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ASUS Xonar Under Linux – Does it Work?

Posted on January 24, 2008 8:34 AM by Rob Williams
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After reading Rory’s review of the ASUS Xonar D2 back in September, I knew this card was one I had to have in my possession. For the past two years, I have been using the Chaintech AV-710 and certainly got my use out of it, but I knew it was time for an upgrade, especially since I planned on purchasing a decent pair of headphones. The only problem was… I am a pure Linux user, using Windows only for gaming, Photoshop and the like. To my surprise though, I was not out of luck.

Thanks to dedicated developer Clemens Ladisch, a CMI8788 driver has been in development for quite a few months. For those unaware, the C-Media 8788 chipset is also found in the Auzentech X-Meridian, HT Omega Claro, Razer Barracuda AC-1, Sondigo Inferno and of course, both the ASUS Xonar D2 and D2X.

I installed the D2X a few weeks ago and installation went fine. I posted in the forums at that time, relaying my experiences. First and foremost, I do notice quite a sound difference… and I’m not close to being an audiophile. You’d have to be half-deaf to not hear the difference, even with the rather cheap headphones I’m currently using.

The biggest gripe I’ve run into is the lack of volume sliders… I have a single Master and that’s it. I am certainly not complaining, though. The driver has certainly come a long way in the past few months and is completely usable.

I am interested in hearing experiences if anyone else out there has a CMI8788-based audio card and has it working fine in Linux. From what I gather, I am in the minority when it comes to the volume sliders, so chances are you will have better luck. I’ll follow-up in a few weeks if things improve. As it stands, I have to recommend this card… the sound… is so… good.

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