Some more information about the Asus Xonar sound card has made its way to us and it's starting to look more and more interesting. Although it seems like the Asus Xonar card is based on a CMedia chipset, it should offer very high quality sound. It won't have some of the latest EAX features, which is a bit of a shame, but unless you're playing a lot of EAX enabled games, this isn't a huge loss. It seems like the D2 PCI version will be the first card to become available, as there was no new information about the PCI Express x1 card that was shown earlier this year.
Asus claims 118dB SNR which would beat just about every card out there in the consumer space. The card also supports 192KHz/24Bit for all input and outputs. That's some pretty solid specs, but it doesn't stop there as the card also supports real-time Dolby Digital & DTS surround sound encoding for up to 7.1-channels and for the music boffins it's got ASIO 2.0 drivers and a mini MIDI connector (that's what the bracket is for if you wondered). The strange cover on the card is meant to be an EMI shield that improves the audio quality by 4-6 dB if we're to believe Asus. An interesting feature is what Asus calls ALT or Analog Loopback Transformation. This is a direct connection between the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) and allows for an easy way to backup DRM protected audio files by re-recording them in a DRM free format. The neat thing with how this is done is that it allows for minimal loss in audio quality. All we want to know now is where did the PCI Express version of this card disappear to?