ASUS DGX, DSX, & Xonar ROG Phoebus Sound Cards @ [H]

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Kyle_Bennett, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    ASUS DGX, DSX, & Xonar ROG Phoebus Sound Cards - Asus recently released it's new flagship gaming sound card, the ROG Xonar Phoebus, as well as updated PCI-Express versions of its popular DG and DS sound cards. All three of these cards feature quality components for products in their respective price ranges. Today, we will tell you exactly what each card may bring to your PC audio experience.
     
  2. Endgame

    Endgame Limp Gawd

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    One question. The DGX gets a gold, and so do the Corsair 1500 and 2000. Since these are non compatible productions (no sound card needed for the Corsairs) do you recommend going with the DGX and analog headphones, or do you recommend going with one of the Corsair solutions. Which is better?
     
  3. Mikael4a

    Mikael4a n00bie

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    How do these compare to the older Xonar DX?
     
  4. one swell foop

    one swell foop [H]ard|Gawd

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    Having not read the article at all, I hope to hell they have headers to output to front panel connectors. I'm still pissed that some years ago I spent a fair bit of money on a Xonar D2 only to have to climb around to the back of my case every time I wanted to plug in my headphones. With my FT-02, I only had to pop the top off, but at that price point, that's just stupid. I'm now using the onboard sound from my mobo. That Xonar is going to get put in an HTPC when I build one, but never again will I spend a penny on a sound card that doesn't have outs to front panel connectors.
     
  5. Mikael4a

    Mikael4a n00bie

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  6. dexvx

    dexvx Gawd

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    Going just by the specifications, they are both worse than the older Xonar DX. However, the DGX does have a headphone amplifier whereas the DX does not.
     
  7. Sovereign

    Sovereign 2[H]4U

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    And I still have an X-Fi XtremeMusic.

    Not gonna get a new sound card for these, though next card I DO get will probably be an Asus *cough Creative driver hell cough*
     
  8. txfeinbergs

    txfeinbergs Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for the excellent review Earl. Definitely agree with the crazy confusing Phoebus documentation and 2 separate GUIs. It took me several days to figure that out, and I am still not sure I am using everything correctly. What a nightmare.
     
  9. Raudulfr

    Raudulfr 2[H]4U

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    The DX is better.
     
  10. featsdontfailme

    featsdontfailme Limp Gawd

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    Awesome review.

    That DSX looks pretty good to me, but I have the Azeuntech (X-Fi) Forte and it has been so good, I think I'll pass.:D
     
  11. sviola

    sviola Limp Gawd

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    I have an X-Fi XtremeGamer and have been struggling with it for the last few weeks due to the cracking and popping issues (though, this weekend I managed to have made the issue disappear - who knows for how long this time...).

    I am also looking for a new hardware solution in the near future.
     
  12. Kenworth

    Kenworth 2[H]4U

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    I am just about to build an x79 machine but my Xtreme Gamer won't be making the journey because the board I am buying doesn't have any pci slots. This article is just in time. BUT I don't see the DX in the review of course. That is my biggest question overall is between the DSX and DX, what should I expect better out of the DX for $20 more. I guess I am asking the forums on this one.
     
  13. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Doesn't matter, they're nothing compared to Nvidia's old SoundStorm. Seems like everyone does Dolby Digital Live and DTS through the CPU, and results in a lot of compression. Especially with the Asus Xonar sound cards. Since SoundStorm used HyperTransport bus to communicate and not the PCI bus, it never compressed audio and did all the DDL encoding without using the CPU. The Asus Xonar cards are notorious for audio delays due to this reason.

    I do have a Asus Xonar DS, and it works perfectly well, but first installed the UNi Xonar drivers. Didn't even bother with the Asus drivers. Read a lot of complaints that Asus doesn't update their drivers. Since their chips are really Cmedia sound chips with their label on it, someone just took the latest drivers and modified them to work with the Asus crap. Throw in some tweaks and it ain't a bad sound card. Especially helps with the delays, but only if you use digital audio.
     
  14. EarlKeim

    EarlKeim Gawd

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    This depends on what you need. If you have a laptop and a desktop for example, then the Corsair Vengeance 2000 might suit you because you can use it on both machines after the initial two minute driver installations. The Vengeance 2000 is self-contained and can be used from PC to PC.

    The Xonar DGX is a card with quality slightly better than your onboard, but its gaming algorithms are excellent. If you are on a budget and need a permanent dedicated sound card, then go for the DGX and add your heapdhones when you can. JVC-RX700 closed headphones are $30-$50. For around $80.00, you will have a very decent setup.
    For the competitive multiplayer gamer, I would go with Audio-Technica AD700 open back headphones.





