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

bennetng

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#41
First decent review so far: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/EVGA/NU_Audio_Sound_Card

Loopback test:

View attachment 23124
View attachment 23125

Compare to AE-5 loopback test those are obviously better. The thing is that Nu Audio has excellent ADC while AE-5 uses the ADC integrated to SoundCore3D chip and it's a clear bottleneck.
Considering product price, age and functionalities, the EVGA's result is actually pretty poor when compared with similar products with similar measurement methodology(soundcard and RMAA).

Asus Xonar STX:
http://www.hdfever.fr/2012/02/24/test-asus-xonar-essence-stx/

EMU 1212m:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/rmaa-measurements-for-e-mu-1212m-pci.246066/

Lynx L22:
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/04/retro-measure-2002-lynx-l22-pci-audio.html

X-Fi Titanium HD:
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,100481.0.html

However, the card is still pretty new, let's wait a while to see more reviews, and maybe driver update and so on.
 

Jimmy

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#42
The results are reasonably good, something which is inside a PC is very prone to picking noise and it's very variable given different motherboards, power supplies, … .

However, this really being a USB soundcard disguised as PCI-E, I would prefer it to be external (as the Burson Play, for example, which can be used in a 5.25 inch bay or externally), and it's a pity, because for the price it includes AKM AK5572 ADC converter/s, obviously the result will depend on the implementation, but these are used in much higher priced gear, like the ADI 2 PRO/PRO FS.

I believe that if they can keep the price <=350$ and produce an internal&external USB unit with the same functionality and a better headphone amp and input sections (making it external may be enough regarding noise) it will sell well.
 

bennetng

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#43
something which is inside a PC is very prone to picking noise and it's very variable given different motherboards, power supplies, … .
This way of thinking is actually killing internal soundcards.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...f-asus-stx-ii-pci-sound-card.4915/post-117952

Did you see the last two links I posted? They include torture tests, with GPU and CPU full loaded during tests, yet still produced > 110dB DNR.
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/04/retro-measure-2002-lynx-l22-pci-audio.html
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,100481.0.html

If you look into Techpowerup's review, there are actually some very strange results which have nothing to do with interference at all, for example this uneven frequency response:
 

Jimmy

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#44
I didn't say that the results were bad, not at all, but I'm sure you'll agree with me that it doesn't make sense to use an XMOS USB controller and then a PCI-E to USB bridge, since it's really a USB soundcard.

And plugging things at the back of the PC (of course depending where it's placed) can be a real pain, so I very much prefer an external unit, it can be moved and it's much more practical for connecting stuff to it, the Burson Play is a clever idea, it can be used as an external unit (could be used with a NUC style computer or a laptop), or placed in a drive bay in a full sized PC (for example for headphone use it's much more logical). A breakout box could be a solution, too, like Asus or Creative offer.

And I say the above because I like their product, technically, but I just find it unpractical for my needs, so if they can expand their offering it would be great and I think it would have a wider user base.

This way of thinking is actually killing internal soundcards.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...f-asus-stx-ii-pci-sound-card.4915/post-117952

Did you see the last two links I posted? They include torture tests, with GPU and CPU full loaded during tests, yet still produced > 110dB DNR.
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/04/retro-measure-2002-lynx-l22-pci-audio.html
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,100481.0.html

If you look into Techpowerup's review, there are actually some very strange results which have nothing to do with interference at all, for example this uneven frequency response:
 

Roen

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#45
No sense to locate a USB based soundcard inside a computer.
 

bennetng

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#46
I didn't say that the results were bad, not at all, but I'm sure you'll agree with me that it doesn't make sense to use an XMOS USB controller and then a PCI-E to USB bridge, since it's really a USB soundcard.

And plugging things at the back of the PC (of course depending where it's placed) can be a real pain, so I very much prefer an external unit, it can be moved and it's much more practical for connecting stuff to it, the Burson Play is a clever idea, it can be used as an external unit (could be used with a NUC style computer or a laptop), or placed in a drive bay in a full sized PC (for example for headphone use it's much more logical). A breakout box could be a solution, too, like Asus or Creative offer.

And I say the above because I like their product, technically, but I just find it unpractical for my needs, so if they can expand their offering it would be great and I think it would have a wider user base.
I was focusing on your claim about internal soundcard and interference. My previous reply has nothing to do with this specific EVGA soudcard is USB XMOS or not. About convenience, you don't need to read a soundcard review to know about it since internal soundcards are supposed to be used in this way.
 

Jimmy

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#47
I was just telling what I think about the product, can I with your permission?, and I know what an internal soundcard is, I've used them since more than 25 years ago, my first card was an ISA Soundblaster, and I know very well that it is far more difficult to produce clean audio inside a PC case full of interference, that's a fact, this card seems to deal pretty well with it unless for its mic input (it may or may not be the reason), but who can guarantee that the performance would be the same in another PC with a different mainboard, power supply and addon cards?.

And anyway, again, this card is really a USB card with a PCI-E to USB bridge, that's what's been posted by me and by other people, it's a fact, so it could have been made external.

