Question Question for audiophiles.

NadeMagnet69

Great
Jul 20, 2020
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Not sure if this should go here or in motherboards but here's the question. Would you yank an Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card from an older PC and put it in your new build? Or use the MOBO onboard audio? When it comes to audio components it's all Greek to me. But I know it was an expensive at the time sound card with quality components. But why exactly they are so good is beyond me. All I know is I've really enjoyed this card for the past 8 years. The only issue I've ever had is this, which is apparently from a driver issue which is not going to ever be fixed.
But it's only happened 3 times in the whole time I've owned it. lol But it is scary as F on the rare occasions it did happen because it's out of the blue. But I question the claim of damaging hearing. It's loud but not that bad and I've always used this card with nice Sennheiser 598 headphones, which I'm going to continue to use for the new PC.

The specs from the STX.

I can't find any reviews of just the MOBO audio. It's too new of a board and all reviews are covering the whole board. But what specs I can find is from Asrock's site.
https://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z490 Taichi/index.asp#Specification
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec)
  • Premium Blu-ray Audio support
  • Supports Surge Protection
  • WIMA Audio Capacitors (For Front Outputs)
  • ESS SABRE9218 DAC for Front Panel Audio (130dB SNR)
  • Pure Power-In
  • Direct Drive Technology
  • PCB Isolate Shielding
  • Impedance Sensing on Rear Out port
  • Individual PCB Layers for R/L Audio Channel
  • Gold Audio Jacks
  • 15μ Gold Audio Connector
  • Nahimic Audio

So old but quality tech with an in my opinion minor bug since it's so rare, or new tech and a lot more basic components? Bear in mind it's also for listening to music, not just games. I don't know which to use but I hope you do.
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
I have an STX that also has my HD598s plugged into it for gaming and general use. I've had that happen only once in the 8 or 9 years I've had the card and it was a few months ago right after I finished a new PC upgrade cycle. It was horrible! lol

Honestly the STX is good but it has a 10 or 11ohm output impedance making it not so good for lower impedance cans like the 598s. It will color the bass. Which I like for gaming but not for music. The Sabre DAC on the MB will be quite good. The 598s may sound different though because they won't be colored through the MB audio.
 

NadeMagnet69

Great
Jul 20, 2020
121
6
85
0
Tried the onboard Nahimic 3 software. It blows compared to my Essence STX. Not even in the same ballpark. If the Essence is playing MLB, Nahimic is still playing little league T-ball. The Nahimic sounded OK but calling its options simple is an understatement. It's no contest between my MOBO on board sound and the STX. It's a shame Asus stopped supporting the Essence line of sound cards
 

NadeMagnet69

Great
Jul 20, 2020
121
6
85
0
I looked at them before after the first time I got that bug, and they seem to have too many cons. Shouldn't have to go through such a hassle to get them to run well with win 10. Like I don't want to deal with BSOD, or different sound quality, ETC, on a brand new PC no less. They too are out of date so I might as well stick with the asus drivers. The only problem I've ever had with the latest asus driver is the bug we already talked about. And basically I think of that as like stubbing your toe. lol It's going to happen occasionally, but that doesn't mean you just stop walking around.
 

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