The audio subsystem of the mainboard consists of the audio processing unit (APU) in the South Bridge of the chipset and an AC’97 Realtek ALC650 DAC. This is a high-quality solution, supporting Dolby Audio technology, to the bargain. By the way, this capability should be available in all mainboards with the NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T South Bridge, but we really see it implemented in few products since the implementation requires paying license fees. The sound is six-channel, but the most important thing about this solution is its nature: it is hardware, rather than software. In other words, we get good audio quality (comparable to modern stand-alone audio cards from Creative) and load the CPU less.
A7N8X-E Deluxe boasts three exclusive technologies from ASUS: ASUS C.O.P, ASUS Q-Fan and ASUS POST Reporter. Let’s dwell a bit more on each of them.
Real cops guarantee people’s security and public order. The CPU Overheating Protection technology serves similar purposes: it protects the heart of the PC, its central processor, from high temperatures and overheating using the on-die thermal diode. By the way, the BIOS of ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe also shows you the data from the diode integrated into the processor.
Noise has become a real problem for powerful computer system owners, particularly the noise from the CPU cooler. Of course, you can use water-cooling systems, but they are not as popular and affordable as air cooling yet. Considering that the processor is not always working at its full capacity, it’s possible to slow down the cooler for a while. ASUS Q-Fan reduces the cooler speed, and its noise, when the CPU temperature is below 50°C. You control the cooler speed in the BIOS Setup.
My first acquaintance with the POST Reporter was a kind of shock for my nerves. Leaving my room to answer a phone call, I heard someone talking there – but the room was empty when I left! There was no mystics in that, though, only advanced information technologies. The Reporter is just telling you in a human voice about the system start-up process. If something goes wrong, it lets you know about the problem. By default, the Reporter speaks English, but you can change the language to any from the list: Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Taiwanese. I can’t say anything about the other languages, but the translation into my native language, Russian, was rather poor, with some phrases simply missing. I hope the company will hire qualified interpreters in the future.