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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.20.06]
Manufactured by: Foxconn


Audio Quality

As I mention in all my motherboard reviews, onboard audio used on most motherboards is crap. I can't put it any other way, sorry. In this review, I will include the results from the current top gaming soundcard, Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty. Although this is a $300 soundcard, you will get identical results from the "Extreme Music" version which is just around $100. Performance is about the same, too. After looking at these results, you can decide if $100 is a worthwhile upgrade from onboard audio.

We used the X-Fi as the input card in the RMAA tests, looping back when that particular card was tested. RMAA uses a word-based scale to describe performance. We translated these words to a scale of 1-6; 1 being "Very Poor" and 6 being "Excellent".

The Foxconn and Asus are about equal in audio performance, which is to say, they both suck equally. If you care at all about audio quality, do yourself a favour and drop the $100 or so on a decent soundcard. For more info, check out our full review on the Creative X-Fi.

Audio Performance

Using RightMark Audio 3D's CPU test, we're able to discover how much CPU resources are used by each audio solution. The higher the CPU usage, the bigger performance hit you'll see in games. The onboard solutions used on these motherboards only support up to 32 buffers, so that's as high as we can test them:

The codec used by the Asus M2N-E is slightly superior to the C51. I don't think the onboard audio is hardware accelerated on the M2N-E, but it does very well in all our 3D hardware tests.

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