Just took some bios screens:
And as usual, Google is your friend, the answer was just in front of me. Of course so does Foobar2000 support UPNP-streaming through a plug-in called upnp-browser:
And contrary to VLC and some other supposed upnp-clients it worked right away streaming FLAC from my home network Linux-server, without any messing around!
Highly recommended! Especially since Foobar2000 already is the preferred musicplayer for most enthusiasts, ie it has a competent ASIO-plugin for playing back music on the bare soundcard metal without Windows or drivers interferring. So, now I can access all my FLAC-files streaming from the Linux-server in Foobar2000 on any Windows-box in the home, preferrably using headphones on my main Sandy Bridge-rig with Xonar DG and the uni-driver
(Also, when using XBMC I had to use WASAPI which works good enough, but I haven’t found a good ASIO-plugin for XBMC as of yet and ASIO is the most bare metal possible even if WASAPI can do and Foobar2000 already has a fine ASIO-plugin. )
In fact, ie ASIO didn’t work at all with Asus own driver but works just fine with the free enthusiast made “Unified-driver”. There are several enhancements made in the free driver, mostly by incorporating bits of better versions of the original C-Media Oxygen HD-driver but it works. More details on the above linked page, but I can already say that I recommend it! And it works for all versions of Xonar soundcards.
The extremely cheap Xonar DG , as you can deduce from me mentioning recommended drivers, now works pretty well inside the box. In fact, it sounds better than I expected, very clean sound when all so called “sound enhancements” are shut off(I prefer just a clean untampered with stereo-sound). Very silent background, no hum or hiss or anything, and no crackle or pop or static. Just clean powerful sound!
And as mentioned, with the free driver ASIO works.
But the biggest enhancement over onboard-audio with this card, the Xonar DG, is exactly what I expected to be the biggest enhancement in my previous post. It’s the onboard headphone-amplifier, it not only delivers, it works just marvellous! Xonar DG has no problem at all driving my full size Philips SHP-8900 cans to deafening sound levels with no distorsion. Onboard audio works pretty well with walkman-style headphones but using full size HiFi-cans it’s severely left behind or downright slashed to pieces by the Xonar DG! The sound from the frontpanel headphone jack is now exactly as powerful and clean as from my 20 year old 11Kg dedicated HiFi-amplifier! Amazing, and I’m very, very pleased
Just adjust the “HP Advance”-setting using the hammer-icon next to the headphones drop-list in the control panel to “Exciter Mode” and Xonar DG can drive just about any headphones from the frontpanel-jack:
Well for most people a Realtek ALC892 HD-audio CODEC integrated on the mainboard, as commonly used nowadays, is certainly good enough, But people like me, and this guy:
Have itching needs for something slightly better. Enter Xonar DG:
Which is what I’m about to start using in my SB-rig in a couple of days, verdicts will follow shortly after.
There´s lots of review online about this card, so there’s no lack of information out there. Generally it’s considered stunning for the measly 30$ it costs! Though feature cut because of the low price point It’s obivous strong area, apart from good SQ, is that it handles switching to front panel audio according to the Intel HD-standard and does so while incorporating a more than average powerful integrated headphone amplifier capable of driving even Sennheiser HD600:s and alike to full volume levels. That’s exactly how I like it, I wan’t to just pop a pair of headphones – any headphones – into the front panel of my PC-case and instantly get a high level of sound quality, without doing anything else incorporating external hardware. I like my PC-box self contained as far as competent hardware goes.
The card is indeed cheap, so while surprisingly performing very close to high end-cards it’s not the last word in high end audio. That doesn’t worry me though as I already have that base covered up by my Linux-box which uses the better specced Xonar DX(featuring the CS4398 flagship DAC from Cirrus vs the lower specced CS4361 in Xonar DG) connected to external HiFi-gear of high quality. If I want HiFi-Nirvana I just use the Linux-box, which is exactly what I use the most for music listening. The Xonar DX connected to external HiFi-equipment sounds good enough that I won’t be missing a top-of-the-line Xonar STX-soundcard.
But, as previously stated: when seated in front of the Windows-box, playing games or doing anything else I want the convenience to casually plug in a pair of cans and be greeted by a simlilar quality of sound. Not that the integrated ALC892 is bad, it provides a quite OK sound, but it is far enough from high-end audio for Xonar DG to be a much better solution with the iceing of the cake being the powerful integrated headphone amp! Use whatever cans you like, no problems. More pictures:
It passed, as well as OCCT did, but I think OCCT is a hell of a lot harder to run through a full run. Screen of IBT:
edit. I throw im Wprime now at this stable setting, it was faster before when I was just hitting high frequencies. But it is interesting to know the performance achieved at a fully stable setup:
edit. Cinebench 11.5 at this stable setting:
While I was able to run SuperPi under 7.5s @ 5GHz,
so wasn’t it very easy to get it stable without insane amounts of Vcore ie generating excessive heat.
So, I started benchmarking stability using OCCT, after some tests I arrived at 4.7GHz as a good compromise using ~1.36V Vcore. OCCT ran errorless for 1 hour with hyperthreading enabled, and the maxtemp for the whole run was around 75C which is not excessive. Also, I’ve enabled all energy saving features of the cpu so that it runs @ only 1596MHz during idle.
OCCT shows a slightly off cpu-freq, cpu-z showed 4689MHz during the run, and I trust cpu-z a lot more as it is a much newer program. Anyway, here is the diagram for the run: