The Basics (continued):
Another trait shared with high end graphics cards is that the Xonar D2X requires an external power connection! I found it hard to believe, but this sound card has a 4-pin floppy drive power connection that must be connected for proper operation. The image below shows the EMI shield removed from the card, and the densely populated PCB is clearly visible. The dominant feature is the golden LED disk and its associated wiring, but if you look in the lower right corner you will see the 4-pin floppy drive power connection.
You may also note that the array of 1/8" stereo jacks look a bit different than those found on a typical sound card. As we will see later, there is a huge difference. Each jack is equipped with an LED that projects the appropriate colored light in order to identify the connection. So instead of just having blue, pink, green, black, and orange rings around the connections, they are lit up in order to simplify installations in any environment.
The bundle of accessories is rather impressive, too. In the first image we see the Quick Start Guide and five disks that are included with the Xonar D2X. There is a Driver & Utility CD, CyberLink PowerDVD 8, Ableton Live Lite 6, Cakewalk Production Plus Pack (including Sonar LE, Project5 LE, Dimension LE), and a Dolby Demo CD.
There is a MIDI expansion bracket included, and as you can see it is gold and black to match the Xonar D2X. This bracket can be placed in any nearby expansion slot, and it is connected to the D2X via an analog cable (also included).
The next set of images show all of the cables included. There are four 1/8" to RCA adapter cables for analog line in and out use, SPDIF optical adapter, SPDIF optical cable, a MIDI bracket adaptor cable, and an analog cable to connect the MIDI bracket to the Xonar D2X.
One cable you will not find in the bundle of accessories is for power. While many users probably have an unused floppy drive power cable in their system, ASUS shouldn't assume that everyone does. Most graphics cards that require their own power include some sort of adapter, and I feel that a similar cable that adapts a 4-pin drive connector to a floppy drive connector should be provided.