EVGA Showcases New Nu Audio Pro Card

erek

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See? it's the Pro card. I was previously called out regarding this, but it is a new card.

"The full Nu Audio Pro kit with the 7.1 add-on card can be had for $299; otherwise the boards are sold separately for $199 and $119 respectively, with availability set in the comings months. Overall, EVGA tells us that they’re continuing to iterate on their designs, and that the company is also investigating the development of an external USB version of the card (The PCIe versions actually use a PCIe to USB bridge internally for connectivity) in the future."

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https://www.anandtech.com/show/15368/ces-2020-evga-showcases-new-nu-audio-pro-successor-card
 

viivo

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Are these worth the price really?
Unless you are in desperate need of another RGB-slathered component in your PC, discrete audio gear is and will always be better, of which equal or better quality can be found for less than the price of this soundcard.

The DAC part looks good, but $199 is a bit much for an internal soundcard. Inside a PC is not where you want your audio hardware to reside.
 

Derangel

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Unless you are in desperate need of another RGB-slathered component in your PC, discrete audio gear is and will always be better, of which equal or better quality can be found for less than the price of this soundcard.

The DAC part looks good, but $199 is a bit much for an internal soundcard. Inside a PC is not where you want your audio hardware to reside.
Assuming it's top end quality and sound (as much as you can get from an internal one at least) then $200 is pretty reasonable. At that point, an external set up that sounds better enough to be worth bothering with is going to cost quite a bit more. Again, assuming this is all it's cracked up to be.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I believe sound is 50% of the experience

Are these worth the price really?
The Topping DX3 Pro uses the same DAC and is external -- which is a bonus to me.

But it doesn't do more than stereo, nor does it have inputs, so yeah, these EVGA cards are at least worth the sum of their parts.

However I'd much prefer they explore the external option. That level of quality is a win.
 
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erek

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The Topping DX3 Pro uses the same DAC and is external -- which is a bonus to me.

But it doesn't do more than stereo, nor does it have inputs, so yeah, these EVGA cards are at least worth the sum of their parts.

However I'd much prefer they explore the external option. That level of quality is a win.
i've got a Focusrite 2i4 (first gen), any opinions on that?
 

idiomatic

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Am I playing the wrong games or does nobody have proper raytraced audio still? We used to have it back int he day then it got ripped out with Vista...

When is it coming back?
 

Rizen

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The Topping DX3 Pro uses the same DAC and is external -- which is a bonus to me.

But it doesn't do more than stereo, nor does it have inputs, so yeah, these EVGA cards are at least worth the sum of their parts.

However I'd much prefer they explore the external option. That level of quality is a win.
The EVGA Nu Audio (original) put out way more power than a Topping DX3 Pro as well. The Nu Audio Pro has overall better components, it's a very nice card.

I just picked one up, actually. Driving a set of Sennheiser HD6XXs from Massdrop. Sounds fantastic. Playing Battlefield with the audio set to "3D Audio", it's crystal clear and the sound stage is huge.

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d3athf1sh

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not to sure about the orange tho... maybe if i had a gigabyte board or something.
 

erek

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The EVGA Nu Audio (original) put out way more power than a Topping DX3 Pro as well. The Nu Audio Pro has overall better components, it's a very nice card.

I just picked one up, actually. Driving a set of Sennheiser HD6XXs from Massdrop. Sounds fantastic. Playing Battlefield with the audio set to "3D Audio", it's crystal clear and the sound stage is huge.

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are you going to try the Nu Audio Pro Surround board too?
 

Comixbooks

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The EVGA Nu Audio (original) put out way more power than a Topping DX3 Pro as well. The Nu Audio Pro has overall better components, it's a very nice card.

I just picked one up, actually. Driving a set of Sennheiser HD6XXs from Massdrop. Sounds fantastic. Playing Battlefield with the audio set to "3D Audio", it's crystal clear and the sound stage is huge.

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You ever try the Creative AE5?
 

IdiotInCharge

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For the price of that you can get a proper HDMI A/V receiver that would do much more.
I picked the DX3 because it has the same DACs as the Nu Audio -- there are plenty of less expensive examples with similar functionality, or others with more.
 

Derangel

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For the price of that you can get a proper HDMI A/V receiver that would do much more.
And the purpose of a big ugly A/V box on a computer desk would be? You don't really need the video portion of an A/V receiver on a computer, so the vast majority of that "much more" is worthless. Plus, those dedicated external DACs are going to sound better with headphones than a lot of those "cheaper" A/V receivers.
 

