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  #11  
Old 05-03-14, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesriley94 View Post
I'll also mention the power delivery differences. Despite the EMI shielding, the power circuitry does have to go significantly further on any motherboard in order to get the power to the chip/DAC/amp. This will still pick up interference from nearby components and will detract from the overall audio quality. On the other hand the STX is better shielded and the circuitry is more precise in delivering the power. This will result in a cleaner sound, especially at higher volumes or powering higher impedance headphones.

I would be confident actually in discerning the differences between the onboard audio and the STX. At higher volumes the onboard solution just wouldn't be capable of minimising white noise to the same extent of the STX.
That's what the SnR rating is for. On paper the difference is 120db vs 124db. That's 4db although that might be noticeable, I would guess you would have to turn them up really good. Good bye to your hearing!
The difference becomes even less important if you use high impedance headphones.
Would I pay 160€ for that slight difference. Nope! And that's not to take anything away from the stx, which is definitely a very good card.

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  #12  
Old 05-03-14, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazlo View Post
That's what the SnR rating is for. On paper the difference is 120db vs 124db. That's 4db although that might be noticeable, I would guess you would have to turn them up really good. Good bye to your hearing!
The difference becomes even less important if you use high impedance headphones.
Would I pay 160€ for that slight difference. Nope! And that's not to take anything away from the stx, which is definitely a very good card.
Decibels aren't a linear measurement. 110dB is twice the volume/noise of 100dB, so the 4dB difference you mention is actually a lot more than it appears.

As for the headphone point, the higher impedance headphones mean that unamplified white noise picked up along the way doesn't get through doesn't it? If white noise goes through the amplifier then it's still picked up just the same through headphones.

We can argue all day about specs on paper, and without having each of them to hand it's impossible to say just how big of a difference it is.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-14, 10:14 AM
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isn't it 3db = double the volume? (logarithmic scale)

Actually, went looking, found this.

Quote:
A change in power by a factor of 10 is a 10 dB change in level. A change in power by a factor of two is approximately a 3 dB change. A change in voltage by a factor of 10 is equivalent to a change in power by a factor of 100 and is thus a 20 dB change.
So yeah 4dB is a BIG difference.

I have to say the posts that say "Don't compare specs" are the most accurate, you can have 2 identically specced audio systems on paper and they can sound VERY *VERY* different.

Personally for me, on-board sound just doesn't cut the mustard, regardless of the 'spec' list. You always seem to get more noise from onboard, shielded or otherwise. A discreet option just works, you can transfer it from rig-to-rig and not have to worry about the sound quality/warmth/character/attenuation etc etc etc changing because you have your output defined by the card, not the motherboard.

It's like finding a mouse or keyboard you like, why change when you're comfortable with it and you're used to it ? :P

Sound is such a personal experience, everyone enjoys different things, this is why you'll never find me recommending bass-heavy cans, I like snappy punchy clear bass, not slow and/or overemphasised or muddy bass. So I picked AKG's for my cans. Took a long time to find them but I wouldn't change em The sound stage, in my opinion (cannot make this part of this clear enough), is second to none for gaming and competitive FPS
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  #14  
Old 05-03-14, 11:47 AM
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"The concepts of signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range are closely related. Dynamic range measures the ratio between the strongest un-distorted signal on a channel and the minimum discernable signal, which for most purposes is the noise level. SNR measures the ratio between an arbitrary signal level (not necessarily the most powerful signal possible) and noise. Measuring signal-to-noise ratios requires the selection of a representative or reference signal. In audio egineering, the reference signal is usually a sine wave at a standardized nominal or alignment level, such as 1 kHz at +4 dbu (1.228 VRMS).
SNR is usually taken to indicate an average signal-to-noise ratio, as it is possible that (near) instantaneous signal-to-noise ratios will be considerably different. The concept can be understood as normalizing the noise level to 1 (0 d and measuring how far the signal 'stands out'." (from Wikipedia)


Lets elaborate. With the Formula onboard Solution you start to hear noise at 120 Dezibel with the stx you start to hear noise at 124 dezibel.


So a starting Jetplane is about 120 Dezibels. Nah, still not worth 160 € to me, if a have to destroy my ears to hear a differnce in the noise department.


If somebody prefers the sounddesign of the stx so much over the onboard solution of this board, that he wants to spend that much money, I won't stand in his way. But I would not recommend it to somebody else.


We'll see what the OP says when compared the two.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-14, 04:10 AM
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alirighty then, the STX has arrived and I'll be installing it tomorrow to see how it goes with my existing headset. Couple of things I wanted to clarify when setting it all up:

Should I disable the onboard HD Audio feature in the bios first?

Should I uninstall the ROG HD Audio software as well?

Is it worth while connecting up the front panel audio connectors to the STX also? (wasn't sure if this would degrade the audio quality if I decided to hookup the headphones to the front panel audio - no that I would but just curious)
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  #16  
Old 10-03-14, 04:15 AM
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You can still keep the on-board enabled, it could for example be used for speakers, while xonar is playing audio via headphones.

Do what you want with front panel audio, keep in mind that running a wire carrying an analogue signal through the insides of the computer means that it is prone to interference, and using it isn't really recommended.
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  #17  
Old 10-03-14, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looz View Post
You can still keep the on-board enabled, it could for example be used for speakers, while xonar is playing audio via headphones.

Do what you want with front panel audio, keep in mind that running a wire carrying an analogue signal through the insides of the computer means that it is prone to interference, and using it isn't really recommended.
Err no you can't, at least not the last time I checked... Even if you can I would highly recommend against leaving any other audio output enabled.

I'd uninstall everything you're not using fella, helps ALOT with conflicts and compatibility etc...

And you can connect to the front panel if you want, you might as well. The STX has outputs for cans and speakers and you have the option in the software to switch your output.
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  #18  
Old 10-03-14, 12:57 PM
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Cheers lads, I'd rather this all goes as smooth as possible so I'll disable onboard and remove the ROG audio software just to be on the safe side. Hanging out to test this out now and a mate of mine has dt880's (250ohm) so gonna try them out later this week, if all goes well I might grab a pair form amazon!
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  #19  
Old 10-03-14, 12:58 PM
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prepare your ears you're gonna love it dude
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  #20  
Old 11-03-14, 05:02 AM
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Well - I chucked in the STX today, gave it a spin with my average steelseries headset and the stock Asus Audio Center drivers.......and dayum. I wasn't expecting this much of a difference. Some of the music I'm listening too sounds a noticeable amount clearer with more depth than I thought I could get. My 2.1's have more punch and seemingly more volume.

As I mentioned before I am a complete noob to the audio scene, however even my untrained ears can pick the difference in the already good on board sound from the Maixumus VI Formula the STX. Very impressed and I still have the DT880's to come

Gaming wise I've only noticed a marginal difference however I'm still toying with the settings and trying to find a mix that I like.

Has anyone used/recommends the unified drivers for the Xonar's?
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