This is an area me and B,Delrizzo have gone rounds on a few times as I have always felt NVIDIA was playing backseat in the hardware audio arena to Intel's solutions. Well guess what that has all changed, oh and it gets better the ADI Soundmax solution is where I got my feet wet writing 5.1 Audio presets and different environments for Sonic Focus the company who has been developing all the audio presets and environments for Intel's HD-Audio or as it has become known in the industry, the Intel Audio Studio. ADI (Analog Devices make the hands down best sounding audio Codec and seeing it on not only a high-end ASUS board, but an AMD platform board as well, is a rocking combination for those who want an excellent onboard sound solution on the AM2 platform.
The new ADI ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC features a few new things that take ADI into the new age of HD-Audio, The new Codec fully Supports auto Jack-Sensing, Enumeration, Multi-streaming and Jack-Retasking, which allows the user to manually set which channel output does what. This comes in handy for those who just plug the speaker wires in only to discover that they put them in wrong. After that happens, you just tell the SoundMax GUI what channel you want the output to represent and it will automatically change it to that specification. With Jack-Retasking, this is a very simple thing and helps a lot for those not in the know of hooking up their equipment. The ADI 1988B also offers Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out on back I/O port as well as fully supporting the all digital DTS Connect function. For the best 5.1 sound in games you want a good set of analog speakers, digital sounds great in movies and 2.1 music, but 5.1 is best for games in an analog speaker environment as the separation is truer. I prefer using a high-end set of analog speakers over true digital ones any day for my overall PC use.