ASUS Xonar Essence STX soundcard review -
Box and bundle
The Box - The Bundle - The Dude
The Xonar family of sound cards has always had sleek packaging that catches your eye and intrigues your mind getting you wondering; Whoa, what is that?
The dark packaging is loaded with impressive numbers and buzzwords to keep your eyes moving to the next piece of info. The flip top lid, gives you just enough of a peak to seal the deal and have you reaching for your wallet and running home gleefully to grab your tools and install this bad boy. Lets have a look and see what the guys give us for our hard earned audio dollars.
Whats in the Box
- ASUS Xonar Essence STX 2 Channel PCI-E X1 Audio Card
- RCA to 3.5 mm Y Cable
- 6.3mm to 3.5mm Adapter
- S/PDIF TOSLINK Optical Adapter
- Driver CD
- Quick Start Guide
- Audio Precision Test Report
- Two Posters
Very good, everything you need to get going with no extra fluff or unneeded extras. Great bundle that is straight to the point and the quick start guide should get you going in a snap if you are inexperience with installing soundcards or sounds cards in general.
One PCI Express 1.0 (or higher) compatible slot for the Essence STX
Microsoft® Windows® Vista(32/64bit)/XP(32/64bit)/MCE2005
Intel® Pentium®4 1.4GHz or AMD Athlon 1400 CPU or faster CPU
>256 MB DRAM system memory
>60 MB available HDD space for driver installation package
CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive) for software installation
High-quality headphones, powered analog speakers, or a Dolby Digital decoder
A closer look at the Essence STX
This is one nice looking soundcard sporting the EMI/RFI shielding with actual Gold plated logo and nice high quality audio capacitors seldom seen at this price point. The card is definitely a looker like a sexy
hoo... [Ed: no no let's not go there:) ] so lets see what we are dealing with today.
The logo is the chime of the Tiger according to the press releases looks cool enough and the always present Dolby Logo.
We spot 3 Os-Con audio capacitors and some nice fine gold Nichons. Further information on the Os-Con and Nichons and other electronic concerns will be discussed later on in the review. So far this is an impressive card from build quality standpoint. We are dying to remove the EMI shielding and see what this card offers besides its good looks, lets see what audio horsepower this card has to offer.
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