I'd certainly hold off until folks have proven that this works and stays working..
The benefits of ASIO are:
- bit perfect playback of digital music at 44.1 KHz
--- no resampling to 48KHz which most AC97 cards will do
- bypassing of windows Kmixer
--- no resampling 44.1 KHz to 44.1 KHz (and mangling the sound in the process)
--- even if the soundcard support 44.1 KHz it doesn't get passed cleanly unless using ASIO or Kernel Streaming
I thought all this "bit perfect" stuff was audiophile circle jerk, but having heard ASIO 44.1 KHz bit perfect playback, I can totally understand why people spend a lot of money on sound cards to get this sound.
If it can be had for $27 with a hack, I'd be very happy with it
Otherwise I will likely end up replacing the Chaintech with a sound card capable of ASIO over SPDIF when the budget permits. I like the look of the Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 (I can't afford the Lynx cards). If I can make my CHaintech into a Audiotrak with an EEPROM flash I think that would be soopah!
I moved my Audigy 2 ZS into my gaming rig and stuck the Chaintech into the HTPC. I was never happy with the Audigy 2 ZS drivers or sound quality. I find the Chaintech much more stable and clean driver wise and the sound is just as good or better than the 2ZS (which cost 3 times as much).
Having said all that, sound has been the biggest pain in the arse for my first HTPC project. The only thing I am not staisfied with is the sound (and at times general stability). Budget permitting I am building HTPC 2.0 ASAP because I think the old rig I built the first one on is haunted.