So here’s something that really annoys me about tech, out of date hardware! I hate when companies think that they can just churn out nice new facelifts for the same old crap and expect us to keep shelling out top dollar for it.
Take for instance the ASUS Xonar HADV Deluxe 1.3:
In my opinion, the best sound card available on the market today, and has been for about 3 years! Come on guys! Sound cards are a hidden market, and no-one seems to give a shit. The HDAV deluxe is a true behemoth of a discrete audio solution, powered by ASUS’s AV200 HD audio processor it outputs sound via HDMI 1.3 and supports full decoding/encoding of pretty much every single sound format you could ever wish to use!
It even comes with analogue connectors if you don’t like HDMI:
So here’s my issue, this card is 3 years old and nothing has swooped in to kick its ass yet. I mean, it runs on a PCI Express interface, but the AV200 processor is so old, it doesn’t support PCi express. So they have to throw in an extra PLX PEX8112 chip just to get it to work. Bumping up the price that we have to pay.
Not to mention that HDMI 1.3 is now oldddddddddddddddddddddddddddd!!
Where’s my 1.4 sound card?
I Mean, it even comes with a ‘Splendid HD Video Processor’ a built in video enhancer, ON A SOUND CARD? I paid a lot of money for my 560 Ti, and I think it can handle video just fine without having the perfect 1080p signal molested by some shitty little chip glued to the back of a sound card. I mean, I bought a sound card, not a video processor. Why make me pay for something I will never use. I mean it contains a few nice features for up-scaling etc etc, but I just want a sound card.
I suppose you could argue that why bother changing on something pretty close to prefect, I mean, why reinvent the wheel right? But seriously, I think someone should get off their ass and get me a serious card rather than expecting me to pay through the teeth for something ancient.
If you can look past all this however, the Deluxe comes with four Digital to Analogue converters for handling output and another single DAC for inputs. Also, for you true audiophiles out there, you can replace the OPAMPS for sound that suits your ears. So, despite being an aging pensioner, it does still, sound truly, amazing.