Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › (117dB SNR DAC 2+7.1 and 600 ohm AMP) Asrock's new audiophile friendly motherboards
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

(117dB SNR DAC 2+7.1 and 600 ohm AMP) Asrock's new audiophile friendly motherboards

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

Just thought you guys need to checkout this motherboard from Asrock called Z87 killer that offer best sound I've ever heard from a motherboard and accomplish something that no sound card can do: 115 SNR for 7.1 gaming with 600ohm stereo support! Believe me, I looked really hard before for a sound card that can do both to no avail. To my surprise, when I was building a new PC recently for mining I came across this new motherboard Asrock Z87 killer. It does both REALLY REALLY well! No background noise that I can hear at 115 SNR, thanks to its great EMI shielding and PCB isolation caps. It does upmixing with DTS Neo:PC as well. And it does all this for $150!! I don't usually do this, but I thought PC gamingphiles/audiophiles on a budget absolutely need to know about this. Finally something on PC that would satisfy both amazing surround gaming sound and music!!

post #2 of 57

I have a Z87 Extreme6 but it seems like it's got the same config for audio and I can really vouch for its superb audio quality, I've never heard onboard close to sounding this good, I am trying to sell my ZxR as with Q40 it sounds worse than the ASRock's onboard config, could be partly due to impedance mismatch and partly due to the ZxR doesn't have good synergy with this headphone/amp. Unlike you at least my Extreme6 has a bit problems with EMI noise but perhaps it's been addressed in these newer models. It's possible for onboard audio to be pretty noise-free these days, I tested an ASUS Z87 Gene VI that was practically EMI noise-free even with my ZO amp at the max volume out of the headphone jack but I thought the ASRock sounded way better why I sticked with it.

Be sure to use the front-panel though as that one is amped with the config that supposedly is able to pull off 600 ohm headphones, otherwise you get a more dull sound from the backpanel. 

How exactly does it sound, I'd describe it as pretty balanced, maybe slightly towards analytical/bright sounding which pairs well with my slightly warm Q40. The ZxR sounds warmer in comparision (gets too warm sounding for this headphone/amp).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 12/15/13 at 1:18pm
post #3 of 57
Thread Starter 

Cool! Gigabyte's new board offer the 600 ohm support too but it's shame that it only supports 5.1 surround. I know Asus always have good boards, but I think they sound solution is usually not that great cus they don't want to compete with their own lucrative sound card business. 

 

For the noises you get from the sound, it's quite possible it's caused by the lines connecting to the front panels especially when it's pushing 600ohm. They are usually not shield and not good quality either. You might want to try a new case or perhaps ebay an connection kit and route it to the back of the case instead, might get less interference that way! 

 

I am just happy with how far motherboards have come! It had always seemed silly to me to that buying a dedicated sound card is almost always necessary unless you have the ear of a 80 year old man. But here's a solution that that's good enough to satisfy both gaming and music after years of searching! About damn time to say goodbye to sound cards!


Edited by happycamperjack - 12/15/13 at 1:25pm
post #4 of 57

That's not unfortunately the issue, as the noise is also there with the backpanel. I've also tried with a more "high quality" frontpanel bay with very thick nicely shielded cables but yea same prob.

Gigabyte uses a Creative chip AFAIK, I specifically wanted Realtek due to the way it sounds like if using headphone with 5.1 or 7.1 speakers config and then going into "levels" tab (It's in the properties for the sound devince in the Windows control panel) and lower "front" vol to 97 as this makes the sound slightly less in-your-face and gives more space for soundstaging when using 5.1/7.1 speakers. Just try, sounds maybe weird but this way I get way larger and free-roaming soundstage than I was able to get with the ZxR card. The ZxR sounded more boxed-in no matter how I configured the speaker settings or whatever I used RCA outputs or headphone jack and speakers or headphones or 5.1/7.1 or whatever.

(I'm the weirdo that goes trying every possible config/settings to see which works best and don't care what it says, I let the ears decide what it does).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 12/15/13 at 1:36pm
post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 

Haha I hear you man, it drives me nuts when I know it can sounded better if I just tweak it a little bit more.


As for the noise... hmm.. I don't get any background noise I can hear from mine... Could be you have sharper ears than mine haha. Or perhaps your board has more interferences as it has more chips and features than my board. Graphic cards might be a factor too. I had a different graphic card (a 7970) plugged in above the EMI shield before. I remember hearing some very minor but noticeable noises. It has since went away now as I changed the graphic card. Now when I think about it, it could very well be the graphic card. Try taking off the graphic card and boot it through your VGA and see if there's interference i guess?

 

Oh and I've changed my powersupply to a better one recently too. That could be the reason too. Make sure you get a good powersupply with low ripples (new EVGA G2 Supernova is superb at that and great price!) Asus's Gene should be more resistive to ripples as it's in a different class. Ripples are especially bad for sound since that's the only thing that you can tell from bad ripples.


Edited by happycamperjack - 12/15/13 at 2:03pm
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by happycamperjack View Post
 

Haha I hear you man, it drives me nuts when I know it can sounded better if I just tweak it a little bit more.