     
  15. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm sure there's a modified driver for Creative cards to solve issues just like these. I'm not bothering to Google it, but I do remember there was someone who did make better drivers. Even going as far as making Sound Blaster Live sound cards into much more modern ones.
     
  16. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    Don't know why everyone is going for headphones. I like having real speakers, with real 5.1 setup.
     
  17. Merc1138

    Merc1138 [H]ard|Gawd

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    It depends.
    Some people are using a computer in a common area of the home and don't want to disturb others.
    Some people want to be isolated from outside noise.
    You can get higher quality headphones than you can speakers for the same cost(a $200 pair of headphones is nice, $200 speakers and amp/receiver are still in the mediocre category).
    Some people prefer the absolute left and right channel separation.
    Some people can't actually properly mount a 5.1 system(need to put those rear speakers somewhere).
    Some people are in a room that just absolutely sucks acoustically.

    There are probably a few more things I can add to the list. Personally, I switch back and forth between my speakers and my headphones.
     
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  18. Imitation

    Imitation 2[H]4U

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    How does the DSX hold up against the max V gene's audio you guys just tested? Is it worth 40ish bucks to jump to a discrete at this point? I'm leaning toward no but I'm still curious.
     
  19. Kenworth

    Kenworth 2[H]4U

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    Pretty much. When I game on a Saturday night with friends online, my wife is in the next room either reading or watching a movie in one direction and my daughter is asleep one room over in the other direction.

    After a friend bought me a dedicated sound card, I can't go back to on board now, either. I have HS1-A's so in my own little BF3 world with a mic to talk to my friends/squad mates, it is a great alternative to a 5.1 setup.
     
  20. sviola

    sviola Limp Gawd

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    I tried those. Had no result. Could only get all things working correctly this past weekend after removing all x-fi drivers, removing all Creative software, disabling all Nvidia gpu audio crap, then restarting win 7, installing creative beta drivers (which were released as beta last year) and nothing more. So far it is holding fine. Hopefully it will stay that way.
     
  21. Mchart

    Mchart [H]ard|Gawd

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    Seems the ST/STX are still the top dog. Suprised Asus didn't update those cards this time around.
     
  22. sviola

    sviola Limp Gawd

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    For me, is that I live in a small apartment and have a baby at home, so gaming using speakers at night is show stopper. Also, in my office I don't have the proper installation space available - it is the smallest room in the house (64 square feet and I managed to get into it 2 desks, a closet and 2 bookshelves - took me quite some time in sweet home 3d to get the stuff set up, with space for 2 people to use the desks at the same time).
     
  23. BBA

    BBA [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nice review but I'll just stick with the Xonar D2X I am rocking for now.
     
  24. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    That is pretty shitty (D2X here), but I just use the headphone jack on my speaker set (Logitech 5.1 something-or-other) and that works fine. I agree it's a silly thing for them to have left out on a high-end card like that, though.
     
  25. EarlKeim

    EarlKeim Gawd

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    The DGX and DSX both have HD audio/AC97 front panel headers. The Phoebus has the external control box and does not need a front panel header.






     
  26. cortexodus

    cortexodus [H]ard|Gawd

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    I can't use my X-Fi Fatal1ty PCI at the moment since I'm moving to 2x 570s in SLI and the lower card will completely block off access to the lone PCI slot. I've been wavering on buying the DGX for days now so that I don't have to use on-board audio and this article sealed the deal for me. Just ordered one. Thank you! :D
     
  27. Derangel

    Derangel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have a small apartment with thin walls and I am in the process of trying to SAVE space. I have no use for a 5.1 speaker set up because I can't really turn the volume up and on top of that I prefer headphones because it's one device with one cable and no giant rat's nest under my desk. I've been tempted many times to find a good wireless pair and completely ditch my speakers. I am seriously tempted by the DGX because I only need it's headphone features, I'd keep my old cheap speaks on my on-board.
     
  28. SDplus

    SDplus [H]Lite

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    I'd like to ask how you determine what is a sound card for the PC as you say only Asus and Creative produce any? Straight from memory I will mention brands that make and develop sound cards for the PC in this day, and would be all choices I would make before Asus, and definitely before Creative as I would never again buy from that brand simply because of the Daniel_K incident. So here it goes: ESI, Focusrite, Roland, MoTU, Terratec, Lexicon, Native Instruments, Steinberg, RME, TC Electronic, Mackie, Universal Audio and I believe also Behringer. I'm sure I missed a few. Is Auzentech still doing something good or is it just rebranded Creative stuff with selected OP-amps?

    Of course I have been involved with music production most of my life, so my perspective of sound cards might be different. But all of those I mentioned makes and develops sound cards, for PC and Mac.
     
