ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim Audio Card Review


People have been knocking the ASUS Xonar HD line of cards–the first in the industry to allow you to bitstream your content–since they came out with the Xonar HDAV earlier this year. That being said they are still the only players in the bitstreaming game and have now added to their arsenal with a PCI-based low-profile card strictly for you HDMI fanatics. Still appears that there are some driver glitches and software hiccups, but something both ASUS and Arcsoft are working on. If you have to have bitstreaming at least this gives you a more affordable option than the former full height option.



The HDAV1.3 Slim differs from the earlier cards in some very significant ways. First, it is a PCI card where the other HDAV1.3 cards are PCI Express. Secondly, it is an HDMI only card where the other cards offer analog ports directly or through the use of a daughter card. Another significant difference is the lack of ASUS’ splendid HD feature, which was supposed to enhance video, but was frequently disabled via software by users who preferred to let their receiver or display process the video. By eliminating the analog ports and their associated digital to analog conversion hardware, as well as the PCI Express bridge chip and splendid HD, ASUS was able to also dispose of the external power connector found on earlier HDAV1.3 models. All of these changes should theoretically reduce cost and hopefully allow ASUS to bring Blu-ray bit streaming to our HTPC’s at a much better price point.