Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I am using a couple ASUS cards on my general purpose PCs and they do the job. I personally think they work better than Creative Lab's Sound Blaster cards.
The one I mentioned in my previous post (ASUS Essence STX II 7.1) is probably the best consumer pci sound card available. However, it's not sold at most online retailers and if it is, is a lot more expensive than any other internal consumer sound card.
After your search, read the reviews. Don't get discouraged though, there is no perfect product and you'll read a lot of negative comments. Here's a few less expensive ones to consider:
ASUS Xonar DX 7.1
ASUS Xonar D1 7.1
The 3 specs most people pay attention to for DACs (even though there is a lot more to consider) is the max bit depth, max sample rate and SNR (signal to noise ratio). You want a card that at least has a max bit depth of 24 bits, max sample rate of 96 KHz (many support 192 KHz) and SNR of greater than 112 dB.
I'd also recommend browsing other websites and look for discussions about internal sound cards. The interact forum on Jriver's site is a good place to start.
JRiver Interact Forum - Sound Cards, etc.