Fail of Your Day


I had a user unplug her desktop and bring it to my office so I could reset her domain password. The hardest part was not laughing as I turned around and reset her password while she was still holding her tower.


That’s rough man. I just had my htpc die I think. I only saw it on my way out and only had a chance to give it a quick look. Based on what little I saw, I think the power brick kicked the bucket. The little light wasn’t on. Either that or the specific outlet on the powerstrip is bad. Sigh, I meant this htpc to be a decent one. I don’t really wanna make a new one so soon after the last one.


I can’t actually say anything about whether or not this is a failure, maybe it’s the greatest thing ever, but I’m not paying $250 to try it. I’ll leave it up to the actual audio nerds to talk about external dacs or whatever.


Where’s @VictorFrost when you need him…


That smells like BS.


I would be shocked if this out-performed any other “soundcard” in a double-blind test.


Lol, any audio processor that’s worth that much money would produce way too much heat to be internal. Either that or be a recording interface which should also be external for interference reason. This is a trap for people with too much money.


Are soundcards ever worth it?

It’s probably better than an onboard audio solution in most motherboards if you are running higher end headphones. It might deliver better power and have some unique gaming options people like. But don’t know if it’s any better quality than an equivalent SoundBlaster card. Nor is it probably better than onboard for most people and their normal gaming headsets.

I don’t know what Audio-Grade means anymore than I know what “Aircraft-Grade Aluminum” means without any other qualifications. It’s the primary red flag for me.

If it does deliver any sort of improved experience or cleaner power, then cool. For audio gear, $250 is not even that bad.

I think if someone is building a hot-ass gaming rig and does also use quality proper headphones that they spent $200+ on, this might be a cleaner, more integrated, and acceptable alternative to buying a stand-alone DAC/AMP like a JDS labs or Schiit or something. There are downsides: I like the proper size headphone jack but being in the back of a case makes it a pain to use for quick swaps. And no physical volume knob.

Now, I don’t think the heat is an issue: enthusiast PCs are already generating lots of heat that they are loaded with fans to dissipate. I’ve not seen a low-end AMP that had fans, just passive cooling. Mine gets warm but hardly the sort of temps that a motherboard might see, as long as it’s in a case with good flow I’m sure it would get plenty of cooling.

Now, isolation and noise being inside the case could be a concern. But it can’t be any worse than anything else onboard, right?

I’m not saying anyone should go buy this, but I’m thinking there are a few cases where someone could, see it as an appealing alternative that it’s neat to see EVGA put it out there.


Back in the day motherboards did not have sound cards built in. Now they do. Separate sound cards largely exist because of this legacy. They rarely offer any features than the on-board cards don’t have.

The only time a separate sound card is needed these days is if the on-board one is particularly shitty. For example, the work laptop I’m using right now is AWFUL. You plug headphones into it, and it sounds like poop. I’m not talking audiophile nonsense. It’s night and day. Like listening to music through a tin can on a string.

Thing is, even if you do have a legit reason like this to get a sound card, an internal PCI sound card is almost never the right answer. You are going to want some kind of external DAC.


I agree with getting external solutions if you are really serious. And an internal upgrade solution is a heck of a compromise. But it still may offer some benefit. The only way to know if it’s nothing but a money hole is wait for some audiophile people to review it and determine if it actually does any better than your average enthusiast Mobo, and if it’s any worse than an external setup of comparable cost.

Basically, does it stand up to the JDS El2+ODAC combo? If it’s even close, the benefit of being inside the case might be worth looking into for some people, despite the drawbacks.


But it has RGB!


Basically any external sound card is usually fine. The onboard ones tend to be noisy (due to EM inside the case). You’ll hear hums or crackles. If you don’t hear that, they’re usually fine. If you do, get something external.

I of course cheat. I use the onboard sound via a headset for gaming and general computing. But, if I’m listening to music and I care about that music, I listen through the Mackie.

I can route the Mackie (our mixer) to the “control room”, which is basically just speakers in the room, and/or to my headphones. I have very good headphones plugged into it.

I can also route that audio BACK into the computer via several different channels if I want. So I can record sound my computer is playing live, and even select which sources I want to record.

I have sub-mixes on two different AUX buses as well. So I can route some audio from the mixer to one of four channels on the computer. I can do this while taking audio from the computer back into the mixer. This means things like live signal processing.

It’s ridiculous overkill. Don’t buy a mixer just to have good sound. But if you happen to already have a mixer…

It’s real real nice.


I bought a USB sound card to replace the dead onboard chip on my dad’s desktop. That is the only time I have ever thought about audio on a PC.


I had that botched Win10 update that killed your sound driver, as did my mother.


For some reason I’ve literally never had a Windows 10 update cause even one problem ever. Maybe just lucky? Even despite having some hacky firewire nonsense and three separate soundcards.


It’s legit the only Win10 problem I’ve had. I frankly like Win10 a lot.


Biggest nuisance I can think of is that Windows 10 became a lot more aggressive about under the hood updates, up to and including downloading those updates. When I was doing a clean reinstall to an older image of windows 10 it basically bottlenecked everything else… and it somewhat hid that. I thought something horrible was happening, as all I wanted to do was update the actual hardware drivers first, but I couldn’t get to them. Similarly they moved away from the old (admittedly somewhat shitty) cd key system and now do a better/worse job of tracking your physical hardware… so migrating hardware even with a full license takes more steps than it used to. And woe be to you to have to talk to microsoft support about anything as far as I’ve ever heard.


What about the corrupted podcast recording I repaired?


That was a configuration setting that was changed by a driver update. It was my fuck-up for not checking the configuration before recording.

Firewire mixers are very sensitive to mismatches in sampling rates. You have to set them in several places for reasons. I would have noticed if I’d been paying attention. I also would have been fine if I’d been running the backup analog recorder, which I didn’t because I was stupid.


I knew that the Atari Lynx had an incredibly poorly designed power circuit. The main mosfet that switches the power fails all the time, and it turns on with the press of a face button, meaning it can accidentally turn on in your bag and eat the batteries. This as opposed to a physical switch, that literally every other handheld console of the era uses.

I’m now learning that it has another failure mode where the 5V power rail can go completely unregulated and cook all the logic chips, so good job Atari.