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EVGA is taking on Creative and ASUS with a PCIe sound card

Timbo2

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#1
List pricing is USD$250! And for the gamer crowd it naturally has all kinds of LEDs.

https://www.evga.com/articles/01281/evga-nu-audio/

Specifications:
Audio DSP:
XMOS xCORE-200
Native DSD Support (up to x256)
Output Configuration:
2 Channel (Analog)
5.1 Channel (Digital via S/PDIF)
Dynamic Range (DNR) / Signal-to-Noise (SNR):
123dB (Stereo Playback)
121dB (Line-In Recording)
Playback Format:
Up to 384kHz, 32bit (Stereo)
Up to 192kHz, 24bit (Optical)
Headphone Amp:
16-600ohm (Independent Analog Control)

Maximum Voltage:
8Vrms
Maximum Current:
250mA
Recording Format:
Up to 384kHz, 32bit (Line-In)
Up to 192kHz, 24bit (Mic-In)

RGB Lighting:
10 - Mode w/ Audio Reactive Lighting

I/O:
Stereo Out (RCA L/R)
Headphone Out (6.3mm)
Line-In (3.5mm)
Mic-In (3.5mm)
Optical Out (TOSLINK Passthrough)
Front Panel Header

Premium Components:
DAC - AKM AK4493
ADC - AKM AK5572
OP-AMP (Headphone) - ADI OP275
OP-AMP (Line Out) - ADI AD8056
Capacitors - WIMA, Audio Note(UK), Nichicon
Power Regulators - Texas Instruments TPS7A47/TPS7A33 ultralow-noise power solution

Switchable OP-AMPs:
Headphone, Line out

Interface:
PCIe x1 Gen2
Power Connector:
1x SATA Power

Supported OS:
Windows 10, 8.1, 7
 

hvbias

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#2
The last time I had a soundcard was the PCI version of the E-MU 0404 :p (2005 or 2006?)

For my gaming PC on even a mid end motherboard onboard sound is very good these days for gaming, I don't use them for music.

I know some of the real audiophiles like the Lynx AES16e PCI-E for its digital output.
 

Timbo2

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#3
The last time I had a soundcard was the PCI version of the E-MU 0404 :p (2005 or 2006?)

For my gaming PC on even a mid end motherboard onboard sound is very good these days for gaming, I don't use them for music.

I know some of the real audiophiles like the Lynx AES16e PCI-E for its digital output.
I think the last add in sound card I ever used was a Sound Blaster Audigy circa 2001.

I never used my PCs for music until I built a dedicated HTPC. For that I use digital over HDMI to my AVR.
 

Timbo2

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#5
As far as I understand this is not a "real" PCIe souncard, but a PCIe to USB adapter bundled with a XMOS USB soundcard
Don’t forget the all important controllable LED lighting!
 

hvbias

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#6
As far as I understand this is not a "real" PCIe souncard, but a PCIe to USB adapter bundled with a XMOS USB soundcard
Not sure what you mean by "real" it has a D/A converter, analog output stage that they brag about being from the Kings of Con Men Audio Note and has analog outputs.
 

derp1n

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#7
Not sure what you mean by "real" it has a D/A converter, analog output stage that they brag about being from the Kings of Con Men Audio Note and has analog outputs.
It's not native PCIe, in that it appears to be a USB based DAC design with a PCIe to USB bridge (thus the ASM1042 chip in addition to XMOS) stuck in front of it. And despite the fact it should easily be powered via PCIe in a native design, this requires power via a SATA connector.

Looks like a hack job for $250. Not sure what the market is.
 

Timbo2

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#8
It's not native PCIe, in that it appears to be a USB based DAC design with a PCIe to USB bridge (thus the ASM1042 chip in addition to XMOS) stuck in front of it. And despite the fact it should easily be powered via PCIe in a native design, this requires power via a SATA connector.

Looks like a hack job for $250. Not sure what the market is.
Click through the pictures for various marketing blurbs on the EVGA link. I think the reason for the SATA connector is to power the headphone amplification.

