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JamesThresher

Maximus VI Formula SupremeFX vs Essence STX A/B Test

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Posted · Original PosterOP

First off, i'll apologise for a bit of cross posting here, but i think this would be appropriate for the Audio category.

 

I received my new Maximus VI Formula today and one of the forum members asked if I'd check out the audio quality, I've also purchased an Essence STX for this build so I've been doing some A/B tests today while I was testing out some of the other components I received today and the results are interesting.

 

Firstly its worth remembering that any audio tests are very subjective. This was a fresh install of Windows 8 with both the SupremeFX and the Essence STX enabled at the same time with all default settings, no tweaks to equalizers or special modes were done. The audio sources i used were all lossless FLAC files and the earphones used are JHAudio JH16Pro Custom IEM's (IMHO the best earphones anywhere, period).

 

The short answer is that now I've heard both the Essence STX and the new SupremeFX, I'd still thoroughly recommend that if you want good audio, go and get the Essence STX.

 

I've never been the best at describing these things, but the onboard sound is just washed out compared to the STX, the base response, mids and high's are just more alive on the STX than the SupremeFX. Both showed no background hiss at all (something that the JH16Pro's are quite sensitive to) so the 120db noise floor of the SupremeFX certainly seems to be doing the trick. But overall the STX is noticeably better.

 

Just be aware that your mileage may vary, personal preference, audio source and speaker/headphone/earphone setup all play a big part. But my preference is firmly with the STX.

 


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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Well the onboard audio on that mb will be better than other onboard audio but its normal that it cant compete with an STX, if it did that would be Asus shooting themselves in the foot since there would be no reason to buy the STX


Hey there. You are looking mighty fine today, have my virtual cookie!  :ph34r:

MY RIG: http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/34911-my-setup-gold-ghetto-gg-lots-of-pictures/#entry446883

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Well the onboard audio on that mb will be better than other onboard audio but its normal that it cant compete with an STX, if it did that would be Asus shooting themselves in the foot since there would be no reason to buy the STX

 

What I find very interesting is that there isn't any noticeable difference between the SupremeFX on the VI Formula and the onboard sound in my current rig which is using an ASUS P8P67 Deluxe board.

 

My cynical side does wonder if the supremeFX is mostly a marketing gizmo rather than a significant improvement in onboard sound.


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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You brought the formula and then the Essence STX? You must have liked the thermal armor very much! I brought the Extreme because I got it cheap and was impatient. Now I add a card of my choice. Thanks for your insight on the board. 


The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

You brought the formula and then the Essence STX? You must have liked the thermal armor very much!

 

I got the STX first, i was originally looking at getting the Maximus VI Extreme, but changed to the Formula. At least the STX wasn't a waste of money :)


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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I got the STX first, i was originally looking at getting the Maximus VI Extreme, but changed to the Formula. At least the STX wasn't a waste of money :)

Yeah, I got the Extreme for 300$ on amazon cheaper than the formula now on newegg which is like 340 with shipping. I am glad that I got Extreme.


The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.

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I got the STX first, i was originally looking at getting the Maximus VI Extreme, but changed to the Formula. At least the STX wasn't a waste of money :)

I bought my STX when i was using a Crosshair IV formula and i noticed a difference, what you need to do now is use some awesome old realtek audio or whatever lol


Hey there. You are looking mighty fine today, have my virtual cookie!  :ph34r:

MY RIG: http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/34911-my-setup-gold-ghetto-gg-lots-of-pictures/#entry446883

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Yeah, I got the Extreme for 300$ on amazon cheaper than the formula now on newegg which is like 340 with shipping. I am glad that I got Extreme.

Wow, 300$ is bargain, I'd probably have gone for that, but the Extreme was £315 in the UK which is about $490, and I just didn't need the features


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I bought my STX when i was using a Crosshair IV formula and i noticed a difference, what you need to do now is use some awesome old realtek audio or whatever lol

 

I've got about 20 of these in storage somewhere, I ended up with them years ago (don't ask). 

 

a3dxstream320.jpg

 

:)


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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First off, i'll apologise for a bit of cross posting here, but i think this would be appropriate for the Audio category.

 

I received my new Maximus VI Formula today and one of the forum members asked if I'd check out the audio quality, I've also purchased an Essence STX for this build so I've been doing some A/B tests today while I was testing out some of the other components I received today and the results are interesting.

