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Our testing methods
We've rounded up a number of competitors to test the Xonar DX against today, including its D2X brethren. An X-Fi XtremeMusic is included to represent the Creative cartel, and we've thrown in Realtek's flagship ALC889A codec chip for a little integrated motherboard lovin'.

Although the Xonar DX and D2X use similar drivers with identical control panels, the driver version number for each is a little different. Asus keeps the driver packages separate, which I suppose makes sense considering that features like DTS Interactive encoding are restricted to the D2X.

All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged.

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67GHz
System bus 1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped)
Motherboard Gigabyte X48T-DQ6
Bios revision F4D
North bridge Intel X48 Express
South bridge Intel ICH9R
Chipset drivers Chipset
Memory size

2GB (2 DIMMs)

Memory type Corsair CM3X1024-1600C7DHX DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
CAS latency (CL) 7
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 7
RAS precharge (tRP) 7
Cycle time (tRAS) 21
Audio codec Integrated ICH9R/ALC889A with 1.89 drivers
Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic with 2.15.0006 drivers
Asus Xonar D2X with drivers
Asus Xonar DX with drivers
Graphics GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB PCI-E with ForceWare 169.21 drivers
Hard drive Western Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB
OS Windows Vista Ultimate x86
OS updates Service Pack 1

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing.

All of our test systems were powered by OCZ GameXStream 700W power supply units. Thanks to OCZ for providing these units for our use in testing.

Finally, we'd like to thank Western Digital for sending Raptor WD1500ADFD hard drives for our test rigs. The Raptor's still the fastest all-around drive on the market, and the only 10K-RPM Serial ATA drive you can buy.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.