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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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Power must be supplied to the card via a four pin Molex connector from the PSU, and an S/PDIF output is located right next to said connector.
Removing the EMI shield reveals more capacitors and other inner workings of the card. It should be noted that the gold capacitors used on this card are Nichicon FG (“Fine Gold”) series, which are specifically designed for audio equipment and are of high quality.
Audio processing is done through this chip, and even though it's labeled ASUS AV100, it's actually a C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 chip. These are found on other Xonar series cards as well as on cards by other manufacturers.
These JRC Op-amp sockets are replaceable without having to solder them in. Changing these out will alter the “color” of the sound produced, something audiophiles will appreciate.
In order to truly understand what makes this card so great, we have to look at chips like this one. This little guy is a Burr Brown PCM1792 digital to analog converter (DAC), and again, audiophiles should be pleased to see this high end addition.