Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been extremely busy recently and as you’ll soon realise, I wanted to fully investigate something before I wrote the next part which will cover DACs.
The main part of my DAC coverage was going to focus on internal sound cards (being the weapon of choice for most gamers), however I have been having some problems with my PC recently, with it randomly blue screening or crashing rather spectacularly in games (and only games). So I went about my normal testing of various components; I prime95′d my CPU + Memory for 24 hours, FurMark’d the GPU for 10 hours, ran hard drive stresss tests, all sorts and… nothing. Not a single thing failed, overheated or crashed. S**t.
So I started thinking about hardware changes that I’ve made recently and one in particular stood out; I installed a new sound card two weeks ago. So to test my theory I removed the sound card and revert back to my old one. Then I tried various games, running them for over 8 hours, each without a single crash. So I decided to do some more digging, I put the old one back in and tried again; a clean install if you like. Crash. Yep, within 2 hours of playing a game (the RIFT beta as it happens) the PC crashed. So I cleaned out the drivers and tried a “custom” set. Crash. By this point I’d pretty much had enough so I re-installed the old sound card and gave up.
After my testing everything leads me to believe that it was in fact the sound card that was causing the PC to blue screen / crash and as such I feel that I can no longer recommend this sound card or others in the same range.
What is the card you ask? An ASUS Xonar DG. The sound quality may be great and Dolby Headphone awesome, but if it causes BSODs it’s going back!
Which one worked, flawlessly each and everytime? A Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic.