Best high end sound card RCA style

Asus Xonar Essence STX 

is what i have been looking at. I am rather picky on my sound and plan on upgrading to a high end sound system sometime in the near future. 

Thanks Much appreciated 

What will it be used for? Gaming, producing...?

just audio all around but will be hooking it up to a stereo

so will it need full surround sound audio outputs? or do you just want it for precisely rendering audio?

Because you could probably just use something like ASIO and get the same results.


im with scorch on that one an external soundcard for production is a good way to go, also if you wan't HARDWARE surround 7.1 not software asus do an extesion 7.1 card for the essence

should I just stick with what I have installed onto my Maximus V formula then??

well if your talikng on-board sound vs dedicated sound card even on the maximus v formula.... a dedicated xonar essence will be better. anyhows i noticed your using an i5 3450 and a 550ti i would upgrade either of theese first tbh considering your using a H100i, after all it's an overclocking board

hahahaha cool I have the exact same mobo and using the ASIO drivers I can get better results when producing than with my dedicated soundcard. although when gaming i just use the satndard drivers and that still works perfectly. ASIO really pulls ahead when you have huge polyphony of 300 instruments and up ASIO can have a latency of <10ms while my soundcard is at about 500ms though ASIO will depend on your CPU.