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EVGA NU Audio Card Announced

EVGA announces the EVGA NU audio card, reminding us of the days when every gaming PC had a dedicated add-in card for audio (preferably both Ad Lib and SoundBlaster compatible). The EVGA NU is the outcome of a collaboration of Audio Note, a U.K. company with 30 years of experience in the high-end audio business. Those interested will not have to wait, as they say to expect these to be available one week from today on January 16th. Nowadays many are content to use the integrated audio on their computer's motherboard, so this video and the announcement tries to make the case for going beyond this:

With the EVGA NU Audio Card you can experience:

  • True Audio - Hear audio as it is
  • Lifelike Gaming - Improved and precise enemy detection, and increased immersion.
  • Studio and Audiophile Grade - Hear all the subtle sounds, emotional dialog, and powerful explosions to keep you on the edge of your seat.
  • Ambient RGB Lighting - Set the RGB lighting to match your mood, or use Audio Reactive Lighting options to let your audio control the effect.

A Completely Different Gaming and Multimedia Experience

High-quality audio is built on a simple premise: everything must be solid from start to finish. One weak link in the chain can turn a symphony into a cacophony. The NU Audio Card is designed to maximize the performance in every major component section:

  • Analog - Detail. Clarity. Reality.
    • The analog section is responsible for returning audio without distortion and fine-tuning the sound to ensure it remains as faithful to the source as possible.
  • Digital - From Source to Playback
    • The digital side of the EVGA NU Audio Card is responsible for processing your source audio at the preferred format or converting the audio to and from analog, without affecting the internal makeup of the source audio.
  • Power - Good Clean Power
    • Powered by Specialized Audio Note (UK), Ltd. audio-grade capacitors and audio-grade resistors, your audio remains noise- and distortion-free as it passes through to your choice of speakers or headphones.

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32. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 13, 2019, 16:52 Ant
 
I should reinstall my Creative Audigy 2ZS since onboard RealTek sucks so badly. Even an onboard audio is better than it.  
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31. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 10, 2019, 16:39 Slick
 
1badmf wrote on Jan 10, 2019, 02:27:
Slick wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 23:08:
Qbex . wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 19:20:
Love this thread , also big pc audio nerd going back to the dark ages. For me it was as important as 3d graphics and I invested in components 50/50 split audio vs gfx. I had all the good ones, early SBs, Gravis Ultrasound, than godly A3D Vortex and Auzen X-fi's. Until fucking MS decided to nuke direct sound acceleration. Now the only way forward is out of the Pc case so to speak, usb dac/amp combo for headphones and digital out to a/v amp for speakers. Internal sound cards can't hold the candle to external gear.
Btw anyone here heard new Super X-fi gizmo ? They promise holy grail of headphone 3d sound again but I'm sceptical.

As someone who both owns and has tried several external SOUNDCARDS and internal ones, this fallacy that PCI-e is garbage doesn't hold water. All that matters is the amp, and the dac, that's it. PCI-e or USB doesn't make any difference if the pci-e one is properly shielded.

I know this goes against the popular grain that "you HAVE to have an external soundcard" nowadays, but it's bunk. I'm not an expert on many things, but audio is kinda my niche. What matters is the components. A Pci-e card can have better components than a USB external one, and vice versa.

ok tough guy, i'm sold. what's the best sound card to get for under $200?

Lol tough guy. The internet is great. If you saw me in real life you'd be concerned a child had lost his parents.

Anyways, if you wanna see what I use, go to my twitch page and scroll down a bit, lists all my gear.

Full disclosure, I'd get a small kickback for anything bought from those links on Amazon. My recommendation would be the Sound Blaster AE-5. Do some reading on it, it has a dual-amp thing, and a really good DAC. But they also removed dolby digital and DTS decoding, and removed hardware 7.1 support (only has 5.1 support now) So for hooking up to "real speakers" it's not as good as previous models, but all that sacrifice was to give it a reallllly good headphone port, which is imo all that matters for a gaming PC.

I paired them with the Beyerdynamic DT990 edition 600ohm, and the sound is glorious. You can also see the link for those headphones on the thing. I just set it up last night, so kinda stoked to share.
 
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30. Creative will go bonkers Jan 10, 2019, 08:37 WitcherOntheProwl
 
Don't let Creative hear about this. Since Creative hates innovation and competition I'm sure they totally won't try to buy them out or shut them down either.  
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29. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 10, 2019, 05:45 Bob
 
I had my nvidia card (970) connected to my home theater amp/system (7.1) using the pass-through hdmi.

It sounded great until I tried playing Rocksmith. There was a hugely noticeable delay from plucking the guitar string and hearing it on the speakers.
So it was back to using the onboard realtek.

