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[RT] ASUS Introduces the Essence STX II and Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Cards - Page 16

post #151 of 231
I haven't had any problems with the drivers for my STX.
     
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post #152 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Zuko View Post

I would not call Asus broken garbage and Nvidia hopeless. Seems like an exaggeration if I've ever read one. I used both brand's high end parts and have had none of these thoughts.

I had plenty of Asus boards during the LGA775 era and they were flawless, but my Gryphon was indeed garbage thanks to it's flaky firmware. And the RTC bug in particular is common enough throughout their entire z87 range.

And hopeless is a perfectly accurate assessment of Nvidia's drivers unit. Some examples that come to mind:

- 8800 series stutter in all UE2 games. Took over a year to fix. https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/363340/geforce-drivers/ut2004-stuttering-8800-gtx-not-a-total-fix-but-interesting-/80/
- Flat panel scaling, as I said, is useless. I can't remember one single driver in which scaling has worked properly on all resolutions. That's why I always try to get monitors with 1:1 pixel mapping, because Nvidia's 1:1 setting is so unreliable.
- Recently, after years of being able to use the framerate limiter with V-Sync without a single issue, Nvidia managed to break it so that the limiter disabled V-Sync. This went on for several driver revisions. Then when they tried to 'fix' it, they introduced another bug (freezing/hitching), which you will currently see under discussion on their forums: https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/705318/official-nvidia-335-23-whql-driver-feedback-thread-3-10-14-/?offset=431
- Ongoing issues with increased latency vs older drivers. I was skeptical of this one, but I bought a GTX 260 and confirmed it: http://www.overclock.net/t/1388836/input-lag-in-nvidia-drivers
- The 600 series V-Sync stutter bug: https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/516509/?comment=3675548

They seem to have a tiny handfull of staff actually interacting with their user base and working on these issue, totally disproportionate to the size and wealth of the company, and the amount of resources that evidently go into marketing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Zuko View Post

And if I did have issues I think I trust those two companies to fix it for the most part.

8 months and Asus still haven't fixed the RTC bug. That's absolutely pathetic.
I've owned STXs since release. On XP I had numerous issues in games that required reducing the 'Hardware Sound Acceleration Level' slider in Windows. One of the driver's processes always used to hand on shut down. I lied before when I said it was fine since Windows 7: I remember in an early 7 driver HsMgr.exe used to cause some programs not to run, but since that was resolved I've had no issues in Windows 7. Never experienced any problems with settings not sticking.
Edited by Oubadah - 4/2/14 at 8:54pm
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post #153 of 231
Well that's kinda why I stick to ROG. Besides the features and looks, I have a hunch they put more of an effort into the flagship parts that are constantly reviewed. Perhaps even better long term support than a random Asus board from the lower ranks. The ROG team is in charge of the ROG products and they have not steered me wrong so far.

AMD is said to be slower than Nvidia with driver updates. Or at least they used to be. I like the 780 Ti too much to go AMD for now.

As for these sound cards I'd rather use a high end usb headphone amp / preamp / DAC combo unit for audio anyway (add a headset, headphones, speakers, and a poweramp to complete the system):

http://www.moon-audio.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=burson

http://centrance.com/products/

But I figure baby steps biggrin.gif
Edited by Neo Zuko - 4/2/14 at 9:03pm
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post #154 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Zuko View Post

Well that's kinda why I stick to ROG. Besides the features and looks, I have a hunch they put more of an effort into the flagship parts that are constantly reviewed. Perhaps even better long term support than a random Asus board from the lower ranks. The ROG team is in charge of the ROG products and they have not steered me wrong so far.

The ROG z87 boards are just as much affected as the rest of Asus' z87 boards. eg:

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?33895-Hero-Time-Clock-Problem

And before you say it, I don't care if your particular unit doesn't have the bug. Plenty of others do.

And who knows, maybe yours will. It can be dormant for several months before appearing. Or is it only when users use a certain combo of BIOS settings? Is it hardware degradation? No-one knows, because Asus are dragging their feet. Plenty of people have been willing to send in their boards, but Asus is only taking them from NA. Really, Asus can't afford to ship a board internationally? And reminiscent of Nvidia, it seems like asus have about three guys working on this issue.
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post #155 of 231
+1 for a noveske reference in a computer audio thread.

FWIW, I thought the STX was a huge upgrade from the onboard sound on my gigabyte board, but miss having all the analog outputs for my $50 5.1 computer speaker system.
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post #156 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by norcaljason View Post

Just some random thoughts from a old time HT guy...

