ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 Sound Card
Cakewalk website for a complete breakdown on each program's functionality. We were pleased to see a fully functional and current copy of PowerDVD 7 included in the package and it was not of the scaled down 2-Ch flavor that has been appearing in many OEM bundles lately. This version is the 5.1 edition that can be upgraded to full Dolby Digital EX 7.1 Surround Capability.
Rounding out the bundle is a Dolby Headphone Dolby Virtual Speaker Demo DVD and a Drivers CD which includes Windows XP and Vista drivers, Electronic User's Manual, Portable Music Processor and RightMark Audio Analyzer 5.6.
The ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 PCI Sound Card itself is built around a 24-bit ASUS AV200 High-Definition Sound Processor that boasts a SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) of 118dB, which is the best SNR we could find, scouring the market for comparable solutions. The card supports 44.1, 48, 96 and 192KHz sampling with floating point filters claiming near lossless conversion. The card is also equipped with four Burr-Brown PCM1796 24-bit D-A Converters for digital sources while a single Cirrus-Logic CS5381 24-bit A-D Converter handles analog signal. The card is encased with an EMI (Electronic Magnetic Interference) shield to ensure surrounding components do not have a negative effect on audio quality. For added aesthetics, ASUS added illumination to the shield while the rear port collection is also illuminated, making finding the right port a bit easier to locate.
The back end comes with all necessary inputs/outputs to fit virtually any usage scenario imaginable. The top starts with a MIC and Line-In port followed by Headphone/Front, Side Surround, Center/Sub and Rear outputs. The last two RCA ports are for SPDIF Input and Output. The top of the card included three connectors as well, one marries up to the external MIDI card while the second supports direct CD-IN, with the third Aux-In port connecting to a TV-Card or other device.