  29. EarlKeim

    EarlKeim Gawd

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    You have a point, but perhaps I should have said, "For the PC gamer." I am aware of Terratec and M-Audio cards also, but those are not for the gamer, those are for professional use.

    Auzentech made the X-Meridian 2G, issued one driver revision, and ceased support for the product. That card has components that are a cross between those used by Creative in its audiophile-class Titanium HD and ASUS' previous sound cards.
     
  30. Dantrax

    Dantrax Gawd

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    You forgot HT Omega. Their eClaro PCIe sound card works great for me. I'm not an audiophile but that card with a Z906 subwoofer & controller plus Polk's Rm-75 sats kit for 5.1 surround, sounds great to me. Way better than anything I've heard before. Plus the eClaro just plain works. No disappearing card, reloading drivers or having to dick with my sound every other time I start my PC. (ie; Creative) I'm using HT Omega products from now on.
     
  31. ebduncan

    ebduncan [H]ard|Gawd

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    might be a silly question, but did you use a high quality studio style microphone to record the output from the speakers?

    to make comparisons between the sound cards?

    compare signal to noise?

    or was this done all by a speculative person's ear's? which mainly relies on the base equalizer settings?

    I don't have any complaints about the review, it was informative, just not very audiophile detailed is all...

    i've been looking for a new sound card, to couple with my media pc, which is connected to a very nice (ie not store bought kits) 7.2 surround sound.
     
  32. eggrolls

    eggrolls Limp Gawd

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    There's nowhere to plug such a thing on the Xonar DG
     
  33. Impulse

    Impulse [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There's not much to improve on those cards, unless you need analog 5.1 out... They're clearly still better than the Phoebus, and usually cheaper too. If you game with headphones and listen to music with stereo there's no better card, it even stands up well against some of the external USB DACs out there... The STX's only flaw is the high output impedance which will make bass boomier with low impedance headphones.

    I'm surprised the article made no mention of either card, perhaps they should be reviewed and compared to the THD.
     
  34. EarlKeim

    EarlKeim Gawd

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    For those of you that would like a numerical comparison of the data from the graphs, here it is:
    16 bit, 44.1 kHz
    [​IMG]

    24 bit, 96 kHz
    [​IMG]



    No we did not use a studio microphone to record output from the speakers. We used Rightmark software and a male to male stereo cable for loopback testing. If you use the same software utility and a similar cable, you will most likely get very similar results. You probably would not (although some might) pick up the same studio microphone and speakers that we use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  35. Ashbringer

    Ashbringer [H]ardness Supreme

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    PC sound is nearly a dead business unfortunately, and it was better 10 years ago. Now nothing is hardware accelerated and DDL and DTS is compressed to hell and has massive delays. Let me give my experience though on today's audio chipsets. I do realize that sound cards and chipsets are two different things, but the chipset ultimately matters.

    #1 Realtek

    Sound isn't the best but it's stable. Every time I check Realtek's website they have a new update for their HD audio drivers. Depending on what you got with your motherboard, there maybe little reason to upgrade.

    #2 Via

    I love Qsound. Reminds me of the Sega CD days. I've run into strange problems with Via onboard sound, like sound just stopped working. They do update their drivers, but not as often as Realtek.

    #3 C-Media

    Sound quality is certainly comparable to Creatives, and their driver support isn't too bad. Though their partners aren't too great on keeping up to date with them.

    #4 Creative

    Arguably has the best sound cards, but only if you pay for their best products. Driver issues are notorious problem they have. Not to forget they like to release new products that are really old products but with driver updates. Some of their X-Fi products are really Sound Blaster Audigy products.
     
  36. gamerk2

    gamerk2 Gawd

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    http://event.asus.com/multimedia/xonar/find.htm

    For those who want a quick overview of what ASUS currently offers.

    I disagree strongly with the above poster; PC audio has never been stronger then it is now. There's literally a flood of soundcards on the market right now, with ASUS, Auzentech, and HT Omega fighting for top dog. Creative takes fourth at this juncture, as none of their cards aside from the Titanium HD looks appealing at this point [and even thats a hard sell over an Essence ST(X)].
     
  37. jstenuf

    jstenuf Gawd

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    + 1
     
  38. Dual

    Dual Limp Gawd

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    +1 for HT Omega. Same experience for me on Asus and Creative sound cards (driver issues etc)
     
  39. Bankie

    Bankie [H]ard|Gawd

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    Is there any reason to buy a discrete sound card when you're using optical out from on-board to a reciever? It sounds pretty darn good to me as it is but I might make the switch if I can increase sound quality or get some better gaming features.
     
  40. elzeus

    elzeus [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm coming from a broken auzentech forte (they never sent me back my rma card wtf), will the DGX be comparable to the headphone amp on the forte? It's the only part of the card I used, I just want my headphones to be loud.