I've been in the Home Theater hobby for 15+ years now. Starting when Laser Disc was king with it's 5.1 digital audio. I purchased a HK AVR80, a separate DD processor, Infinity Overture speaker setup, and delighted all my friends to high quality audio. My HT has seen 'high end' separates and 'high end' receivers. Although my speakers have remained the same, the rest of my setup has changed several times.

~ 6 years ago I decided to bridge two of my favorite hobbies; Computers and Home Theater. Using mostly leftover socket 775 parts from a old gaming rig, I built one. It was really basic; Integrated graphics, XBMC, and a core 2 duo. I was running HDMI out to a very nice Onkyo receiver, that powered a B&K amplifier. It sounded really good!

As must of us do, I decided to do something more ambitious. The goal: One box (HTPC) that could act as one source to all my multimedia; HD DVD's, DVDs, BluRay, Cable Box, Media Center, Gaming Machine, Home Theater Processor.

I wanted to get out of the whole 'upgrade the receiver every few years because of format changes' bs. So I waited and watched the market of dedicated sound cards develop.

For me, I see a receiver as (3) different devices; A processor/converter, preamp / input switcher, and amplifier. Even the most amazing receivers are very limited computers. Why couldn't a full blown audio card offer better resolution than the high end separates at a fraction of the cost?

There are a few dedicated HT audio cards that fit this bill exactly (Azuntech XMeridian / HT Claro / Asus Essence ST / Lynx) And use the very same D/A converters HT guys pay thousands for.

So I did it. I pulled the trigger to see how good a HTPC could sound. Picked up JRiver MC18, Xmeridian GII, sold my B&K amp, and picked up (3) high quality stereo amps on Craigslist. Spent a bunch of time getting all the bugs worked out.

And the result?

Simply superb. Sound quality (clarity, noise, dynamics) is a 10/10. I have yet to hear anything that comes close.

And that's the rub with these Asus audio cards. They are truly geared to HTPC geeks like myself. Not even the basic HTPC guys (who are happy running HDMI out to a receiver). You gotta be really into it to need analogue outputs on your PC. thumb.gif

This just sounds really biased...

Clarity is subjective, "Dynamics" are subjective, and noise is, generally, something that can not be fixed by switching to a sound card from a receiver. Unless said receiver was absolute garbage.

I dread what the word "Geek" and "Home Theater" mean nowadays.
Edited by DVLux - 4/3/14 at 3:22pm
post #157 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by DVLux View Post

This just sounds really biased...

Clarity is subjective, "Dynamics" are subjective, and noise is, generally, something that can not be fixed by switching to a sound card from a receiver. Unless said receiver was absolute garbage.

I dread what the word "Geek" and "Home Theater" mean nowadays.
Maybe they are subjective....I'll give you that, however you miss the beauty of the post. He's gotten off the merry-go-round of replacing a receiver or prepro every model year. He's also gotten rid of equipment repair bills, I know how he feels because I've done the same thing, no more repair shops for me (the HDMI board problems in some receivers are substantial - my son has a $1.5k brick in his home....now he wants to do what I did) wink.gif
post #158 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

The ROG z87 boards are just as much affected as the rest of Asus' z87 boards. eg:

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?33895-Hero-Time-Clock-Problem

And before you say it, I don't care if your particular unit doesn't have the bug. Plenty of others do.

And who knows, maybe yours will. It can be dormant for several months before appearing. Or is it only when users use a certain combo of BIOS settings? Is it hardware degradation? No-one knows, because Asus are dragging their feet. Plenty of people have been willing to send in their boards, but Asus is only taking them from NA. Really, Asus can't afford to ship a board internationally? And reminiscent of Nvidia, it seems like asus have about three guys working on this issue.

If I didn't buy stuff from every company that messed up at one point or another I have no parts to buy. Asus and Nvidia are simply too big for me to just ban them forever. The one who would lose is me. Everyone would be enjoying their 880 Ti GPUs and Rampage V Extremes without me and all I'd have is my blacklist.
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post #159 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakethesnake438 View Post

Aren't these things just a whole pile of marketing guff?

I thought the same thing till i bought a sound card...
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post #160 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by DVLux View Post

Clarity is subjective, "Dynamics" are subjective, and noise is, generally, something that can not be fixed by switching to a sound card from a receiver. Unless said receiver was absolute garbage.
I dread what the word "Geek" and "Home Theater" mean nowadays.

Only both can be scientifically measured. Flaky as hell terms but most 'audiophile' terminology can refer to something scientific in nature. Pop by the Official OCN Headphones and Earphone Club where we sometime talk audio science and stuff.
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