Onboard Realtek SPDIF w/X-Fi SoftMod -> DAC for Gaming?


Limp Gawd
Jun 7, 2004
Posted this on another forum, but there are many more eyes over here that may have some more insight.

Just like topic says...

I'm in the middle of rebuilding my Mini-ITX rig with a Z68 board (have the ASROCK Z68M-ITX on order, for the SECOND time), and am looking at my options for audio.

Coming from a modded X-Fi XtremeMusic, it will be a tough adjustment back to onboard. The X-Fi HD USB is on sale for cheap, but I understand it lacks the X-Fi hardware acceleration and everything is done through software. I'm thinking if it's just a glorified DAC with a cheap amp, why not try something different?

There are some X-Fi drivers that have been modified for use on Realtek codecs: Realtek/Soundmax Modds + SB X-fi MB 1.2

Has anybody experimented with something like this?

ALC892 w/X-Fi soft-mod drivers -> Optical out -> DAC/headphone amp -> Sennheiser HD555

This way we get some of the CMSS3D goodness for gaming, plus the sound quality from a discrete DAC/amp. BTW if some of you cringed when I mentioned CMSS3D, I actually found it more accurate than setting my audio to 2.0 when playing CSS.


Dec 30, 2009
since you dont have an aftermarket sound card then you really cant go wrong dac/headphone amp with hd555.

i say go for it.