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[Sound Card Review-ish] Asus Xonar D2 sorta review...

For whatever reason the Creative 64-bit X-Fi drivers don't work if you meet either or both of the following requirments:

>3GB RAM or
nForce 680i motherboard.

I have both so my X-Fi was creating glorius 5.1 channel surround static at very high volume.

Since Auzentech can't seem to ship the prelude I decided to swap my order for the Asus Xonar D2 since it cost the same and was getting decent reviews.

While it lacks the ability of the X-Fi software to translate DS3D/EAX calls to OpenAL, this isn't much of an issue for me as I rarely play games that require positional audio these days.

Audio produced by the card is razor sharp and crystal clear, when wearing my Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones I can make out tones, notes and instruments I didn't know existed when using the X-Fi (which in itself is an amazing piece of audio hardware).

The Logitech speakers are not quite as detailed but then I don't have them glued to my head with environmental noise attenuation so the extra detail is probably lost in the environment.

If you are in the market for a new soundcard and positional audio is not a "must-have" feature for you then I would highly recommend this card. If you are looking to plug it into a hi-fi or home cinema amplifier the card provides 4 3.5mm mini-jack to left/right phono input cables as well as an optical cable and adapters to fit the coax/optical combo ports.

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