 
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28. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 10, 2019, 02:27 1badmf
 
Slick wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 23:08:
Qbex . wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 19:20:
Love this thread , also big pc audio nerd going back to the dark ages. For me it was as important as 3d graphics and I invested in components 50/50 split audio vs gfx. I had all the good ones, early SBs, Gravis Ultrasound, than godly A3D Vortex and Auzen X-fi's. Until fucking MS decided to nuke direct sound acceleration. Now the only way forward is out of the Pc case so to speak, usb dac/amp combo for headphones and digital out to a/v amp for speakers. Internal sound cards can't hold the candle to external gear.
Btw anyone here heard new Super X-fi gizmo ? They promise holy grail of headphone 3d sound again but I'm sceptical.

As someone who both owns and has tried several external SOUNDCARDS and internal ones, this fallacy that PCI-e is garbage doesn't hold water. All that matters is the amp, and the dac, that's it. PCI-e or USB doesn't make any difference if the pci-e one is properly shielded.

I know this goes against the popular grain that "you HAVE to have an external soundcard" nowadays, but it's bunk. I'm not an expert on many things, but audio is kinda my niche. What matters is the components. A Pci-e card can have better components than a USB external one, and vice versa.

ok tough guy, i'm sold. what's the best sound card to get for under $200?
 
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27. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 23:08 Slick
 
Qbex . wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 19:20:
Love this thread , also big pc audio nerd going back to the dark ages. For me it was as important as 3d graphics and I invested in components 50/50 split audio vs gfx. I had all the good ones, early SBs, Gravis Ultrasound, than godly A3D Vortex and Auzen X-fi's. Until fucking MS decided to nuke direct sound acceleration. Now the only way forward is out of the Pc case so to speak, usb dac/amp combo for headphones and digital out to a/v amp for speakers. Internal sound cards can't hold the candle to external gear.
Btw anyone here heard new Super X-fi gizmo ? They promise holy grail of headphone 3d sound again but I'm sceptical.

As someone who both owns and has tried several external SOUNDCARDS and internal ones, this fallacy that PCI-e is garbage doesn't hold water. All that matters is the amp, and the dac, that's it. PCI-e or USB doesn't make any difference if the pci-e one is properly shielded.

I know this goes against the popular grain that "you HAVE to have an external soundcard" nowadays, but it's bunk. I'm not an expert on many things, but audio is kinda my niche. What matters is the components. A Pci-e card can have better components than a USB external one, and vice versa.
 
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26. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 21:08 Mordecai Walfish
 
This press release reads like an audiophile snake oil salesmen trying to get in to the consumer internal audiocard game.

3 yrs ago I bought a mobo with the best onboard audio I could find. It's an msi board with isolated audio ic/components, and my DAC from 6+ years ago still blows it out of the water.

DAC is a Audinst HUD-mx1, so nothing super expensive or fancy.. but it runs both my speakers and headphones at the flip of a switch and sound great on my hifi and my mid-range headphones (send hd598 & ultrasone pro 750's)

Nowadays I only run my microphone through that fancy msi onboard stuff, but I do get compliments on how well the modmic sounds through them, so that's something.

Speaking of which, owners of previous modmic versions, the 5.0 is out now and if you've had a problem or breakage with your previous modmic, they will give you a steeply discounted 5.0, which fixes almost all issues I've had with previous ones.
 
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25. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 19:20 Qbex .
 
Love this thread , also big pc audio nerd going back to the dark ages. For me it was as important as 3d graphics and I invested in components 50/50 split audio vs gfx. I had all the good ones, early SBs, Gravis Ultrasound, than godly A3D Vortex and Auzen X-fi's. Until fucking MS decided to nuke direct sound acceleration. Now the only way forward is out of the Pc case so to speak, usb dac/amp combo for headphones and digital out to a/v amp for speakers. Internal sound cards can't hold the candle to external gear.
Btw anyone here heard new Super X-fi gizmo ? They promise holy grail of headphone 3d sound again but I'm sceptical.
 
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24. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 18:16 Jivaro
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 15:07:
Jivaro wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 14:39:
I use a live band consisting of hamsters on various wheels that play catchy theme music when there should be sound effects. You really ought to hear their rendition of Jabba's palace music.

Real PC Master Storm Troopers use guinea pigs.

I can't afford that upgrade.
 
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23. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 17:02 RedEye9
 
A great audio thread with several DAC AMP recommendations if your "in case" solutions are noisey.
https://hardforum.com/threads/h-ardocp-spec-bookshelf-speaker-setup.1927301/
 
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22. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 17:01 Agent.X7
 
What, Slick? You want something more technical that "TRUE AUDIO!" Laugh2

Yeah, I hate when the market buzz speak you to death but provide no actual information.
 
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21. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 16:29 Slick
 
Also that press release is garbage. There's no mention of specs whatsoever, just jargon nonsense.

Tell me the total dB of dynamic range it has, the total harmonic distortion, the DAC chipset being used? The electrical diagram on how the headphone port is amplified? How the DSP effects? Maybe the max pass-thru bitrate and resolution would be nice to know.

Zzzzz.

Many companies have tried to dethrone sound blaster, they've all died by the wayside one by one. This one will be no different if their only "innovation" is RGB lighting.

