Date: April 22nd, 2010
Article by: Jackie Mueller (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Asus
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Only a quick look at the packaging is needed to see that this is much more than just an average sound card. The top of the box has the Chime of Tiger design and flips up to reveal the card itself (protected by plastic, of course) and lists out all the features. This card does carry a rather hefty price tag of around $200 US.
With all the packaging removed, we have the card itself along with all the accessories and documentation for it. This includes a RCA to 3.5mm “Y” cable, 6.3mm to 3.5mm adaptor, S/PDIF TOSLINK optical adaptor, driver CD, Quick Start Guide, and an Audio Precision Test Report. ASUS even tossed in a couple small posters with this bundle.
PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The first thing one will notice about the card is the large EMI shield with the Chime of Tiger design on it. This shield keeps out any interference from other components in the system and has a very solid, durable feel to it – no flimsy stuff here.
There's a nice selection of inputs and outputs on this card, and each one is labeled on the PCI bracket as well as on the rear of the PCB. From left to right are L/R RCA outputs, a 1/4" socket for headphones, another 1/4" socket which can be used for a microphone or as a stereo input, and rounding out this area is a coaxial/optical digital output.
On top of the card are connectors for front panel headers and auxiliary devices. This is a nice addition by ASUS, because with other sound cards I've had to give up my front panel audio inputs that I like to use. With this card, one doesn't lose the convenience of using a set of headphones with the front panel jacks.