ASUS XONAR Essence STX PCIe Audio Card
Even though the ASUS Xonar is marketed as an audiophile card we ran some time demos in a couple of games, just to look at it from a gaming performance angle as well. On Half Life 2 EP2 we ran a pre-recorded demo at high and low quality sound settings with the results below. Although the results in FPS do not show any gains the sound quality was much crisper, clearer, and responsive, with the ASUS Xonar. Please note, we substituted an ASUS Radeon 3870 for the Quadro card in the workstation for the gaming tests
We then ran Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and there was a slight improvement with the Xonar...
Improved sound quality during game play was very noticeable. Effects were crisp, and in your face whether through the headphones or the monitors. We also noticed improved separation from background music and in game action sounds. The "game" DSP mode was used throughout the tests.