Date: November 16th, 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
On top of the card are connectors for front panel headers and auxiliary devices. I always like to see features like this because it means I won't have give up my front panel audio inputs. With this card, one doesn't lose the convenience of using a set of headphones with the front panel jacks.
Don't forget to connect the power when installing the card. Power must be supplied via a four pin Molex connector from the PSU. When installing the driver, a pop-up message will remind you to make sure power is supplied to the card.
Removing the EMI shield reveals more capacitors and other inner workings of the card. Just like on the Essence STX, the gold capacitors used on the Xense are the Nichicon FG (“Fine Gold”) series, which are specifically designed for audio equipment and are of high quality.
The similarities with the Essence STX continue, and that's not a bad thing. Again we have the ASUS AV100 for audio processing, which is actually a re-branded C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 chip. This chip can be found on other Xonar series cards as well.
These JRC headphone output Op-amp sockets are replaceable without having to solder them in. Changing these out will alter the “color” of the sound produced, and while most users will probably leave them alone, it's nice to have the option to swap them out easily.