4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
sounds great but not worth it with the flaky drivers
, 9 April 2011
This review is from: ASUS Xonar D2X/XDT - Sound card - 118 dB SNR - 7.1 - PCI Express x1 [PC] (Personal Computers)
My first impressions of this card were good - Flac and Wav files sound outstanding (it has a great DAC and nice OP-AMPS). Unfortunately the drivers that come with this card are outstandingly awful...
Firstly the ASIO drivers have latency issues - when you are bundling in Ableton/Cakewalk with your soundcard it would be a good idea to make sure your ASIO drivers are not broken! ASUS cleverly worked around this by not including the software License keys in my box :-). I happen to have a demo of Ableton and full versions of Cubase and using ASIO the card performed with more latency and CPU usage then my onboard soundchip!
It claims to support EAX 2.0 (and 5.0 via a software workaround called GX) again this seems to worked very sporadically, some games see the card and run fine (e.g. mass effect) while others will refuse the recognise any hardware accelleration and run in software mode (like Grid). I've noticed random noises/clicks and frame rate issues in games that I don't have with my older X-Fi or even using onboard sound...
There is an unofficial unified driver for this card and other ASIO workarounds which possibly fix these issues but personally I find it's not worth the time or hassle to mess around so I'll begrudgingly go back and get a new Creative Card. I don't think Creative are especially amazing either (especially with the Vista and Win 7 driver fiascos) but I know from experience their ASIO drivers are much lower latency and they have better game support.
I can easily recommend this card for Movies and listening to Music in an HTPC but for serious gaming and light home studio work avoid this card (go X-Fi) or for more serious music production look at M-Audio cards or equivalent...
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