Rizen

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You ever try the Creative AE5?
I haven't. I personally hold a bit of a grudge at Creative Labs over some of their business decisions over the years (suing John Carmack over 3D audio techniques he developed for Doom 3 that they stole and patented, suing Aureal out of business, etc) so I have stuck with ASUS for a while. I went with EVGA this time since it seems like it's the best PCI-E sound card in the market and better than most comparable USB DACs.
 

Auer

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I haven't. I personally hold a bit of a grudge at Creative Labs over some of their business decisions over the years (suing John Carmack over 3D audio techniques he developed for Doom 3 that they stole and patented, suing Aureal out of business, etc) so I have stuck with ASUS for a while. I went with EVGA this time since it seems like it's the best PCI-E sound card in the market and better than most comparable USB DACs.
Source?
 

Auer

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I picked the DX3 because it has the same DACs as the Nu Audio -- there are plenty of less expensive examples with similar functionality, or others with more.
Topping has great analog stages, that's what sets them apart. A ton of manuf use the same DAC chips with very different results.
 

Rizen

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This is a review of the original Nu Audio: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...d-measurements-of-evga-nu-audio-pc-card.9137/

SINAD results:
That is a big step above Sound Blaster products. And oh, someone had asked me about Behringer. You see the SINAD results above. The EVGA NU Audio beats that too by a good margin.
Conclusion:
The mention of Audio Note implies high-end audio performance which EVGA NU Audio fails to achieve. All is not lost though. The hardware implementation of DAC, headphone output and ADC are very good. You can do better at lower price on the DAC side. But it is impossible to get all three at this price using desktop hardware based on testing I have done so far.
The Nu Audio Pro has a better DAC and components than the original as well, same DAC as the DX3 Pro.
 
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Rizen

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I linked to that review earlier, and my take was perhaps a bit more negative than yours. Looking forward to the pro versions reviews.
Yeah, most of the negative comments I've seen on the original Nu Audio are around two main issues:

- Interference or signal issues (less common but mentioned by some)
- Driver complaints

I personally haven't had any problems like that with the Nu Audio Pro. The drivers are very light weight, no bloat whatsoever, the install went smoothly with no issues at all, and everything just worked well out of the box. Only issue for me was the default bit rate was set to 192-bit, 384kHz which caused Battlefield V to crash because Frostbite tops out at 24-bit, 192kHz support. However that's more of an issue with Battlefield.

The Nu Audio Pro is $20 cheaper than the Topping DX3 Pro and has a more powerful amp. I doubt I could realistically tell the difference between the two in quality as it sounds like they should be pretty close based on the comments for the original Nu Audio and the fact that Pro has improved components.

Just my experience :)
 
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PeaKr

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Its been a decade since I studied up on sound cards. I'm still using an X-Fi ExtremeMusic and 5.1 Logitech speaker setup and working pretty good. I have to twist the mini jacks now and again to stop the static though. Seems like the card is on the way out. I really enjoy the spacial sound in games. In some MMO's I played I could hear invis players walking around me in circles, get the first strike in. They'd accuse me of cheating. Do they still have such effects in games? I here everyone going external with amps n such. What are some upgrade paths, thx?
 

ashmelev75

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Also, who the hell needs 768kHz DAC. What are you people are listening to? A sub-space alien broadcasts?
There are no common source of signal with such sampling frequency.
 

IdiotInCharge

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In some MMO's I played I could hear invis players walking around me in circles, get the first strike in. They'd accuse me of cheating. Do they still have such effects in games?
I remember it well -- literally hosing down opponents in Counter-Strike through walls.

I believe that the issue was the sound stage simulation just being an open space that did not account for the walls -- modern solutions should.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Also, who the hell needs 768kHz DAC. What are you people are listening to? A sub-space alien broadcasts?
There are no common source of signal with such sampling frequency.
I get wanting to try DSD or perhaps MQA more, but that level of sampling doesn't make sense for a DAC. For an ADC in specialized applications, sure- but not for something to feed an analog stage for human hearing.
 

IdiotInCharge

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The Nu Audio Pro is $20 cheaper than the Topping DX3 Pro and has a more powerful amp.
Plenty of USB DAC/Amps that are cheaper with more power out there too- I won't contest that the Nu Audio series isn't nice, but it's a bit overkill on the parts side for most uses, while still being inside the PC and being subject to the same potential internal noise affecting its analog stages.
 

ashmelev75

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Do they still have such effects in games? I here everyone going external with amps n such. What are some upgrade paths, thx?
Depends on the game's sound engine. World of Warcraft, which I play, has an excellent one for the game that old. Battlefield 4 was pretty decent. You could close your eyes and just point and shot at things based on the direction.