I was focusing on your claim about internal soundcard and interference. My previous reply has nothing to do with this specific EVGA soudcard is USB XMOS or not. About convenience, you don't need to read a soundcard review to know about it since internal soundcards are supposed to be used in this way.
 

bennetng

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#48
I was just telling what I think about the product, can I with your permission?, and I know what an internal soundcard is, I've used them since more than 25 years ago, my first card was an ISA Soundblaster, and I know very well that it is far more difficult to produce clean audio inside a PC case full of interference, that's a fact, this card seems to deal pretty well with it unless for its mic input (it may or may not be the reason), but who can guarantee that the performance would be the same in another PC with a different mainboard, power supply and addon cards?.

And anyway, again, this card is really a USB card with a PCI-E to USB bridge, that's what's been posted by me and by other people, it's a fact, so it could have been made external.
You are still missing my point. I am not defending this EVGA soundcard and I don't even interested in this card.

What is the point of talking about a 25 years old soundblaster to justify your claim about interference? Now it is year 2019. Asus and Creative were making soundcards with >115dB DNR 10 years ago, and EVGA is now making a soundcard with 107dB DNR and 96-98 SINAD for $250? Interference is not an excuse for these performances since internal soundcards are supposed to be used internally.
 
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#49
We don't know how well the line-out actually performs so it's not quite clear how well it performs. Line out did a bit better than headphone out so it might not be a bottleneck. Judging by the results though... AE-9 might do a lot better. It doesn't look like Nu Audio would be an upgrade to AE-5 owners either.
 
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#50
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Arnandsway

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#51
Reference-audio-analyzer.pro has EVGA Nu Audio reports out: https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/title-report.php?id=1950
AE-5 for comparison: https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/title-report.php?id=1192

Line out measurements:
View attachment 29412 View attachment 29413

By the way, if I'm reading the graphs right AE-5 doesn't have ESS hump (but then again it's using ES9016). I wonder what's the case with AE-9 and AE-7...
They seem very promising. Would performance be the same when all channels are used simultanously?
 

maxxevv

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#52
Reference-audio-analyzer.pro has EVGA Nu Audio reports out: https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/title-report.php?id=1950
AE-5 for comparison: https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/title-report.php?id=1192

Line out measurements:
View attachment 29412 View attachment 29413

By the way, if I'm reading the graphs right AE-5 doesn't have ESS hump (but then again it's using ES9016). I wonder what's the case with AE-9 and AE-7...
From online preview/review picts, the AE-9 uses a ES9038Q2M , even though that one site lists it as ES9038PRO.

As shown by Topping and Matrix, if done right, the 'hump' ceases to exist. So that remains to be seen.
 

pozz

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#53
EVGA power supplies are excellent, so there's good reason to believe the soundcard will be worthwhile.
 

Timbo2

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#54

pozz

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#55
EVGA doesn't OEM their power supplies. Some do well others less so. It seems like their recent FSP manufactured units are decent, but you can find better for the same money.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/evga-supernova-650-gm-sfx,5935.html
https://www.jonnyguru.com/blog/2018/11/26/evga-450bt-450w-power-supply/6/
Never knew about FSP. The measurements I saw regarding stability, efficiency and ripple when I bought my 650 two or so years ago indicated a very well-designed unit.

Which manufacturers would you recommend?
 

Timbo2

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#56
Never knew about FSP. The measurements I saw regarding stability, efficiency and ripple when I bought my 650 two or so years ago indicated a very well-designed unit.

Which manufacturers would you recommend?
Seasonic OEMs for other brands, but you can buy them under their own label. Even their worst units generally score well and their top units do exceedingly well.

With the other brands it is unit specific depending on who the OEM is. This article is old, but it's a start.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913.html

So it's very unit specific. So I either Google the specific unit I'm after for reviews or just grab a Seasonic.
 

pozz

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#57
Seasonic OEMs for other brands, but you can buy them under their own label. Even their worst units generally score well and their top units do exceedingly well.

With the other brands it is unit specific depending on who the OEM is. This article is old, but it's a start.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913.html

So it's very unit specific. So I either Google the specific unit I'm after for reviews or just grab a Seasonic.
Thanks very much.
 
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#58
From online preview/review picts, the AE-9 uses a ES9038Q2M , even though that one site lists it as ES9038PRO.

As shown by Topping and Matrix, if done right, the 'hump' ceases to exist. So that remains to be seen.
All AE-x cards use Q2M variants. AE-7 likely uses SoundCore3D chips for other channels like AE-5. AE-9 uses ESS Sabre 9006 for other channels.
 

sonci

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#59
Now it is year 2019. Asus and Creative were making soundcards with >115dB DNR 10 years ago, and EVGA is now making a soundcard with 107dB DNR and 96-98 SINAD for $250?.
I'm not so sure those cards were that good 10 years ago.. Sometimes they published dac chips specs and not soundcard specs..
I don't know Asus but Creative cards were pretty poor regarding sound quality, EMU were a bit better but not a patch on external dacs like the Benchmark 1.
 

bennetng

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#60
I'm not so sure those cards were that good 10 years ago.. Sometimes they published dac chips specs and not soundcard specs..
I don't know Asus but Creative cards were pretty poor regarding sound quality, EMU were a bit better but not a patch on external dacs like the Benchmark 1.
I have X-Fi Titanium HD and measured it. If you are "not so sure", see for yourself and stop making speculations.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-asus-with-a-pcie-sound-card.6104/post-156777
 
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