Asus, who has been doing so much stuff right lately, has begun dipping its toes into the sound card game. I understand the onboard audio on their motherboards is supposed to be the best, but as with onboard video, that’s not saying much. So Asus has separated their sound unit and beefed it up, making it a PCI-e interface card. It’s a full-featured, high-quality card now, supporting EAX 5.0 and DirectSound as well as various Dolby features. It also has a front panel audio header, something which my Audigy 2 doesn’t appear to have, at least I couldn’t find it. Man, that would be handy.
The important thing is that this is a legitimate and well-priced alternative to Creative’s extensive line of cards which constitute a de facto monopoly on the sound card business. I’m going to try to get hold of one of these things, and I’ll let you know how it stacks up compared with the title-holder.