As for the noise... hmm.. I don't get any background noise I can hear from mine... Could be you have sharper ears than mine haha. Or perhaps your board has more interferences as it has more chips and features than my board. Graphic cards might be a factor too. I had a different graphic card (a 7970) plugged in above the EMI shield before. I remember hearing some very minor but noticeable noises. It has since went away now as I changed the graphic card. Now when I think about it, it could very well be the graphic card. Try taking off the graphic card and boot it through your VGA and see if there's interference i guess?


I'm pretty sure I tried disconnecting as much things as possible and booting from onboard graphics and also tried with another PSU I have. But yea same. I just concluded the problem relies on the PCB itself, on the way somewhere between the DAC and the outputs and they likely have fixed this due to a few complaints recieved. It's not so bad when I turn down the amp volume, that increases the noise more than upping the volume via software (windows). The noise is mostly heard when certain flash plugins are loaded on a site for example, it's just a slight "pop" sound when it loads. If turning up amp volume I can also faintly start hearing whenever the HDD/SSD starts working.

Anyway it makes sense if they have addressed that with these new "Killer" series boards as for gaming boards you usually focus on gaming related stuff (audio/network/peripherals).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 12/15/13 at 2:08pm
post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 

Sounds like you really investigated it thoroughly! Man that must be annoying... I remember getting those pop sounds sometimes too, but it sounded like a software error so I didn't pay much attention to it. I'll look more into it if I get it next time. All I know is that it sounds great with no audible noise now that I've changed out my burned power supply, power surge protector and graphic card (overheating from 3 graphic cards at 100%). 

post #8 of 57

The same applies to their FM2+ board, the FM2A88X Extreme6+ (I own one of these). "TI NE5532 Headset Amplifier *Supports up to 600 ohm headsets (front audio)." Note the front audio part; could mean headphones must be connected via a case's front panel audio ports to be amped by the NE5532, or more likely that it amps headphones through the rear audio ports' front speaker port. It doesn't prohibit use of a discrete headphone amp; would the onboard audio perform well enough to avoid a discrete external DAC?


Edited by joel96 - 12/21/13 at 9:16am
post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joel96 View Post
 

The same applies to their FM2+ board, the FM2A88X Extreme6+ (I own one of these). "TI NE5532 Headset Amplifier *Supports up to 600 ohm headsets (front audio)." Note the front audio part; could mean headphones must be connected via a case's front panel audio ports to be amped by the NE5532, or more likely that it amps headphones through the rear audio ports' front speaker port. It doesn't prohibit use of a discrete headphone amp; would the onboard audio perform well enough to avoid a discrete external DAC?

Your motherboard layout for the audio chips is closer to RPGWizard's Extreme 4 layout with the Purity Sound chip surround closely by PCBs. He's experiences EMI problems because of it. So I don't know, give it a try? Make sure your front panel connector is of good quality.  Do some DIT shielding if you hear background noise. PSU plays a big role for the audio too as that's the heart of the computer and ripples can create noise. My Z87 Killer has no audible noise thank god, but I can't say the same for you though.

post #10 of 57

I have an EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 80 PLUS Platinum. Jonnyguru gave it positive reviews for low ripple. Please provide links to articles about DIY EMI shielding in the Hi-Fi context; it would apply to the Z87 Killer as well, even if the noise isn't audible. 

post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joel96 View Post
 

I have an EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 80 PLUS Platinum. Jonnyguru gave it positive reviews for low ripple. Please provide links to articles about DIY EMI shielding in the Hi-Fi context; it would apply to the Z87 Killer as well, even if the noise isn't audible. 

Yea that's an amazing PSU, you should do more than fine with that! As for DIY EMI, google it up I guess? Mine's front panel connectors are pretty good, so it's doing fine. 

post #12 of 57

I've got an Corsair HX 750W myself which is known for very low ripple but I also tested with my old OCZ PowerStream 520W from my now parent's computer which was a very high quality PSU at the time, but had pretty much the same amount noise with both so doubt it is the PSU in my case. ^^

post #13 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
 

I've got an Corsair HX 750W myself which is known for very low ripple but I also tested with my old OCZ PowerStream 520W from my now parent's computer which was a very high quality PSU at the time, but had pretty much the same amount noise with both so doubt it is the PSU in my case. ^^

Yea I've looked into it, I think it's the PCB layout of your board. They are too close to the sound chips compared to Z87 Killer. 

post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 

Here's some new audio benchmark numbers of the new motherboards:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7612/asus-rivbe/5

 

Surprisingly Asus's expensive ROG board is outperformed by most of the new Z87 boards. 

post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I've got an Corsair HX 750W myself which is known for very low ripple but I also tested with my old OCZ PowerStream 520W from my now parent's computer which was a very high quality PSU at the time, but had pretty much the same amount noise with both so doubt it is the PSU in my case. ^^
That's far from high quality PSU. That PSU has Teapo electrolytic main caps rated as 85c can't be high quality. Just can't. And the secondary electrolytes are Fuhjyyu caps by the looks of it. Even worse. It's a ticking time bomb and has garbage caps. Put some more load and puff, considering the age.
Edited by Anarion - 1/7/14 at 1:42pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › (117dB SNR DAC 2+7.1 and 600 ohm AMP) Asrock's new audiophile friendly motherboards