While we have been seeing some nice onboard audio solutions on ASUS motherboards for a while now, we haven’t seen an actual discreet soundcard.  This changes with the introduction of the Xonar D2 soundcard, which houses an incredible amount of features and outputs.  Elite Bastards gave the card, and the bundle it came with a try, check out how well ASUS did.

“At the heart of the Xonar D2, under the fancy-looking EMI shield which covers the top of the board much like a heat sink, you’ll find the core of ASUS’ labour of love – The AV200 HD audio processor. The word on the street is that this chip is very heavily based on CMedia’s CMI 8788 Oxygen HD processor, which we’ve already seen used in myriad other discrete sound cards recently, although this has never been 100% officially confirmed to my knowledge.

Even assuming that the Xonar D2 is based around the CMI 8788 chip, this is certainly no bad thing, and the specifications of this part tends to back up the assumptions that CMedia have had more than a hand in the power behind this product, with the Xonar containing the full feature set seen in other Oxygen HD parts, from Dolby Digital Live and DTS interactive support through to 192KHz/24-bit audio support. Also similar to the CMI8788 is the AV200’s 3D audio capabilities, with OpenAL supported, but only EAX 1.0 and 2.0 acceleration available – No EAX Advanced HD support here sadly, which might put off some gamers attracted to the ASUS board’s looks and the company’s often gamer-focused history.”

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Audio Corner