mic-In)
Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner): CD-In, Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)
Digital S/PDIF Output: Coaxial & High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector Supports 192KHz/24bit
Digital S/PDIF Input: Coaxial & High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector Supports 192KHz/24bit
MIDI Ports: Additional MPU-401 MIDI I/O bracket and converter cable

Accessories:

Additional MIDI bracket and adaptor cable *1
S/PDIF TOSLINK optical adaptors *2
S/PDIF TOSLINK optical cable *1
Four 3.5mm-to-RCA cables for 8 channel output *4
Dolby Demo CD *1

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