As for the upgrade path, it all depends on your requirements - headphones vs 2.0 speakers vs 2.1 speakers vs 5.1 speakers vs something more. Powered speakers vs passive.
For headphones or 2.0 speakers an external USB DAC would be enough without any drivers.
For something more advanced, the HDMI output is the way to go. Both AMD and nVidia video cards can do it and you need an HDMI receiver. You can get 2-3 year old refurb for 100-150 bucks or a new starter one like Yamaha RX-V3xx for $250ish.
 

Derangel

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Plenty of USB DAC/Amps that are cheaper with more power out there too- I won't contest that the Nu Audio series isn't nice, but it's a bit overkill on the parts side for most uses, while still being inside the PC and being subject to the same potential internal noise affecting its analog stages.
Computer audio products like this (external DACs or internal cards) in general are overkill for most users. When we're talking about a $200+ piece of dedicated audio gear for a computer no one is really talking about "most users". None of us interested in something like this or buying good speakers and more expensive headphones qualify as "most users". There are definitely cheaper options that fit some people's needs better and there are things to consider before using an internal solution (though, I'd imagine the backplate on the Pro will help even more with noise, but I could be wrong), but I think you're making a bad argument here. Personally speaking, something like the Nu Audio doesn't work for me simply because I don't want more expansion cards in my system (more things to consider when planning out an upcoming water cooling loop) nor more wires to mess with but I have thought about getting an internal sound card again form time-to-time since external solutions have their own annoyances to deal with.
 

Rizen

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I liked the idea of the internal card for a few reasons:

1) My desk is already cluttered
2) I have a ton of USB devices already hooked up and don't want/need to add more
3) The RGB is kind of neat IMO

I've never had the issues with interference that some people have been concerned about, I feel like that concern might be overblown in practice?
 

IdiotInCharge

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Having used both over the years, including a Hercules breakout box back in the day, I'm pretty much done with internal cards for analog audio inputs and outputs. I tried a Sound-Blaster Z which had a goofy problem and went back to Amazon, and my last card was an X-Fi that had jack issues.

So, for external interfaces, I find that:
  • I like having headphone jacks where I can reach them
  • I like having a physical volume control within reach
  • I prefer the flexibility of routing stuff where needed
  • I prefer optical outputs to prevent ground loops, and balanced (usually XLR) signal chains for speakers / monitors where possible
I've never had the issues with interference that some people have been concerned about, I feel like that concern might be overblown in practice?
Quality control across the signal chain, and everything around it, can make a difference, on top of EMI-heavy environments making unbalanced analog runs susceptible too. I've had it in some places and not in others, but when it happens it's not easy to get rid of since it's usually intermittent.
 

erek

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Having used both over the years, including a Hercules breakout box back in the day, I'm pretty much done with internal cards for analog audio inputs and outputs. I tried a Sound-Blaster Z which had a goofy problem and went back to Amazon, and my last card was an X-Fi that had jack issues.

So, for external interfaces, I find that:
  • I like having headphone jacks where I can reach them
  • I like having a physical volume control within reach
  • I prefer the flexibility of routing stuff where needed
  • I prefer optical outputs to prevent ground loops, and balanced (usually XLR) signal chains for speakers / monitors where possible


Quality control across the signal chain, and everything around it, can make a difference, on top of EMI-heavy environments making unbalanced analog runs susceptible too. I've had it in some places and not in others, but when it happens it's not easy to get rid of since it's usually intermittent.
what about an internal interface that connects up via USB still? sure takes up a PCIe Slot, but is only actually connecting via internal USB
 

IdiotInCharge

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what about an internal interface that connects up via USB still? sure takes up a PCIe Slot, but is only actually connecting via internal USB
It's not about the USB part, it's about getting the DACs and the rest of the analog stage away from the inside of the computer.
 
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I'm curious about the potential external version. I don't have space inside of my machine for the internal one. The audio on my mobo is pretty good as far as onboard audio goes. I'm starting to look around for something more. Plus, my ol' faithful Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 setup is really starting to show its age, so it's kind of getting to be time for an upgrade anyway.
 

Flogger23m

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I use onboard sound. Is something like this fairly straight forward? Any bloated software to use? Seems like external is the preference though. Honestly wouldn't mind keeping airflow around the GPU less cluttered myself, although having it all in the case would certainly be nice. Any simple way to use this or similar with both my headset and speakers? I switch between the two frequently. Problem is, I have a Hyper X Cloud and some Creative Speakers. Neither are top of the line. Probably would be wasted on high end audio equipment anyways. Cloud is going strong, but I may replace it in two years so this would be partially for future headsets / speaker/monitors in mind.
 
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