Oh and one more rant about "DAC amps vs. Pci-e": yes, being in a case can be bad. But these models with the metal shielding work JUST FINE. I have a lot going in my slots on my gaming rig, zero interference heard, zero pci-e coil whine from GPU, it sounds perfect.

Cause trust me, or talk to any audio professional, external solutions aren't always smart. USB has its own whole host of problems. I have a 2x PC streaming setup, I use 2x onboards, 2x pci-e, and 2x external audio interfaces. The USBs are always the ones to give me grief.

shit, I know audio engineers and designers who literally still use an OG PCI interface soundcard cause they're so fed up with USB.
 
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20. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 16:27 Suppa7
 
OMG PC nerd talk, it's been a while gents...

I got a Soundblaster Z that's held up well. The reality is most onboard audio is good enough 99% of the time these days and only true audio enthusiasts need an add in card.
 
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19. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 16:27 Rigs
 
There used to be a time when you'd have to pry my Pro Audio Spectrum 16 from my cold, dead hands. It came in my 486DX2/66 and was the card that introduced me to the MOD music scene (and WinAMP, back in the mid-90's). It was also the card I learned to hook to a home stereo amp and my HUGE speakers that were in my room at the time (my father's Technic hand-me-downs, almost as frakin' tall as I was! I blew the fuse in the amp twice, the second time I accidentally very, very gently brushed a connected copper speaker wire against the a/c plug that was slightly pulled out of the outlet as I was fishing it out of the back of the entertainment center it was in....BOOOOM! Also blew every fuse in the house's circuit breaker. Man did I get an ass whoopin' for that one! I probably legit earned that for not paying attention )

When I got my Pentium4/Radeon 9800PRO DELL in 2003, I grabbed a Sound Blaster X-fi card to put in it. This was pretty much right at the end of dedicated sound cards. It worked very well until Windows7, when the drivers were absolute shit on a stick. I've still got it packed up, alongside my Voodoo2 and my Diamond Stealth S220 Rendition card. I also used to have a fancy Logitech USB-based headset but they never supported it in...you guessed it, Windows7. Now I just use the on-board stuff and a good set of headphones. I prefer cover-the-ear types, can't >stand< ear buds. *shudder* Haven't found a pair yet that can match a full covered set of headphones anyway. I would like to get a nice wireless pair with NC but I'm sorry, I'm not spending $200 fucking bucks on a pair of headphones. My conscious just won't let me.

=-Rigs-=
 
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18. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 16:18 Slick
 
Literally just bought a Sound Blaster gaming x AE-5 a week ago to replace my aging SB recon 3D pro.

It sounds incredible! Made my Senny 598's sing. But nothing compared to how it drives the 600ohm Beyerdynamic DT990, its unreal how much of a difference a real "DAC amp" makes.

I have onboard which claims to drive 600ohm cans, even has this molex power dongle to plug into the mobo. It does nothing. Its all garbage. All onboard is garbage. its better than it was 10-15 years ago, but its still not great. If you have decent headphones running from onboard, that's dumb. Even these shitty "gaming" branded headsets sound 10x better when properly driven.

The new sound blaster I got is all about the headphone amp, the DAC Sabre chipset is one level down from the one used in $1500 USD audio interfaces.

Oh, also, can we stop using the term DAC amp to mean external soundcard? Its just a fucking sound card. What do you trendy twats think a soundcard is? A digital to analog converter? Lol! Just say "amp" if you must, the "DAC" part is redundant and makes you sound like an asshole. But now I have to use that term or nobody knows wtf I'm talking about

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 2019, 16:36.
 
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17. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 16:09 Zanderat1
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 9, 2019, 15:43:
I always thought the onboard sound on most mobos these days is plenty good.
Disagree. For me, good sound is as important as good graphics. Onboard solutions just aren't there, yet.
 
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16. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 16:00 chickenboo
 
I have cheap Logitech speakers, and some Sennheiser 598s for when the wife is watching tv and I want to game in peace. I'm definitely not the target audience for this sort of thing. Maybe if I had enthusiast-level speakers, but that's wildly impractical in an apartment building.  
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15. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 15:43 Cutter
 
I always thought the onboard sound on most mobos these days is plenty good.
 
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14. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 15:41 DG
 
I had one of the Audigy cards too, such a good upgrade and lasted for so many builds.

I thought the use of discrete cards kind of fizzled out around Win...7?

Current build has a lot of background noise from the front ports though, and I can't see any obvious wiring issues.

NO price on this but fair guess it'll be expensive. Any ideas for say 50 / $65 these days? Only have 50 earphones and debating ~100 cans so not much point going higher.
 
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13. Re: EVGA NU Audio Card Announced Jan 9, 2019, 15:12 Agent.X7
 
I have really expensive Logitech surround speakers. Onboard does not cut it. HOWEVER, My Soundblaster is from like 5 or 6 years ago and nothing anybody has put out since then has convinced me to invest in a new sound card. Especially since the newest ones seem more concerned with headphones, which I hate.

My fiance laughs all the time because we both turn to look for things in our family room that are actually surround sounds from the game. (Cats, especially in some games, sound just like our cats.)
 
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