They're not quite the odd couple, but truth be told, we wouldn't have figured ASRock
for BFFs. That's exactly what they've become, however, with the release of the Game Blaster sound card for gamers. Not just any ordinary sound card, mind you, but according to ASRock, it's the first one to combine Creative's 7.1 channel HD Sound Core3D Audio technology with a Broadcom Gigabit LAN port, the latter of which supports the "teaming" function, which lets gamers combine two GbE LAN ports for double the bandwidth.
It's a PCI Express x1 card with a 102 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for its outputs and 101 db SNR for inputs, 192 kHz sampling rate, and 24-bit DAC. Other features include gold-plated connectors, 32-bit 200MHz quad-core DSP, and a Scout Mode that ASRock seems particularly stoked about.
"Designed for performance gaming, ASRock Game Blaster also supports the state-of-the-art Scout Mode technology. It is a proprietary technology that allows you to hear your enemies from further away, giving you a distinct tactical advantage in combat," ASRock explains. "With Scout Mode, ASRock Game Blaster facilitates faster access in the heart of battle and allows gamers to get precise control to elevate their games."
ASRock currently bundles the Game Blaster with its X79 Extreme9 and X79 Extreme6/GB motherboards. No word on whether or not it will also be sold as a standalone card.