Edit: DUH - I forgot the bus should have ample current. Although I think it uses the 3.3V rail for some reason...
 

hvbias

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#10
It's not native PCIe, in that it appears to be a USB based DAC design with a PCIe to USB bridge (thus the ASM1042 chip in addition to XMOS) stuck in front of it. And despite the fact it should easily be powered via PCIe in a native design, this requires power via a SATA connector.

Looks like a hack job for $250. Not sure what the market is.
Ahh, I was trying to work this out, I thought he meant it had an external breakout box and I was scratching my head :)
 

derp1n

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#11
Click through the pictures for various marketing blurbs on the EVGA link. I think the reason for the SATA connector is to power the headphone amplification.

Edit: DUH - I forgot the bus should have ample current. Although I think it uses the 3.3V rail for some reason...
PCIe can supply at least 75 watts, so more than enough for this thing. It's just lazy/cheap design.

Surprising. Why not do native PCIe?
Copy & paste PCB design.
 

bigx5murf

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#12
My last real PCI sound card was a Vortex 2 reference board from Aureal. I probably still have it somewhere. It still makes me mad when I remember how Creative bankrupted Aureal with litigation, and how even after Aureal had won, they were so bogged down by legal fees they had to sell their assets to Creative.
 

hvbias

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#13
Anyone remember this big mamacita Hercules Game Theater XP? I had to rearrange my desk because the breakout cable was so inflexible. Had a joystick plugged into the front USB connector and could kill an entire night in Battlefield 1942 and later the Desert Combat mod :p

 

DonH56

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#14
Note a standard PCIe slot can handle 25 W; high-power slots 75 W but those are usually few and reserved for graphics cards.

Not sure why you need 8 Gb/s (or 16 Gb/s if it is Gen4) for a sound card but whatever...

Edit: Just saw it's Gen2 so only 5 Gb/s...
 

bigx5murf

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#15
Oh man Hercules, from back when there were so many competing graphics cards chipsets. Matrox PowerVR, 3dfx, S3, along with the current Nvidia and ATI. I miss those days. I remember the excitement of working summer jobs for TNT/Voodoo cards.
 
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#16
I'd love to see measurements...if it measures well, I'd be interested...great way to re-purpose an old box as a music server
 

hvbias

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#17
Oh man Hercules, from back when there were so many competing graphics cards chipsets. Matrox PowerVR, 3dfx, S3, along with the current Nvidia and ATI. I miss those days. I remember the excitement of working summer jobs for TNT/Voodoo cards.
Oh yes Voodoo... I was working at Best Buy just as that company was on the way out. I could not bring myself to spend the $80 or $100 for one of them (can't recall which exact card it was) as a collectors item, I should have.

Working retail was one of the best life lessons I ever had. Taught me to do whatever it took to never ever have to work that kind of job ever again.
 

confucius_zero

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#18
Audio note! wow!
 

bennetng

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#19
Note a standard PCIe slot can handle 25 W; high-power slots 75 W but those are usually few and reserved for graphics cards.

Not sure why you need 8 Gb/s (or 16 Gb/s if it is Gen4) for a sound card but whatever...

Edit: Just saw it's Gen2 so only 5 Gb/s...
Advantage of native PCI(E) for audio is low latency, not high bandwidth.
http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency3.htm

If you choose "Ultra low latency" in this interface finder, all USB interfaces will be excluded.
http://compare.focusrite.com/

Some gamers are obsessed with low latency and believe PS/2 mouse and keyboard are better for example.
 

DonH56

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#20
Advantage of native PCI(E) for audio is low latency, not high bandwidth.
http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency3.htm

If you choose "Ultra low latency" in this interface finder, all USB interfaces will be excluded.
http://compare.focusrite.com/

Some gamers are obsessed with low latency and believe PS/2 mouse and keyboard are better for example.
That makes sense, thanks, had not considered that. My boys play games (natch) and my youngest just bought a new gaming laptop. They constantly tease me because I have a stack of games I have bought and never loaded on my PC. Just never seem to have the time...
 
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