 

Firstly its worth remembering that any audio tests are very subjective. This was a fresh install of Windows 8 with both the SupremeFX and the Essence STX enabled at the same time with all default settings, no tweaks to equalizers or special modes were done. The audio sources i used were all lossless FLAC files and the earphones used are JHAudio JH16Pro Custom IEM's (IMHO the best earphones anywhere, period).

 

The short answer is that now I've heard both the Essence STX and the new SupremeFX, I'd still thoroughly recommend that if you want good audio, go and get the Essence STX.

 

I've never been the best at describing these things, but the onboard sound is just washed out compared to the STX, the base response, mids and high's are just more alive on the STX than the SupremeFX. Both showed no background hiss at all (something that the JH16Pro's are quite sensitive to) so the 120db noise floor of the SupremeFX certainly seems to be doing the trick. But overall the STX is noticeably better.

 

Just be aware that your mileage may vary, personal preference, audio source and speaker/headphone/earphone setup all play a big part. But my preference is firmly with the STX.

 

 

No problems man, this was definately the right board.  I was pretty interested in this as well, although I'd rather compare this onboard to a FiiO E10 or an O2+ODAC.

 

A few questions:

 

-Did you volume match the outputs on each device? It didn't have to be exact, just within about 3db or so, by ear, before doing a comparison.

 

-Did you notice any high frequency, uhhhh, "wisping" I guess you'd call it.  It's usually something that sticks out when a singer is a bit too close to the microphone and hits a high note that enunciates an "S".  It's a VERY pronounced thing when you plug something like the AKG K702 into the STX.

 

-Did you ever try either with those HD650s in your picture (EDIT: clearly those are beats pro, I'm tired) some high impedance headphones?  I've got a feeling you might be able to help me confirm something if my theory is right...


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

i'm going to ask...

 

Haha, I bought a whole load of machines for a customer years ago, the sound cards came with them. I still have them somewhere, I believe they were Turtle Beach Vortex II or something like that.

 

The customer didn't want the sounds cards so I ended up keeping them.


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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Posted · Original PosterOP

No problems man, this was definately the right board.  I was pretty interested in this as well, although I'd rather compare this onboard to a FiiO E10 or an O2+ODAC.

 

A few questions:

 

-Did you volume match the outputs on each device? It didn't have to be exact, just within about 3db or so, by ear, before doing a comparison.

 

-Did you notice any high frequency, uhhhh, "wisping" I guess you'd call it.  It's usually something that sticks out when a singer is a bit too close to the microphone and hits a high note that enunciates an "S".  It's a VERY pronounced thing when you plug something like the AKG K702 into the STX.

 

-Did you ever try either with those HD650s in your picture (EDIT: clearly those are beats pro, I'm tired) some high impedance headphones?  I've got a feeling you might be able to help me confirm something if my theory is right...

 

Yes, volume output was matched by ear.

 

I'm not sure i know what you mean by "wisping" but i didn't notice anything like that from either the M/B sound or the STX.

 

"clearly those are beats pro, I'm tired) some high impedance headphones?"

:) The ones in my avatar are ancient cheap sony's

 

These are what I used for the test, they are JH Audio JH16Pro's

 

post-34178-0-40248300-1374012417.jpg

 

I don't think I have any high impedance phones, i'll see if i can borrow some to try.


Current Rig (Ongoing Build)


Spec:- 4770K | GTX 780 | 32Gb 2133Mhz Vengeance Pro | CaseLabs TH10 | 2 x 840 Pro RAID 0 | 3 x 3Tb WD Red RAID 5 | Maximus VI Formula | LSI MegaRAID 9271


Cooling (Ongoing Build) :- EK CSQ Clean | EK FC Titan | 3 x BlackIce SR-1 480mm | NB eLoop Fans | Aquaero 5 XT | Dual D5 | Aqualis XT Res

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What h264 means by wisping is "sibilance". 

 

An example of when sibilance is easily noticeable is when you have a brand new set of headphones, and you can hear the highs have a "static"-y sound to them, almost like a radio feedback sound. 

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What h264 means by wisping is "sibiliance". 

 

An example of when sibilance is easily noticeable is when you have a brand new set of headphones, and you can hear the highs have a "static"-y sound to them, almost like a radio feedback sound. 

 

I don't use that word.  It's a pet peeve of mine.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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